23 days ago
Regular readers will know that my green intention each year is to buy a Christmas tree which I can plant outside, bringing it in for Christmas before replanting it on January 7 in the garden. One year my tree lasted two Christmases, most years I manage to kill them one way or another after just one Yuletide.
98 days ago
Maybe what grabs you are the windows either side of the tree. If you look closely you will see that the ones on the right are bricked up and painted. These are an unusual sort of “wndow tax window”. Because this part of the house was the side folks saw as they took their milk down to the river to be shipped to Chester, this was the part “dolled up.” I could not unbrick the windows if I wanted as they are one of the reasosn that the hovel is listed. But I rather like them. In between the windows is a Christmas treat I picked up today. It is the annual “victim.”
1058 days ago
The painter returned this morning with a pot of Oxford Blue paint to cover up the Shoreditch gay bar purple with which he had decorated the kitchen window of this listed building on Easter Sunday. As you can see below, it now looks splendid. Keen observers will note two other things…
1166 days ago
The kitchen should have been ready by November 8. It is not yet finished. But, as of a couple of days ago, it became usable and last night we cooked a meal on and in the Aga for the first time and then The work unit with the Belfast sink should be completed January 20 by when a few other remedial works should be done. But we are now, as you can see below, settled in for Christmas. I start with the newly exposed arch which was once the front door looking into the room from the main house. On the wall opposite is the Mrs, the Aga and the old bread oven from the 1600s.
1170 days ago
The big project at the Welsh Hovel this Autumn has been the restoration of an old kitchen from the 1600s. By Tuesday I hope to be able to show you something that is 90% complete but here is one piece of history now coming to life. The view is from the hall in the centre of the house into the kitchen; you can see the new Aga at the far end and the beams which we have exposed and got back towards their original condition.
1248 days ago
Okay, I accept this is work in progress. Gone are the carpets and wallpaper from the 1970s and also the plaster from the early twentieth century. What you see now is a room almost stripped back to the 1680s or whenever it was built. I shall come to the dating issue and mystery below.
1590 days ago
I suspected that we would discover a gem here and I was not disappointed as Brokerman Dan removed the ghastly 1970s fireplace you can see below from the living room at the Welsh Hovel. This room was part of the original part of the house so pre-dates the window tax of 1696. It has another gem which Dan and I will uncover next week but today’s gem is also below.
1606 days ago
There are seven fireplaces at the Welsh Hovel. One is an enormous beast with an oak beam across it – a 17th century offering in the oldest room in the house. There were five which had ghastly modern constructs from the 20th century on them which the listed buildings folks have consented for us to remove and explore what is behind them. And there was one on the master bedroom which had a Victorian fireplace which we planned to treat with paint stripper but leave in place. However…
1706 days ago
I sense that the folks who owned the Welsh Hovel in 1696 when the, otherwise good, King Billy introduced the Window Tax, shared my own view of tax, that it is state sponsored theft. as you will see over time, the then owners managed to dodge King Billy’s tax in two ways, one of which was simply to brick up windows with the idea that they could be re-opened when this ludicrous tax was repealed. These days the listed buildings regulations mean that you cannot unbrick them. Anyhow three new such windows were revealed over the weekend as you can see below.