Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Last night everyone had gone to bed before me and l sat in the hall quietly listening to the creaks and strains of this old house as the wind blew in fitful bursts against it. I thought of all the people who had lived here, laughed and loved here- l thought of those who had perhaps sat just like me, listening to the sounds it made. If you were to stay for the night you might think it haunted with all the squeaks and moans but l don't believe it is- this house has a good feeling to it - feels comfortable. If these old walls hold memories- l would like to imagine that they would be mostly good ones because we have been happy here and so were the family before us.

It may be a subjective thing to say but l think that certain homes have an influence on those who are sensitive and creative and, sometimes, such people leave behind an atmosphere that lingers- perhaps the walls do retain memories – perhaps we do leave something of ourselves behind.

I've just finished watching a series on television called Marchlands – this series was based on the American TV series “The Oaks”- written by David Schulner. Both stories are similar - three families who have lived in the same house at different times- tied together with a ghost story to keep you interested. I love watching any type of drama like this where you get an insight into the attitudes, furnishings and styles of different historical periods.

Our old house retains a lot of original features - l especially love the sweeping staircase with twisted banister and spindles and can imagine the ladies from times past descending in their long gowns donned with gloves and parasol for a summertime preamble. There are pillars and cornicing but sadly at some point the ceiling roses were removed. We modernised the back room a bit too when we fitted the kitchen but l tried to retain the character where l could by incorporating it into the new design. In the same room we opened up the old shutters that had been closed off and painted over for years. What a pleasure it is, for us to close them over of an evening and eat dinner by candlelight while listening to the warbles of Billy Holiday float in the background! :)

When we stripped the wallpaper in our bedroom and lounge, underneath we found signatures, dates and signed artwork of the people who had lived here before- even the decorators had signed their work. We added our own mark so that we might be remembered after we've moved on too.

Below is a list of some other things we have uncovered in this old house:

  • a cast iron fireplace in bedroom- boarded off
  • lots of medicine bottles and jam jars under the house
  • old pottery buried in the garden
  • an old copper posser- from the outside laundry house
  • the old back door – covered over with boarding- old heavy handles too
  • lovely old tools in the shed
  • a vintage parlour stove heater
  • marble mantelpieces under the paintwork- not wood as we first thought!! (I'd always wondered why l couldn't get a tack in to hang the Christmas stockings!!)
  • old newspapers and magazines under the linoleum
  • an old iron wheel
  • two large stone urns- buried up back
  • an old painting 1913 by Charles Fox (1855-1929)

This house has revealed itself to us in so many ways, it's 2ft thick walls have sheltered us and so far have stood the test of time (built around 1900). May it stand for many more years to come!


PEA said...

I would have been in my glory finding all those treasures around the house! I hope you kept everything? I love old houses, they have so much character, nothing like today's modern houses. I'm glad to hear that you kept a lot of the old charm while renovating, it would have been such a shame to cover it all up. You need to show us pictures now:-) xoxo

Merle said...

Hi Sarah ~~ What a great post about your house.It sounds wonderful and you sure found some treasures there.
Thank you so much for your kind and generous words about my blog, jokes,
photos, and heath, I am so glad you enjoyed the jokes and I liked the Fried Chicken one too. The poem was meant for a laugh, I wouldn't worry about you "losing it" for many years yet because you are so active and we all do strange things at times.
Take great care, dear friend.
Love, Merle.

HLiza said...

Wow the same with me here Sarah..I would be overjoyed finding those potteries and painting..and leftovers of stuffs..they are so historical! Your house must be well-built and grand since it had stood time.. I wish to see some pictures of it!

Shanae Branham said...

What beautiful musings. I felt like I was sitting with you in your house. It felt peaceful and joyful. Thank you for sharing that experience with me today.

HORIZON said...

Thanks for the comments- busy just now fitting carpets in hall but will get some photos of the stairwell when it's done. Will also post pics of our finds.
Sad news about Japan just now- l can hardly take it all in.
Take care.

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