Saturday, 9 March 2013

My excuse....

The reason for my lack of regular blogging these days is because something has been taking up most of my time.

Three years ago, as lovers of old buildings, we took possession of a tired stone "cottage" in an idyllic village in Northumberland.

Seeing beyond the colourful interior....

Which was hiding a much older building......we set to work.

Uncovering and discovering....and with the help of a local property historian, we came to the conclusion (as we thought)  that this was an old Bastle house built in the late 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne, Shakespeare was penning his sonnets, Sir Walter Raleigh was off adventuring and in Northumberland...... "Reiving".... was rife.

In order to protect the village inhabitants, defensive Bastle houses were built, often in clusters for combined security and also as beacon style warnings of an impending attack.

A Bastle house therefore, is a fortified farmhouse..... unique to Northumberland and the Border regions, built to protect the occupants and their animals from the fighting and thieving of rival families.
More can be found HERE.

The "cottage"also came with an overgrown woodland garden

And hidden under rampant ivy...a tumbledown shed.

Full to the brim with years of rubbish.

So... undaunted....( some said we were completely bonkers to undertake such a project ).... we are slowly bringing the ugly duckling back to life and fit for 21st century living whilst still retaining its historical importance.

A lot of work has already been done and over the next few months I will bring you up to date with our renovations.

Till next time...
Julie x


  1. Love to see a photo of the outside, so we can compare the then and now.

    I always get frustrated when in magazines, they don't tend to; for obvious reasons I know however....


  2. You are definitely not mad - that looks like a fanastic project. I'd love to renovate an old house - I live in an old house but it was already renovated when we bought it. Yours is beautiful - good luck!


  3. How exciting! I'm looking forward to every post!

  4. Looking forward to seeing the progress. It will be a real achievement when you are all finished and I know it will look stunning. Perhaps a certain person from Derbyhsire can be your first paying guest:))
    Jo xx

  5. It was certainly colourful inside before, Julie! Looking forward to seeing how it's going now. Amazing woodland garden. Abby X

  6. So exciting Julie......I can't wait to see all your designer touches.
    Helen xx

  7. Clever you! I'm not unhappy with my lot but I would really love to live in an historic building like this - it would be a dream come true.

  8. What a beautiful house, I cannot wait to see how you are transforming it back to it's original beautiful state. Lovely grounds, I would leave it just as it is, so peaceful like having your own forest. Happy Sunday...Sharon

  9. All looks very exciting to me... I look forward to see the journey unfurl...
    Smiles Cx

  10. Oh - how exciting! I can't wait to see the finished result - which with you as chief decorator is sure to be exquisite!

  11. how incredible Julie, I look forward to seeing your story unfold. I could live in that shed! Hope you may find some treasures hidden away. I am sure you will put your magic touches to it.

  12. I cannot wait to see more! I had never heard of a bastle house and am off to find more info.

    Have a great weekend.

  13. Hi Julie
    I am looking forward to the next installment..........
    T x
    (and still hope to come and stay ....although taking on DH may put it back a bit)

  14. How exciting! I can't wait to see your pics!

  15. I'm very excited to see this project unfold!

  16. Hello Julie
    sounds like lots of rewarding, hard work! xx
    So thrilled to hear from you, loved being able to have your comments on my page. Just got back from a birthday treat in London , I have lots of catching up to do
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  17. How fascinating, and what an exciting project! Look forwrad to more photos and info!
    Gill xx