Friday, 29 August 2008

The old days

This photo was taken in Brecon and the words on the wall led to an old posting inn dating back to the 18th and 19th century.

You may have noticed a theme with me - my preoccupation with the past, especially the Victorian past, and with country living, and with old houses, and history, and museums, and archaeology, and Old Things and Old Skills. I make no apologies.

Here is the result of an eclectic delve into my photos. I am sticking to home for the first one - it is an aperture high in the wall of what is now a bedroom. It would have led through to the master bedroom - but that would have been when that room was a mill room - it still has a huge window facing north and overlooking the paddock. The mill pond might be full of trees now, and dry, and the leat stream has been moved back a good few yards every time Gary has been in the area with his digger, but this farmhouse, like many in our part of Wales, was once a mill as well as a working farm. We found all sorts of debris beneath the floorboards when we were renovating the house - lots of chaff and barley husks were beneath that bedroom floor. I assume some mill machinery went through the wall here.

Still from our house, the little rat-nibbled child's tackety boot (probably Victorian), cat's skull and mummified rat which were each found over different doorways in the house, dating from when such items were considered charms against witches and the Evil Eye.

Still in our house - the ancient skill of wine-making, an old table from auction which was used for I don't know what as it has slats across it (candle making?) and my old beam scales beneath. They came from auction in Blandford, Dorset before we moved here, and cost me £3.

This stable was at Powis Castle, and shows what the stalls were like in Victorian times.

On my trip to York recently, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this lovely half-timbered building. I believe it is a restaurant.

This butter press is French-made, but skillfully done and I shall try it out the next time I make butter again.

This old horse-shoe from a Shire or other big working horse, is one that I found in the stream near Lime Kiln Field. It would undoubtedly be made by the old blacksmith at the bottom of our hill (though his forge has long been under a modern bungalow.)


LBP said...

What fantastic object! I am especially fascinated by the butter press. It is totally different than the one that my family used. Ours looked like a tiny churn.



nita x said...

lovely pictures and history again jennie. i love reading all the history you research. :)

Suzan said...

It's really nice to visit you and I have enjoyed reading your musings. I think there is a part of you that reaches out to another dimension. Lovely. Watch out for that Beast! I'll enjoy coming over here to see what you've found.

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

So much wonderful history!
Thanks for sharing!
Debbie Moss

Mam said...

More amazing things. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing!

Bovey Belle said...

lpb - the butter press is for when you've made your butter in the glass or wooden churn, and then you have to shape it into a slab for the table or for keeping. It gives a pretty pattern of a (French!) cow on one side.

Lovely to see some new faces posting too.