Monthly Archives: September 2014

New curtains looking fabulous!

Our new curtains in the library have been up for a while now, but without pelmets, so I wanted to wait until they were looking their best before posting photographs. On Saturday morning the wonderful Nicky Silk from Silk Interiors (also see her website) came to do some last little amendments to the pelmets. Nicky brought Paul along with her to help put up the pelmets, who is helpfully very tall and has nice long arms! So together they put the finishing touches to the library.

This meant that the curtains were up and ready for our Lazy Sunday @ Court Lodge, which took place on Sunday 28th September. It was a fantastic fundraising day, and it included cream teas with a Blues duet in the library, which was enjoyed by many people, so the curtains were shown off to full effect!

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So here, without further ado, are some photos of the new library curtains in all their glory, looking sumptuous and luxurious. Thank you Nicky for doing such an amazing job!

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Recording life at Court Lodge

During the summer of 2013 I started reading the diaries of my great great grandfather, William Courtenay Morland, which are housed in the Maidstone Archives. His diary entries were short and succinct, but reading several years’ worth of them started to give me a really good feel for life at Court Lodge in the second half of the nineteenth century.

 

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This entry from 1867 reads

“Wrote Marriott as to shooting, Pulham as to rock work, and MEM [his wife, Margaretta Eliza Morland]. Saw sundry persons on business. Walked to Parsonage and Little Cold Harbor. Engaged some time with Mr Wheeler. Worked at Estate Accounts with Maude. MEM went to Folkestone. Wind W dull.”

The entries are all about who he wrote to and about what, where he walked to, things that were going on at Court lodge, and invariably they ended with a description of the weather.

Reading these diary entries, and building up a picture of what was happening at Court Lodge 150 years ago, started me thinking about recording what’s going on here and now. Our days at Court Lodge are so busy, so filled with a vast variety of tasks, both small and apparently menial, and large and significant, that it’s easy to lose sight of what we’ve achieved and what progress we’ve already made.

It’s also easy to see parallels between what was happening in WCM’s time and what is happening now. For instance, he was often exercised about getting sufficient manure for the garden, and we have exactly the same problem!

So just over a year ago I decided to start keeping a diary of everything that goes on here. Being a 21st Century girl, I found an app for the job – Day One. I like to think I take after my great great grandfather in this regard. He was an innovator and introduced lots of new inventions and technologies into Court Lodge. For example, he is responsible for our central heating system! He also had a steam engine on the estate. He was a very forward-thinking Victorian.

So anyway, I’ve been keeping this diary for just over a year now, and I decided to see how much I’ve written in that time. I exported all my entries and did a quick word count. I was amazed to see that I’ve written over 120,000 words already! Much of it will of course be humdrum and not very interesting, but hopefully, one day, it will all be invaluable source material for a book about our adventure here at Court Lodge. More importantly though, it will help future generations piece together what happened here in the early 21st Century, just like WCM’s diaries are helping me piece together what happened here in the 19th.

Uncovering the floor of an old barn

Ian and Adam Hawkins from A&M Plant Hire were out behind our walled garden today trying to level the ground and move some hardcore that had been deposited there from another part of the garden. While moving the earth they uncovered the brick floor of an old barn.

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I dimly recall this barn being there when I was a small child, but it was already collapsing then, and must have completely disintegrated shortly after we moved here. But I remember it being quite big, so Adam continued scraping away the soil to see how big the footprint of this barn was:

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It went on and on! Not quite sure what we’re going to do with it now we’ve uncovered it, but it’s fascinating to find these remnants of Court Lodge’s past. Very Time Team!