Life is a Challenge!

By Honeycombebeach

DERELICT SUNDAY - ALTON PRIORS

A few weeks ago, on the 25th April, we went out to look for a church in Alton Priors, so that I could send photographs to a Blip friend, dfb24 - today we went back to look for the dereliction that we saw in a barn nearby, on that day.

Today has been a grey and dismal day, and quite windy, with a few spots of rain, but I still packed up a picnic and off we went.  It was lovely to be driving through the Wiltshire countryside and Mr. HCB collected his new glasses yesterday, so he wanted to try them out whilst driving, before he drives to Cheltenham in a couple of weeks to watch cricket. Well, he hopes to be doing that, but is still waiting to hear whether he and his cricket buddy, Keith, have been allocated tickets for the matches for two weeks.

We stopped to have our lunch looking out onto a field of corn swaying in the breeze, but were sad to see that someone had obviously had a McDonalds and had left all the litter strewn about - I do wonder sometimes how people live in their homes if they leave the countryside like this!

We got to Alton Priors eventually and found the large and very long thatched barn,  inside which were several items of dereliction - carts, an old Aga, a very old bicycle, ploughing implements and these two very old mangles - probably operated by two “old dears” according to Mr. HCB, but I don’t think they will be mangling much anytime soon.  I did wonder how old these were;  if they could talk, what a story they would tell.  They could, of course, have come from The Old Manor House laundry room and I must admit it was a shame to see them here rusting away, but it did get me a good DS Blip!

In fact, I can remember being allowed to use my grandmother's old mangle, but it wasn't quite as rusty as these two.  I loved mangling the clothes for her and watching the water dripping back into the bowl, being careful not to let any drip onto the floor!

When we got home, I looked on the internet to see if I could see any information about this old barn and apparently, although it is not strictly speaking a barn, but a wagon shed, it shows many of the elements of  barn construction and many old wagon sheds are often associated with barns, which makes sense.  It was probably built in the 17th or 18th century, and many of the items in there had obviously not been moved for a very long time, which was obvious by the way the grass and nettles were growing inside and around the various machines and implements.

As well as this DS Blip, I have made a collage to show various places nearby.  The top left is just a small thatched cottage on the way out of Alton Priors, which I rather liked.  Next to that is the front door of Hay Meadow, a farm/nursery, which sold plants, so we did stop and buy some and of course, these will remind us of our visit there.  

The next three photographs are parts of the wagon shed showing the construction and also an old bicycle and underneath you can see the Aga.  The last photograph is the driveway up to The Old Manor House, which had a wonderful herbaceous border.  I would love to have gone in there to look, but had to be content with looking through the large iron gates. 

“The actual building was old and dilapidated 
     and remained standing more out of habit 
          than from any inherent structural integrity…” 
Douglas Adams - The Salmon of Doubt

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