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.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Lavender Hedges & Wooden Fences

Should I choose the lavender hedge as my entry for Friday's Fences, or the wooden fence?  
 I choose both.

Why not add a wrought iron fence?

Three fences for the price of one.


Many thanks to Jan and Jer for hosting Friday's Fences
Click on the link to see lots of other fences and wonderful blogs!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dismantled & Ready to be Shipped to America..

This was the first fireplace to be dismantled and removed from the castle.
Just click on a photograph if you'd like to enlarge it, you'll see much more detail.
Way back in 1911 Tattershall Castle had fallen into disrepair, and was unloved and unwanted.... few people had heard of Lincolnshire, never mind Tattershall.

The owner had no interest in it, the buildings and land were to be sold.
This beautiful room is the Audience Chamber, on the second floor

A meeting of the Council of the National Trust was convened, but decided against purchasing the castle, despite being offered an interest free loan to do so!

Instead it was purchased by an American millionaire, who planned to have the whole castle dismantled and shipped, brick by brick, to the U.S.

When news of this was made public there was a huge outcry, especially when it became known that the huge and handsome stone fireplaces were being dismantled and taken away from the castle, in pieces.   Bricks were smashed, chimneys dismantled, rubble lay all around.

Luckily Lord Curzon  (Viceroy of India) was able to purchase the building and  he set about trying to track down the missing fireplaces.

He had all the ports watched so that they could not be taken out of the country.   Eventually he was contacted by a dealer, acting as the middleman for the people who now owned the fireplaces.
Image borrowed from tattershallwiththorpe, many thanks

Image borrowed from tattershallwiththorpe, many thanks 
To cut a long story short, a deal was struck and they were returned at a cost of £5,155.00.  This was in May 1912.   The two black and white photographs show the triumphant return of the fireplaces.

The dismantled fireplaces would have been taken down this beautiful staircase.

Going up the spiral staircase doesn't seem so bad, coming down is a little trickier - especially given that it is two-way traffic...

There are approximately 150 steps from the basement to the battlements.

This photograph may give you some idea of the scale of the fireplaces and the vastness of the 'chambers'.   Each floor has one large chamber with a few very small ante-rooms leading off.

It is a very simple building with lots of beautiful detailing, both inside and out.   The walls have never been plastered or painted.  The principle rooms were hung with huge tapestries like this one.    Everything was on a grand scale.

Even corridors had beautiful ceilings.

Here we are at the top of the building, a beautiful open air space.  Climb another few stairs and you are rewarded with amazing views of the countryside - see my previous post.

On a clear day you can see all the way to Boston - in Lincolnshire, of course!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A Mystery & Tattershall Castle Gatehouse

Click to enlarge any photograph
We made our way past the beautiful alms houses, and round by the church, turned the corner and were met by this first glimpse of Tattershall Castle.

To the left is the Gatehouse.

It is a fairly small medieval red brick building, with a wonderfully saggy roof line and beautiful, stone dressed windows.

Tattershall Castle used to have two moats and the Gatehouse is built between the two.

To the rear of the building is the picnic area and a view of the inner moat.

Tattershall Castle was built between 1433 and 1443, on the site of an earlier castle.    It is said that it took almost a million bricks, made of local clay, to complete the building.   It was really a manor house built to impress;  a show of power.

This set of steps run down to the moat.

I read somewhere that as an alternative to walking in the grounds people could 'take the air' while being rowed around the moat.

I wonder whether this cute little building out to the back could have been the privy...unfortunately the doors were bolted so no chance of checking that out!

I will post about the castle itself, show you the interior and tell you the story of it, but in the mean time, this is the view from the top of the castle.  

The cute little Gatehouse/Guardhouse to the left and the little  'privy' building over towards the right.

One moat runs to the front of the Gatehouse, the other was behind it.

This is the same view from ground level; I took it at the entrance to the castle.

A few minutes later the sky clouded and storm clouds gathered...

The mystery is in the first four photographs.  Did you notice the strange orange ball?

I don't know what it was - at first I thought perhaps there had been a speck of something on the camera lens, but then I noticed that it is not in the same position in each photograph.

It varies in intensity, but I haven't manipulated it in any way.  What you are seeing is exactly what I saw when I downloaded the photos.

Does anyone know what it could be?   Answers on a postcard please!
One final photograph.  
In the picnic area we found this small, heart-shaped pear.

I'll leave you with a little snippet of information about Tattershall village.

Perhaps the most famous former inhabitant was Tom Thumb, who measured no more than 47 cms in height.   The church which you can see in the photographs has a marker showing where he was buried when he died in 1620, at the age of 101.  

