Thursday, 29 April 2010

Back to Acton Scott

I have been a little distracted recently and forgot to post the bestest bit of Action Scott, for me, which was the Bailiff's cottage.

Here you can see the Farm Bailiff and his wife (well, for the day anyway!) enjoying their lunch. Home made (Leek and Potato?) soup - and boy did it smell good - and doorstep sandwiches. I was really taken with the range in the background, and it fairly chucked out some heat.

Next door was the laundry room. Here you can see all the washing day paraphenalia of a bygone age - the tongs (m-in-law had a pair which had been her mother's and probably her grandmother's before that) for getting hot laundry out of the "copper". The Washing dolly, the glass washboard. As you can see, the "copper" here was set in a brick base. I read somewhere recently about country folk sometimes having their bath in the copper of a Saturday night, so as to be clean for church next day. I think it would have been a tight fit in this one!

My favourite room, the larder, which was lovely and cool and roomy and full of all sorts of containers which were familiar to me (mainly as I have a fair few like that at home).

Looking back from the laundry into the kitchen. Note the mangle on the left and the washing tub with a long-handled dolly in it.

In the little hallway was a bread oven which is apparently fired up and used on occasion. I have one downstairs in the big inglenook, but we can no longer use it now that the chimney is capped.

The parlour. A pretty little spinning wheel, centre, and a rag rug, and we have a chair just like the Windsor in the foreground.

One of the bedrooms, complete with utalitarian home-made quilt. I used to sleep in a bed just like that one when I was little, when one of the neighbours got a new bed and we had their old one. Wish we still had it!

Another beautifully-crafted smock on display in a case.

Another bedroom complete with home-fashioned quilt. I fear the wash jug and basin would have offered only cold water in the good old days.

I could quite happily have moved in here and not noticed THAT much inconvenience. An elderly Dorset aunt of my first husband's lived in a cottage with no running hot water (only cold, which was pumped up from the well into the kitchen sink). There was no bathroom and no inside loo - just a honeybucket in a tin shed up the garden, which rubbed cheek by jowl against a rat trap, various garden implements, old buckets etc. and no end of cobwebs! This cottage was a lot more sophisticated!


  1. What a wonderful time warp these pictures have produced! :)

  2. Yup - wish I was in it right now, but I'm working on it - just made two x chocolate apple gingerbread cakes which have just gone in the oven, and net it is jam making - Pineapple and Kiwi Fruit. I am well inside my comfort zone!

  3. My grandparents lived in a house my grandfather had built that had no running water, electricity or bath until well up into the '60's. We thought staying there was a treat when we visited.

  4. Lovely photos, lovely place Thanks!!!!

  5. Is this the cottage that was used in The Victorian Farm or was that another of the Estate cottages? I think you are right, I should spend some time at Acton Scott on my way down to see you - soon I hope. Will write over the weekend.

  6. This brings back memories of staying with my Lincolnshire Granny. I used to sleep in a bed just like the one in the photo, and there was a cast iron fireplace in the corner, and a rag rug!

  7. I greatly enjoy lilving history museums. Between us, J. and I have a lot of the skills to keep house in an older way. But--what would we do without internet? We try to combine some of the "modern conveniences" with the earthier skills of gardening, canning, preserving and such which give us joy and help economically.

  8. MM - I'm with you there. I'd be lost without the internet, but I suppose we would have to fall back into the thrall of "snail mail" letters again. I'm with you on the earthier skills (indeed I have been jam making this week).

    DW - happy memories for you then. This way of living seems so familiar to me too.

    Rowan - this cottage is in the main farmyard and the one they used in the series was elsewhere on the estate and is now used as a holiday cottage (arm and a leg job to rent it I suspect!)

    Mac n Janet & Val - Glad you enjoyed the photos and the trip down memory lane.

  9. First time visiting here. Lovely old cottage.