I've been watching this small farmhouse slowly disintegrate over the past 45 years. When I first knew it, it was just an abandoned isolated ruined house with attached barn, pigsties, and other small outbuildings. Then the roof gave-in. Today there is very little left.
I recently noticed another newly collapsed wall, and saw that it was the perfect illustration for how these houses were originally built.
The stones came either from the fields, or from a nearby communal village quarry. The 'mortar' was no more than earth, and the trees for the roof structure, etc, came from the surrounding woods. The roof tiles must have been the main expense, as they needed to be purchased.
All that was then needed was a piece of string with an attached pebble (plumb-line), a few tools, and a level.
They may sound flimsy, but as long as the walls were kept dry (a good roof), they remained solid for centuries. Just stones, earth, and wood. Our house is built like this, and it's lasted 300 years so far.
Gosh, that is amazing isn't it, like a kind of a drystone wall really.ReplyDelete
With a bit of mud thrown in.Delete
The old Welsh farmhouse we lived in for over 30 years was made that way - quarried local slate and stone and smooth river-stones, and a wall 3 feet thick with a mud and rubble centre. When we first moved there, the survey for the mortgage company said it had to have a damp course! WHAT a waste of money - anything injected into the walls would have got as far as the middle and stayed there, and in one area caused more problems than it ever could have solved.ReplyDelete
The very first house I bought was in Wales (just), and was built from Granite; which I now understand could have been slightly radioactive. The upstairs floor was made of very wide, thick, Oak boards, that had become well polished over the years. They were beautiful.Delete
Surveyors are often wrong. Never trust them.
The house we lived in before this one was built in the early 1600’s. There were no foundations and the walls were around two/three feet thick with a whole tree trunk in the eaves holding up the roof ( called a Crown Post ) and it’s still standing !!!!!! XXXXReplyDelete
I love old houses; the older the better. Even if they're draughty and creaky, I'd still prefer them to a modern house.Delete
Some of the houses on a modern estate near us are already showing showing signs of wear. The developers could learn a thing or two from those old style builders.ReplyDelete
I don't like modern houses, I want confirmation that a home has been capable of lasting for at least a century. By then you should be able to see any building faults.Delete
Here, we have an old estate that was razed in the seventies, but people still ooh and aah over the fact that the stone icehouse, a stone church, and the stone gatehouse survive to this day. (They were built by a Scottish stone mason brought here from Lockerbie. Robert Shortt.ReplyDelete
Our perspective of 'old' and your perspective of 'old' are years apart. This is amazing. Thank you.
Without seeming to be nosy, I'd sure like to see your floors. You've plastered the walls inside or are they exposed rock? If this is intrusive, you can delete the comment. I won't mind.
Our floors are a mixture of huge slabs of stone, and natural 30 by 30cms polished terracotta tiles. Upstairs, all is wood.Delete
How splendid it must have been in the past without planning and building regulations. You had a patch of ground and you wanted to put up a small house so you just got on with it. No permission needed and no interference.ReplyDelete
A friend of mine bought an old 'Broomsquire's Cottage', where the builder gained right to the land, and to build on it, as long as he had the complete chimney up before nightfall. I must say, the cottage wasn't very well built, but it was very cosy.Delete
There are a few old houses out in the Dales which look as though they might have been built like that Cro.ReplyDelete
A lot of the similar English houses had horse hair mixed in with the earth/clay, making it much more like mortar, and much more durable.Delete
We live in one of those modern homes, it’s just 104 years young.ReplyDelete
A mere architectural adolescent.Delete
What a beautiful old wall with Mother Nature taking back her earth.ReplyDelete
Even more of it has now fallen down. I don't think it'll be too long before it disappears altogether. I expect one day they'll come to take the stones.Delete
Three hundred years is not bad. Earth mortar crumbled once the roof collapsed and the mortar became wet?ReplyDelete