The video taken during our time with Neolithic Houses is now on the English Heritage website. You see my feet, a bit of my body pounding chalk, my chalk sieve and bizarrely, Chris and I doing a wheelbarrow race. Great quote from Luke Winter our project leader, ‘We only get to grips with the past and the way people lived by seeing where they lived and how they did it’.
This week I have been an auction lot. I donated some research time to a charity auction and the highest bidder claimed their prize. No wonder they gave up on this research and asked me to take up the challenge because challenge it was. The family seem to have avoided every census enumeration – even searching with no surnames failed to find them. One individual deducted 10 years off his age, Edwin became Edward – well I anticipated that – but the Cutcliffes became Cutlands and there were other complications. I did make some progress but as always the answers just raised more questions.
My lovely neighbour, who used to live in my house, came in with some fascinating details of its history. It seems that part of my bedroom used to be a box room belonging to the house next door, as a sort of flying freehold. Now I can move the bed and say I am sleeping in a different house. He also had stories of fireplaces that used to be in the middle of my kitchen and staircases winding round them. The earliest documentary evidence for my house is 1750 but architectural evidence leads us to a date nearer to 1600. This style of staircase and fireplaces in the middle of rooms might be more suggestive of something even earlier – who knows. Sadly my house has been gutted of most of the original features – although my walls are gloriously uneven.
This website has now passed the milestone of 10,000 hits – in little more than a year – wow can people really be interested in my chaotic life? Mind you, these include random hits from places like Lithuania – surely those people must have arrived here by some quirk of Google. I am always amazed by the search terms that lead unsuspecting surfers to my ramblings.
More days in the seventeenth century since my last post – some lovely children to work with and we have actually succeeded in making butter on two occasions. Today my barber surgeon colleague was administering an enema. The
victim patient commented ‘I saw that being done to a woman when I was at the doctors once’ – remind me to avoid his doctor. A positive meeting of Clovelly Community Archive Association and plans for a gravestones project similar to that for Buckland Brewer. In addition, the rumblings of a possible local history group here in Buckland – watch this space.
Great new historical witchcraft website including names of those involved in the trials – will definitely be incorporating this into my witchcraft talk.