One of the large houses in the village has a miniature house on the roof, this is said to be Tom Thumb's house!    If I spot it on my next visit you can be sure I'll take a photograph.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

So This is What it is Like to be Pursued by Paparazzi

It has been a busy month, christening, garden party, the village show, care of an elderly relative, visits by family.   I think we have done more entertaining this month than we normally do in a whole year.   It has been exhausting, but fun.

This weekend has been particularly nice as my older brother, Steven, and his wife Shirley came across the country to visit us.  It had been a year since we had last seen them, so there was a lot of catching up to do.

We  made the most of the weather and got out and about.

One of the places we visited was Tattershall Castle, which I'll post about soon.

I love this old building - the wobbly roof line, lovely windows, the church in the background.   I wish I could add a soundtrack because there was a wedding taking place in the church and the bells were being rung, it was wonderful.    I have some much better photographs, this is just a taster.

Every time I turned around there seemed to be a camera lens pointed in my direction.   Eeeek!

We visited The Bubblecar Museum, a delightful little place, very inexpensive, great value - with a charming tea room and gift shop.

While I am not a particularly car-orientated person I will admit that I do like these little cars.  They have big personalities and shy, bashful smiles...
..long eyelashes and charm.

Some so small it feels as though you could pick them up and put them in your handbag.

Everywhere I went there was the same problem...
...a man with a camera...

For just a £4.00 entry fee you can get in to see about 60 of these wonderful little cars..some restored, some as they were found, all are delightful.

This morning we visited a couple of interesting old churches which Alfred Lord Tennyson would have known very well indeed... he grew up in the old Rectory almost opposite this one.   His father was a vicar and this was one of the churches in his care.         Even here I felt hounded..
...see the photographer in the background?
My brother Ian (aka Owl Wood), Shirley, my sister-in-law, & my brother Steven
Luckily it turned out to be Ian.     Name your price, I don't want any of them published or archived.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Photographs from Home - for Jonny & Mingming

Locked out the church for Francesca's christening.

All photographs are courtesy of Owl - thanks Ian.

Francesca demonstrating her horsemanship skills...

...and having a wonderful time.

OK, that's done.      I can get rid of the hat now, Harry!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Mysterious Medieval Woman

There is a mysterious woman, who dates from around  the 12th Century, living in this little church  set  high on a hill in the rolling countryside of the Lincolnshire Wolds.  A Benedictine Priory shared the site, although no evidence of that remains today.

As you climb up the fairly steep hill it is easy to imagine the gravestones are hurrying down...

The hillside and the churchyard is being constantly undermined by rabbits.

A poem has been written about it, I'll post it on a separate page (top tab) in case anyone would like to read it.

This is the south side of the church - a fascinating patchwork of greenstone, red bricks, old blocked archways and wonderful windows.   So many alterations, repairs, subtractions, 900 years of history.

Go in through the porch door, look right, this is what you will see...  light, bright, fairly plain.

Turn to the left and ... it suddenly looks altogether richer, possibly more interesting.
Click to enlarge.

Up in the floor of the bell tower chamber you will be able to see three elongated, wingless angels.

Beautiful though they are, these are not the mystery.

The screening is richly painted, picked out in gold.

Beyond, in the base of the tower are two beautiful old doors.  One leads outside, the other to the staircase.

Originally the main roof of the church would also have had figures on it, these have been lost somewhere through the ages.

The font was bestowed on the church in the fifteenth century, it looks in surprisingly good condition for something so old - I particularly liked the wooden lid which has a lot of iron work on the top.

The floor is a real mixture of tiles and bricks, more evidence of the many changes through the years.

This is in the floor near the font,  I felt an almost overwhelming desire to have a peek to see what was down beneath those doors...then my imagination kicked in.

I decided not to look.

The window over the altar depicts St Michael.  Beneath is the beautiful carving on the altar.

I have only visited this church once before, I can't believe how little impression it made upon me at that time.

Today I visited with the sole intention of photographing the myseterious, medieval woman shown in this fragment of a wall painting, high up on one wall, above a very beautiful Norman arch.

It is a woman, she is wearing a lovely headdress and to her right there is a crown and the letter 'M'.

No one knows for sure what the 'M' could stand for  Queen  Maud,  Queen Margaret, or 'M' for Maria?  She is cetainly beautiful.  I wonder just what this church used to look like in those long gone days.

Can you see the fragment of painting, high up above the pulpit on the left hand side?   The beautiful arch is Norman.

I'll finish here, although I have hardly begun showing all the beautiful details of the church - the dancing stags carved into the capital of one column, the Norman shields,   Jacobean carving,  monuments and memorials.  There is even a bit of medieval graffiti.

How could I ever have thought this a dull little church?   It is beautiful and I look forward to visiting it again.