Drains, Drives and Harvesting

Drains, Drives and Harvesting

Last week revealed even more interesting finds regarding the drains on the Estate. First of all, we discovered lots of animal bones which was a little unnerving at first. We think that some may belong to a horse whilst the skull might be that of a deer. We then discovered an underwater chamber which would have stored rainwater for the laundry.

The laundry would have been housed in North Wing cottage where our Hall Steward, Craig, now lives. The softer rainwater would have been ideal for washing clothes as it would ensure the detergents were better activated. Kathleen Brown, our 103-year-old former housemaid, tells us that laundry was always sent away during the time she worked here during the 1930s, so this chamber must date back to the Victorian time or an earlier time in the Hall’s life.

We still have the square baskets used to send the laundry back and forth, but they are now used to carry firewood. Much of the linen (bed sheets and pillow cases) date back to the 1930s and 1940s and are embroidered with the date and Hall detail. They are very high quality but tricky to iron.

Investigating the drains
and underwater chambers

Investigating the drains
and underwater chambers

There has also been lots of activity outside fixing our potholed drives. KWR Plant Hire from near Grantham had an amazing machine attached to a tractor which broke up the drive surface, minced it and then spat it back out. The crumbled rubble was then compacted with a roller and voila! We now have new smooth flat drives to both the North and South Entrances. We are now driving very slowly down the drives as we want to keep it in its current state.

Work has continued to enhance Foreman’s Cottage and we have plans to repaint the exterior of Campaign Farm. The Rectory is really coming on and we hope to have some photographs of the kitchen in-situ in the coming weeks.

Further tree surveys have been carried out and these will provide information for a new Woodland Management Plan. Trees were checked and measured, and the data will help us to formulate the report and assist with future actions.

Some much needed repair
work to the hall driveway

Harvesting on the
Estate continues…

Harvesting and seed planting has continued on the Estate and we now have our grass drying out ready to provide much-needed silage for our Lincoln Red herd in the winter. Our own vegetable plot has been quite prolific this year and tomatoes, beetroot, courgettes and beans have been abundant.

We gathered a basket of produce together for one of the local Harvest Festival celebrations. The winds have caused a few problems with the material greenhouse tent but the vine and the tomatoes have just about survived.

Our basket of produce for the
local harvest festivals

Harold Brookes admiring his
roses of special significance

One of our tenants, Harold Brookes, is a keen gardener. His winter cabbages are doing well and he is still getting beans and lettuce even now. His roses are a delight and whilst he was unsure what they were called many have special memories and significance to him. Our Housekeeper, Jacqui, is always grateful when Harold gives her a bag of dandelion leaves for her over a hundred-year-old tortoise. ‘Tort’ of course is soon to go into hibernation. We wonder if he and Kathleen were born the same year…