Monday, 23 April 2007

Salmon Fishing

I am postponing the run through all my pics (how many hundreds?) and talking about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,by Paul Torday. It is very very funny, also touching and certainly a take off of the Civil Service.

By chance he lives in a castle in Northumberland, where once upon a time, in the 16th century, a certain second son (anyway, not the eldest) lived. He was the man who came here and built this house - a bastal house, very Borders. They were fortified in that they had extremely thick stone walls, with the minimum entrance on the ground floor, where the cattle could be put when the Border Reivers came steeling, raping and murdering! The family would move upstairs, and pull up the ladder, which was the only way in.

Here, there are stone fireplaces in the three rooms that were there then. People came from the Open University to have a look, because a fellow County Councillor was comparing fortified buildings in the Borders and North France. Funnily enough, he used the above Castle also. Anyway the men from the OU got very excited about one of the fireplaces because it is so old. Thank the Lord, the people who listed the place 2* didn't know about it. They were only interested in the outside. Enough of that, I shall describe the house one of these days.

Anyway, if any of you visit, do note the book - it is well worth reading and not very long. And they did I mustn't give it away!


@themill said...

Haven't quite got the hang of rearranging the decor yet! Fab azalea

Woozle1967 said...

Oh, we thank goodness we haven't a listing, 2* or otherwise on our cottage, but it it still taking forever to get planning permission to put an extension over the kitchen!x

DevonLife said...

Thanks for the book tip! Keep away from listed buildings officers thats what I say. Our house isn't listed (far too nondescript and fally-down) but I've watched Kevin McCloud enough to know the perils! X

Inthemud said...

Thanks for your message on my blog,

I think your op involving steel pins and things sounds worse than mine!!

Your blog is looking good, I'm not sure yet how to change things or get photos up yet, but would like to be able to .
Enjoyed your blog.

Pipany said...

Lovely - a book review and a period building all in one blog! x

elizabethm said...

our house is listed. might blog about the numbers of people who need to come visiting about our new utility!
what an interesting life you have had.


Umm don't quite know how to say this but I remember reading a very good article on those border strong holds in (spek it very softly) cl... years ago. They sound tremendous!

Blossomcottage said...

They listed a house we live in once even the new marine ply doors!!!
Look out for the book.

Anonymous said...

The OU hasn't anything to do with listing, so can't think what relevance any visit by a representative can have.

Bastles are rare and far too many are falling into disrepair In Northumberland.

However, listing covers an entire building, inside and out, including the fireplace, even if things are not specifically mentioned in the listing description. So any works and alterations need to have Listed Building Consent - and the consent also of English Heritage, as it's II*.

To get a II* listing puts it in the top eight percent of important buildings in the country.

Withy Brook said...

Yes anonomous - I know all that, but the inside was almost entirely rebuilt in 1929/31. The ceilings were lifted (they were only 6ft) and other nasty things were done. We've done quite a lot to return it to what it would have once been.
As for the OU, it was only to emphasise the importance of the fire places.
What I did not know, was that it is in the top 8%

lixtroll said...

OK Withy, the Jan. & I have done some Google searches. As Withy Brook (tributary) seems to be attracting a lot of discussion on town & country planning, it sounds as if some bod obsessed with such issues has turned up your blog on a search. Geeky person as suspected has got all bumptious on us, that's all.

Your page is looking brilliant by the way! Keep up the good work and switch your settings to disallow anonymous comments in the future if you do not wish to receive any more in this vein.

Definitely not in the spirit of Purple Towers!


I think anon is also talking thru derrire if I may say so, you can grade II a particular feature ie facade or interior or what ever. Our old village in UK had almost everything listed by some one with a festish for it!

Council said it meant rien (nothing) when it came down to osmeone taking out a listed feature. I was most miffed!

I say Matron have you unleashed the hounds from hell yet!