Thursday, 20 February 2014

Where I live

I live in a gamekeeper's house in a small hamlet that was formerly occupied solely by estate workers for the 'big house'. Everyone had their specific role, water bailiff, farm hand and so forth. Those days are long gone and the houses are now privately owned. The 'big house' is a hotel under new ownership, in the process of being refurbished.
Here is a photograph of the gamekeeper who used to live in our house. The farmer down the road has a shepherd's hut in his field, I don't know if it's the one that's in this photograph. They are now very desirable structures and sell for ridiculous prices. (It would be nice to own one!)
This is how the hamlet looked in the 1970's when the estate had been newly sold. It looks very workaday with the hedges cut low and new building work still quite raw. The barns and outbuildings of the home farm had been developed into separate dwellings.
By the end of the century trees and shrubs had softened the area.
This is our home before the greenhouse was built on the south side of the house and before the garage rebuild.
And this is how it was looking last September. There are solar panels on the roof to provide electricity for the air source heat pump - our attempt at going green. The greenhouse is out of sight, hidden by the shadow of the neighbouring cedar trees. All the cottages have wells in their gardens, dating from the time when there was no water supply to the village. We remain without street lighting, for which we are all thankful as it means that we can see the stars!

18 comments:

  1. It is so nice to know a bit of the history of one’s home. Looks very peaceful in your area.

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    1. There is quite a lot of history here, Doc! I'll post some more. We've heard all sorts of stories about the gamekeepers who have lived in our house.
      Yes, it's quiet here - just how we like it.

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  2. Oh I love this! How wonderful and to know the history is just amazing!

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    1. More photos and history to come, Wendy!

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  3. Oh how beautiful. Yes. It is wonderful to see the stars.

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    1. There is a dull orange glow in the sky from the nearby city but it doesn't interfere with our star gazing.

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  4. It's interesting to see how the landscape and buildings change over the years. Across the road from your driveway, there's a place with a very sharply pitched roof; is that a house?

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    1. The building is a pair of semi-detached cottages, the only property in the hamlet to be listed. They are rented out and have very small living accommodation but generously sized gardens. When we first moved here they were occupied by former estate workers, the water bailiff, a farm worker and his wife who cleaned at the big house. The farm worker kept his garden in excellent condition, he grew wonderful vegetables and gave me good gardening advice - and produce!

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  5. I think my brother used to 'own' one of those houses. His name is now shit in the village - if there is anyone left alive to remember it.

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    1. Tom, come on now, don't just leave me dangling, at least give me a house number and a year of departure. Then I'll tell you if his name is still mud.

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  6. Thank you so much for taking us in your hot-air balloon on a journey back in time. There is so much to see in your photos. You could probably write about it - your place - for many more days.

    You place survived the 80's and 90's so well! I mean the structure around the estate kept most of it's qualitites and chame. This was BEFORE Prince Charles started to look after British villages, right?

    So now that we know - can you mark with an "x" where you burnt the wood and twigs?
    8-)

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    1. The hamlet has survived quite well with only a little development, mainly, I suspect, because it isn't on mains drainage. Our house, however, was thoroughly messed about in the 1970's in the name of modernisation. Lovely features such as window shutters and pine cupboards were just ripped out and replaced with grim arches. Some dreadful stuff was done. Most of the work that we have done has been removing the modernisation!
      I'll do another posting where you'll be able to see the position of the bonfire. We have another huge stack of debris waiting, oh, waiting for dry weather and a good blaze.

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  7. Lovely to see the lie of the land from above and how everything has matured over the years. p.s. love the colour of the wall in the first picture - very dramatic.

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    1. The furniture in the dining room is Victorian and the room has only one window and is quite dark. I looked for an arsenic green wallpaper from the period. No success, the papers didn't have enough depth of colour so we went with paint. I once saw a gentleman's library decorated in green felt and had that at the back of my mind. The other downstairs rooms have several windows and plenty of light so the dining room is a pleasing contrast.

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  8. oh how lucky that you have that old photo. i don't have any of our place or the people who lived here. you live in such a charming spot!

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    1. We have other photos and several stories about the gamekeepers, who sound to have been rather characterful!

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  9. Your house is my fantasy house for the future, I can see myself in a spot like that in the Borders.

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  10. It is small, Tabitha, not well designed, not easy to heat with so many exterior walls, but, in the summer, when everything flourishes I think I'm in heaven. (And the neighbours are lovely.)

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