Tuesday, 20 August 2013

More cobbles and decay...

Looking up the village lane towards the Bastle....

Looking down on the yard from the raised deck and the
old cobbles just visible.

They have lain covered in grass for many years, but when the turf was removed, we were left with a tantalising "roadway" leading to the tumbledown shed.

So, as they do in Time Team, I decided it was time to expose them with a mini trowel and brush.

I must say I felt like a proper archaeologist!

Just this small amount took two afternoons and even on a kneeling mat I ended up with very sore knees. They are so unforgiving.
Oh to be twenty years younger.....getting up and down from that mat was so embarrassing...how can hips, knees and ankles seize up like that after half an hour?

Top dressed with sharp sand to hold them more tightly, I will continue to expand across the yard, filling in where the cobbles have long since gone.

I did find a few interesting pieces of ceramics between the cobbles however.
 Early 19th century blue and white transfer-ware, sponge ware a banded bowl and the broken base of a porcelain tea bowl.. Possibly late 18th century.

So...quite an old path.

My excavations are not as extensive or as amazing as this fabulous ford / road in the Peak District.
We had a few days break in the village of Butterton near Leek, nice, comfortable farm cottage and the village has a cobbled road with a river running down it.

The ford winds through the village with water flowing quite happily past houses and fields.

Driving through it is a weird experience...

Not sure if I would be happy after a severe downpour however.

While in Derbyshire we called into a National Trust property.....Calke Abbey

Not your usual, beautifully furnished national Trust property,  but left just as the Trust found it in varying degrees of decay.

I loved it!

High in the stable ceiling... A  little nest ...( the give away being the mound of droppings on the floor )

Nothing much to see until I put the flash on the camera..

Et voila...four little faces looking back at me.

What a tight squeeze.

Bye for now,
Julie x


  1. Breathtaking post, I don't envy your work with the cobbles but oh my that is so rewarding and beautiful, sorry about the poorly knees though.
    I love the Abbey to that has been added to my list of must sees xxx
    Hugs Lynn xxx

  2. What a load of old cobbles! As Baldrick might say!

    Goodness knows Julie what you'll do when the work is finally finished. I just love these updates, trouble is, it makes me come over all peculiar... some might say envious?


  3. We're off to Derbyshire in September and the abbey is on the list of things to do. Could you identify what birds were in the nest? Swallows?

  4. As much as I like these things!
    Did you find an old road pebble,
    I find it all very fascinating and must be
    Everything was very tiring, but the result is magnificent!
    Susy Love x
    P.S. I just got back from England and I miss it already .....

  5. It's looking beautiful? I wonder if you've worked out who lived there in the 1800s...

  6. Sorry Julie - I didn't mean to put the question mark - it's definitely looking beautiful!

  7. This is when child labour would be useful...you could set a couple cleaning up your path and save your knees!

  8. Those cobbles look wonderful - what a great find! Keep us posted with your progress! xox

  9. This is truly a labour of love Julie. Funny how the old joints just seize up now, I have the same problem, I can get down okay but getting up is definitely a problem. Love to get these updates. Derbyshire is a gorgeous part of the country your little trip would do you good after all your hard work. Jayne x

  10. I love this post Julie. I know exactly what you mean about the knees. It's hard enough just getting down and up, without kneeling on them for half an hour. I look like a child wearing a big fat nappy when I try to get up, wide legged with my butt way up in the air. Not a pretty sight :-)

    From the cobbles to the NT property. I love everything about it. I can smell the damp, the greys are so soothing. Your part of the country is so beautiful. Have a great weekend.

  11. Hope you had a restful break Julie......
    Much love Helen xx

  12. Such a sense of peace at you home and your find of a an Abbey. Those stalls certainly are magnificent.

  13. Oh wow Julie, blood, sweat and sore knees have definitely gone into your restoration work. It looks amazing though. I bet you were delighted with your little bits of blue and white as well. Much love, Linda x