A window on our local country houses

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire

On the last day of April, I took myself for a short walk, from country house to country house near me. They’re all called Sleningford-something-or-other – Old Hall, Hall, Grange – in memory of the village of the same name that was ravaged by marauding Scots in the Middle Ages, never to be seen again. Though they had older antecedents, all these buildings are from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and they all mark pleasant pauses in our walking routines. Here’s the gatehouse to the first, Sleningford Old Hall, its window enabling the gatehouse keeper to keep his eye on all the comings and goings into the estate. Well, the last actually. I’m showing my last photo first, and working back towards home.

The gatehouse to Sleningford Old Hall

Only the upstairs windows of the house itself were visible over the high wall which maintains the owners’ privacy.

A mile or so beforehand, I’d already passed Sleningford Park and Hall. You can see the house set in its parkland in the feature photo. The conservatory has glass enough, and the gatehouse too has windows pointing in every direction to help the gatekeeper do his job.

I’d started from home of course, less than a mile before that. Not that we live in the house you see here. But we’re lucky enough to live in its grounds, in a rather simpler dwelling, which has its own long history – that’s for another day.

This is a multi-tasking post. It responds to Brian-at-Bushboy’s Last on the Card Challenge; to Ludwig’s Monday Window; and to Jo’s Monday Walk.

58 thoughts on “A window on our local country houses

  1. I am privileged that you gave me preference in the photo order Margaret. It looks like a lovely walk with a lot of history. So many windows to peek into. Love the Guard House window. Thanks for joining in even if you did break all the “rules” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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      1. It’s being finished as we ‘speak’, should be up today or tomorrow. I’ve avoided reading anyone else’s but would you believe that yours came up on google just now when I was checking a fact. So I know our chains are going to at least cross. Hopefully not through all 6 links!

        (Jogging along is a good way of putting it. Events continue to pile up one after the other but yup, we’re jogging along.)

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  2. Oh, to be window cleaner at this estate! Fab – and just one of the many myriad reasons why I so loved living in rural England (if you can truly call TQ rural)…..

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      1. it’s not a bread-and-butter job if you are employed by these owners, it’s a cake-and-champagne job – have you seen all that glass – and all in one place`!

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      2. I’m still dreaming of our window cleaner in TQ who just came whenever we were on his planning (or so I guess) and who once had asked our OK to climb over from our neighbour’s balcony to ours if we weren’t at home to do at least the outside windows…. and when done, he put a scrap of paper through the door with the sum due. Next time he came we paid or sent him a cheque.
        He was the most content, happy and easy guy ever. He was a taught butcher, hated it and once helped out a friend when that guy had a broken arm – liked it so much that he chucked out his job and became a window cleaner. A simple life but for him the happiest ever. His wife worked, same as HH, for a huge (now gone) Canadian hi-tech concern and she lost her job like all…. HE always has work!

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  3. And you could actually have added a link to me – I spotted that rather lovely purple lilac in the last photo. The last in your post not the last for BB in case you are wondering. And oh, how I’d love that conservatory which is really a greenhouse don’t you think? Even a double greenhouse. I’m now imagining exotic, tropical plants…

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    1. You’re right Jude, it is meant for plants. No the first pic was for Brian, which is why I had to write the post backwards. And you’re right about the lilacs too. Just wait a week, and I’ll bombard you!

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  4. I enjoyed following you on your walk and looking at the buildings. It’s also fun to see a different part of England, so different from where I live. Photos like that always get my imagination going – I wonder what it must be like to live there.

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      1. Great Margaret! 🀣 With one simple sentence you ripped me out of my cosy day-dreaming about a romantic place in the countryside. And of course you are right!

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    1. I’d love you to have the chance to visit this area. Ancient oak trees, ancient monastic buildings, old houses and settlements – we’re all antique round here!

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  5. That’s better! Got a decent look now πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I’m sure we’ve visited at some stage, but I can’t remember when. Have they had an Open Garden event? Nice, anyway! Thanks for the link, Margaret.

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  6. I love that you can go for a neighbourhood walk and see more than one grand house Margaret. We briefly had a flat in Gayhurst House, near Newport Parnell. Just walking around the grounds was fun, but we could pop across the road to Tyringham House too. Shame the pub at the end of our drive had closed down πŸ™πŸ˜‰

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    1. I didn’t include the Grand House in the village either Sue. I like the sound of the flat – delusions of grandeur with none of the responsibilities of upkeep, I hope!

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    1. They’re all well-loved family homes that don’t look melancholy at all. Even though they might be sitting in there worrying about the council tax bill for all I know!

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  7. What lovely old buildings. I never thought before about gatehouses needing lots of windows so the gate keeper can all the better keep an eye on things. Its always nice when it turns out that aesthetically pleasing facets actually derive from something quite practical!
    (I am trying to catch up as you see, but even though I am enjoying your posts so much, it’s late and I need to catch up on some sleep! I hope to resume catching up with your posts again tomorrow … )

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    1. Oh, catching up with blogs can be a real full time job, can’t it? Thanks for having me on your list – and I hope you slept well. I must admit I hadn’t thought about the windows until I was thinking about the post. You learn something every day!

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