Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A House In The Country



Old, impractical and expensive. Somehow these ancient buildings figure highly on the want-list of many lottery winners or those who are wealthy by more traditional means, as well as being a dream for many who will never inhabit such properties. The one above claims on its sign to date from "circa 1480" and I have no reason to doubt it.


In the UK there are hours of daytime television dedicated to programmes that have no more purpose than to display these dwellings in all their ageing splendour and to stoke the smouldering dreams of rural bliss that seem to lie in the hearts of so many. Although I seldom watch TV and certainly lack the economic means to ever own such a place I can't help pointing my camera in their direction as I pass by.



Be sensible, John, you wouldn't want to have to cut all that grass, would you? Perhaps one might employ a little man to undertake the task at reasonable rates......?


Come on, how could anyone not be tempted to live in a house called Middle Bear? Unless you're Goldilocks, of course, when Little Bear would be "just right".



And Little Bear stands next door, for these three houses stand together in Standon in Hertfordshire. Daft but somehow rather quaint.


Much as I love to see these old buildings kept in good condition, I know full well that they create a problem in our countryside. If an overwhelming proportion of homes become occupied by wealthy retired people and the young people of the village find themselves priced out of the property market then the village becomes, to all intents and purposes, dead.



The newer inhabitants have friends and families elsewhere and have no ties to their new neighbourhood; some even just use the cottages as weekend homes. Very few are left to work in the village and to keep the essential services running. Lack of young families means that schools close down......



But who can see a place like this and not want to dwell behind the front door?


Take care.



19 comments:

  1. I agree - they are beautiful and if we had the means to purchase and maintain them - great! Much has been written about pursuing the pastoral idyll. And of course these places would not look so 'chocolate box' unless their owners had the dosh to make them look nice. I also share your real concerns about the death of rural communities, where high house prices and lack of (and changing) employment drives younger people out. The hubs of communities, the things that help make them communities - schools, pubs, shops, churches - are closing or under threat all over the country. Supermarkets don't help - though we all use 'em.

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  2. PS Sorry - meant to say - wonderful shots as usual!

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  3. Hi John - beautiful photos ... and oh how right you are - it's a dilemma ... we seem to have created lots of dilemmas for ourselves as the 20th C ended and the 21st has begun. Wonderful to see and I'd love to live there .. but like you - have no means to achieve that. Still to stand and stare and imagine can be fun too ... and we don't have the expense or the workload ... cheers Hilary

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  4. Me for one John in answer to your last question. I long ago learned that old houses are draughty, creak a lot and eat money. And I look at mansions and think that I could only live in one room at a time. Just an ordinary little cottage suits me fine. Our farmhouse is far too big for the two of us - we rattle around in it.

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  5. If walls could talk, I'd love to hear the stories of these homes. Amazing they could stand for so long!

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  6. Some good insights there. We once bought a run-down 100+ year old house (which is quite old for here), and eventually ended up running out of money fixing it up. I can imagine how really old houses eat money. And lots of those high house prices squeezing out the young here. I walk around our little rural subdivision and one-third of the houses are only used on winter weekends. My favourite pet peeve is people who drive a little further to go to bigger stores, and then complain about businesses closing at home!

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  7. I have to say, that first one is my favorite. Love all the angles!

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  8. What gorgeous homes! Yes, I can see why people would want to live in one of these. I would too!

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  9. Very old homes here are usually money pits, as Furry Gnome seems to know from experience. The first place looks as if it is going to fall in on itself. Something about those lines in the paint.

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  10. "And with their budget of just £600,000, will they able to find their dream home in the country."

    *vomits*

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  11. Perhaps if the rich outsiders didn't buy the old houses, they would simply become derilict so I suppose it's a good thing. They do cost a bundle to keep up and repair and insure. But the problem of affordable housing and decent jobs for young people is certainly negatively affecting our small towns, too. I like house no.2 , but the fresh thatch on house no. 6 is very impressive. I'm guessing that the thatch starts "greening" up fairly quickly, though.

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  12. Everywhere of rural depopulation is big. We have half the people live in urban areas and most in Helsinki. The countryside starts to be soon almost empty (and we have it a lot :)
    But your houses and villages are so much more beautiful that I could move to the countryside there.
    I love these houses !!!

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  13. How sad that these old and beautiful houses are so expensive and sometimes so impractical to live. I enjoyed your collection of these interesting houses, I looked at how they were built and how they were decorated. Where I live you don't often to see, if ever, such old beauties. You took very illustrative and very beautiful pictures!!!

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  14. I am surprised to read how much this sounds like many neighborhoods in San Francisco, NYC, and other sought-after high-priced towns and cities. I didn't know such things were taking place there, and with TV shows to entice the appetite for such splendors. I thought this was a strictly American phenomenon. Nice to know we're not alone in such wackiness. Truly beautiful homes there and great photos.

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  15. Pros and cons, pros and cons, - they are lovely homes, but I understand each of the difficulties you mention, John. Villages need young families and productive businesses to keep thriving. Fifty years ago we had three fruit packing houses, four market stores, three or four garages and three lumber mills but now, alas, everyone goes to the city to shop and the only businesses in town are those looking after the elderly. Very sad.

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  16. I wonder if the rich KNOW or even CARE about how they are making so many place unaffordable for the ordinary people.

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  17. Gorgeous houses - I really like the first one.

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  18. I would love to even see inside them...love old houses.

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  19. love the house in image 6. It would be nice as Rose said to be able to see inside.

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