Family Names

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Inside the “Lower Westcott” homestead


We were thrilled to be invited inside the homestead as the owners showed us their renovations.
Lower Westcott is part of the British Listed Buildings, and is identified as  “Westcott Farmhouse on South Side of Settlement at Westcott,  Tremaine”  (English Heritage Building ID: 1105875)   this list includes buildings that have been identified as having of special architectural and historic interest, so as you can see it’s not just me who is interested!

The owners have spent considerable time and money renovating the buildings and property, even so it is still a home and as such incorporates creature comforts such as an inside toilet, electricity and a modern kitchen but none of which has been done at the expense of the original style of the building.
Our main interest was the areas of the house that reflected the original style of the building, remnants of which could be most readily seen in the kitchen and the upstairs sleeping areas.

The Kitchen

The kitchen it almost divided into the modern area which is blended into the “older” kitchen.  The current stove is set in the alcove of the old kitchen fireplace.  To one side of the alcove you can see the old bread oven, which is identified by its original door covering.  
Bread Oven door - close up
When they were renovating they found the oven door strewn on the ground outside amongst the debris in the backyard  and didn't know what it was and were about to dispose of it until someone identified its original purpose, and as a consequence it was not longer classified as rubbished.  The bread oven door has now been reinstated into its rightful place put back in the kitchen where it belongs.

Upstairs

The stairs leading to the top floor are narrow and steep, with the cobb walls seemingly to bow in slightly.  The walls are very thick and solid and we mused about what could be hidden in them.  The bedrooms were simple affairs which fitted not much more than a double bed and a small wardrobe but what caught my eye the most were the old exposed beams which were still holding up the ceiling,

Close up ceiling beams in the bedrooms

The exposed beams were not covered over during the renovations.  The picture on the right hand side shows the older beam in amongst the relatively newer beams, although most of them are quite old.
We finished up our visit by having splits (translated into Australian means scones) and boiled fruit cake and tea with milk serve in cup and saucers not in mugs as we serve it back at home in my house hold, my grandmother would have approved with this touch of servility. 

Further information for those interested can be found at:-
Listing for Lower Westcott Cottages - List entry Number: 1105875
Details of the house and property on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

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