PEAR TREE LOG

pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.



Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Joan and the Wild Man

Belleau Manor House  was demolished in 1978.  Joan, one of our village elders, was brought up there, she remembers it as being very damp and very cold and, although she has fond memories of living there, I think she is more than happy to be living in her much cosier bungalow.


Formally a school teacher, Joan is a mine of information about local history and is well known locally for her paintings and pastels.   I think she must be in her late seventies or early eighties.  She is one very determined woman and keeps on going, despite severe problems with her eyesight.


On a recent walk we went over the little Belleau bridge, it is a post medieval, arched, brick bridge which leads into a farmyard - at first sight it is like any other farmyard.  Explore a little more and there are great treasures to be seen.
Lovely ramshackle buildings with ancient beams.




This is a working farm, we just hit lucky that it was a quiet day and we were free to explore a little.  The original medieval Belleau Manor House stood on a moated island, the moat was up to 14 metres wide in parts.  Most of this has now been infilled.    The little brick bridge is thought to occupy the site of the original access to this island.
The listed barn, see all those alterations and exciting remnants
The medieval manor house was replaced by a hall in the 16th century and the remains of the hall, along with some 18th and 20th century alterations have been incorporated into the barn in the middle of the 'island'.    Just look at all the architectural remnants in that barn wall!   Unfortunately we couldn't gain access to the side for a better photograph.


The Belleau Manor House which Joan lived in was a late 17th century building, and was thought to have been an extension to the earlier hall.
This strange little building is what remains of a 20th century stable block.  It was constructed in 1904 and incorporates all that remains of the house of Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, which belonged to Sir Harry Vane after the Civil War.


The gable has reset deeply moulded Tudor archway with a Wild Man, or Green Man, corbel.  The Wild Man is a symbol of the Willoughby d'Eresby family, and the archway was formerly in the gatehouse of the mansion.  Unfortunately because there were animals in the field (protected by an electric fence)  we couldn't get any closer - not even for blogging purposes.  Sorry!
Just across from the farmyard  is this lovely old Tudor dovecote.  Built in the 16th century, it is octagonal in shape and is made from brick with a slate roof.  All the original roof timbers survive, internally it is full of nesting boxes.  You can see the one tiny entrance (for humans) in this photograph.
I would love to have the time to dig and delve into some more of the history of Belleau, but at the moment we are coming in for lots of baby and child-sitting duties.  Days whizz by.  Once things settle down I will do that research and post.  How I would love to have free access to roam around and try to absorb some of the atmosphere of this place!  On the plus side, at least it is only a ten minute walk away!


PS Sir Henry Vane lived at Belleau Manor from 1650-1660.  He was a Parliamentarian during the Civil War although he later became disenchanted with Cromwell’s government. During the reign of Charles II, when the monarchy was reinstated, he was beheaded at Tower Hill.

18 comments:

  1. I covet the octagon dovecote. It's a sin and I don't care!

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  2. I agree with Joanne...oh how I would love to turn it into a cottoge. You are surrounded with so much history that, many times, is centuries old. At least, you are photographing some of it. I noticed, when I google, sometimes your post comes up as a resource. You are giving the world a chance to see some of history that might disappear as the buildings crumble.
    Great post!

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    1. Meggie, Ooops! I've just promised it to Joanne - could you girls share? I am so pleased you are enjoying seeing our part of the world - because I enjoy sharing it with you. It makes me look out for things which I hope you will enjoy seeing. The world of blog can be wonderful - I am enjoying learning more of Texas and North East Ohio!

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  3. Joanne, If it were up to me I would bestow it upon you! I'll settle for that old brick barn!

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  4. I like to touch the walls of old buldings and, at the same time, wonder who else has touched the walls before me.
    Thanks for sharing your walk with us.
    Jane x

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    1. Hi Jane, I know just what you mean about touching the walls! Glad you enjoyed the walk.

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  5. Dovecote! I want to move in there myself!

    I love old buildings like that. I have mixed feelings about some of the developments I've seen using these beautiful old agricultural buildings as 'barn conversions'.

    Yes, they give these structures a new lease of life and another 100-200 years useful lifespan, but the animals that often inhabit these old buildings then get turfed out.

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    1. Hi Chris, Luckily those old buildings are listed and protected, long may it continue. It would be terrible if they were to be converted - although I do have to hold my hand up and admit that we live in an old agricultural building. 150 years old, former stables, cow shed and cart shed. Nothing special, nothing historical, but where does the line get drawn? No animals were ousted (apart from rats) as the farm had long since ceased to be active.

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  6. How I envy you for being able to prowl around all these wonderful old historical sites! I want to explore along with you and breathe the air. I want to tromp along in a pair of wellies and see your English birds and spring flowers...
    Well, at least I can do it vicariously through your delightful blog!

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    1. Hi Ms Sparrow, Get those wellies on and come with me! I'll show you snowdrops and primroses, bluebells and daffodils as we explore these lovely old buildings and historical sites. It will be my pleasure to share them with you.

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  7. I agree-it’s so nice to learn more about another place especially from one who lives there and clearly loves and appreciates it so much.

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    1. Hi Green Dragonette, Thank you. I have to rein myself in sometimes, I get carried away with my enthusiasm, but it is lovely to know that you also enjoy seeing them.

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  8. What wonderful old buildings and beautiful scenery. I love going on your walks!

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    1. Hi Scarlet, .. and I enjoy your company!

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  9. great photo's Elaine... didn't pop in for tea though...? We learnt the other day that the Dovecote is actually referred to as a pigeoncote in an old survey of the area, which I think is interesting if a little less glamorous!

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    1. Hi Dom, Well we knocked, but there was no reply. The Pigeoncote - it doesn't quite have the same cachet though! It is a beautiful building - and you get to look at it every day, you lucky thing. I hope we manage to catch up with you soon.

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  10. I'm with Joanne; that dovecot is perfect... I've even got the perfect spot for it!

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    1. Hi Cro, I'm pleased that you like it! It is a splendid old building, and is already in the perfect spot!

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