When you own a wooden house, as we do, you rapidly realise that you don’t own a static dwelling, but a building that’s been subject to almost continual change – walls moved, indoor plumbing installed, external walls reboarded, extensions and the rest.
So much so, that we’re not exactly sure just how old it is. We say that the original miner’s cottage dates from the 1880’s but we’re not really sure. There’s an enormous lump of freestone masonry that may have been the base of the original hearth, that looks older than the 1880s, and when we found smoke stained bricks from the old chimney under the driveway they were characteristic soft fired handmade bricks, and probably from the nineteenth century.
What we do know is that the rather fine 1860’s front door and acid etched rose glass are not original to the house – our builder told us that he’d helped install them in a previous renovation and that they’d come from another house.
So to this week’s discovery …
The shower in the 1950’s main bathroom had started leaking, and as we’d always planned on a renovation, we decided to rip everything out and replace it with modern fixtures and fittings, rather than try and have it repaired.
So yesterday, the guys pulled all the old plasterboard sheeting and tiles off the walls, and pulled down the old and cracked 1950’s ceiling
and there we had it – the painted boards of the original nineteenth century ceiling. They’ve been so badly chopped about they can’t really be repaired, but it’s nice to know they’re still there …