Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 14 August 2015
One of the really good things about my work is that it can get me access to some really interesting places that are not normally seen by people who aren't estate agents.
I went to a village in Wiltshire yesterday which could have (and even might have) been used as a set for Harry Potter sequences, with beautifully preserved, ancient, wood-framed buildings on both sides of the street.
My destination was a building tucked away off the road out, which was once a medieval monastery. It is now a private house, and has been a private house ever since Henry the Eighth dissolved the monastery and turned what was left into private apartments for Jane Seymour, the only queen to have born him a son. Ironically, it was the birth of that son which killed her.
Looking out over what was once a heavily wooded tract of land and is now a large swathe of grass, there is a vast lake with a wooded island in the middle. This was the monk's carp-pond and provided them with both fish and fresh water. All British monasteries had a carp-pond, it seems.
The rooms which Jane used to occupy still have some original features left from the monastery, including a huge, inglenook fireplace which would have been part of their kitchen. It is big enough to house a spit holding a very large carcass and has a much smaller, ancient stone door right to one side of it. Once again, I am not allowed to show you any pictures of it.
I am looking forward to spending a bit of time in these rooms. Another reason to love Britain in general and England in particular.