Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Our house and its place in local history

The days seem to be going past so fast at the moment.  Remembering last summer I am trying to make the most of every moment of sunshine, and enjoying it to the full.  My cooking apple tree which is still thriving despite keeling over a few years back, is in full bloom and has a Jackdaw perched on it, with bees still busily working all around him.  I saw a sunny wall-side garden in Llandovery today, where their Aquilegias were in full bloom.  Elsewhere, my garden included, they are in bud, but not full bloom yet, and I know from the gaps in the border that I have lost some of the more interesting colours and petals.  Sigh.  That includes a small pure yellow one which was struggling last year and which I didn't manage to get seed from.  I think I need to visit Touchwood Plants again and get some more seed or young plants.  I need to phone and find out when the Garden is open for viewing - should be any time soon.

Anyway, our jaunt out today  got us another replacement chimney pot and cowl (though not as cheaply as the pair bought last weekend.)  We found that one of our present cowls was cracked so needed replacing, and the pot we bought on Sunday is just a tad too large to be one of a pair on the North chimney stack, so we will sell that (hopefully) at the car boot sale.  It was a nice drive out to beyond Llandovery, and we stopped for a wander round the charity and antique shops on the way home.  I found an elderly paperback edited by Fred Archer, about Country Life, which was just my sort of book so I blew £2 on that.

The current building works/repairs have shown that our little back kitchen window was once a raised doorway to the house, approached via steps.  We thought we had the same on the opposite side of the house, but it is actually a window.  We can also now clearly see that the front half of the house was the original Medieval (15th C and earlier) Great Hall, although much-modified (Georgian proportions) in 1718 according to  the plaque over the doorway), and again in early Victorian times.  It is fascinating finding out the history of our house, which may date back to the 12th C, according to a carved stone in the wall of our local church.  The family who were here in the 15th C joined the Welsh army of Henry Tudor (subsequently Henry VII) gathered by Rhys ap Thomas and marched off to Bosworth to do battle with Richard III.  As a result, one of their sons was made Esquire to the Body of Henry VII . . .  How strange that I should now be living at the home of the one family and volunteering at the estate of  the other . . .  Oh, and that our wonderful builder also had an ancestor involved in the battle - how weird is that?

I am busy with crafts at the moment - and repairing old stuff to sell.  New frames for old pictures, re-upholstering a couple of stools, patchwork, all sorts. 

Healthwise, I am on a strong course of Steroids again and took my last antibiotic (of a 2nd course) today, so hopefully I am on the mend again.  I am feeling a bit more energised, but the Pleurisy is still there in the background and I remember it if I am climbing anything much more than a gentle slope or trying to run up the stairs here.

The bluebells in the top photo, by the way, were photographed in the orchard of Thomas Hardy's Cottage last year.

The lake beside Talley Abbey.


  1. What an interesting post BB - regarding aquelegia - I have many in my garden as they are among my favourite flowers. I find that whatever colour I buy or am given by friends within a couple of years they seem to hybridise so I have plenty of interesting multicoloured ones. If you would like some seed in a few months time, just let me know.

  2. Lovely to see your house again, how is Keith going to get the cowls up on the roof and chimney pots, dangerous job. Fascinating history, and still discovering odds and ends about the house - never ends ;)

  3. thelma - we have plenty of good scaffolding this time. Last time, he and Danny sent me out and they climbed out on the roof through one of the Velux windows . . . Intrepid, my husband. . .

    Pat - Thank you. I would love any Aquilegia seeds you have to spare and am happy to swop you any of mine. Mine have a tendency to revert to pale pink with clematis petals, or else the ballerina skirts! I think my Black Barlow is now now longer with us, nor the pale blue Alpine one . . . Sigh. I will have to see what has survived the winter in pots (seedlings from last year).

  4. Your house has such an interesting history. Fascinating that the current building works have unearthed new evidence of its past.

    The aquilegia plants you gave me two years ago are doing well and are about to flower. I`ll let you know what colours they are when the buds open.