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Old bones


This is what we went to see in Alfriston: the Clergy House. We’ve been several times before; it’s one of my favorites.

The house is a perfect transition from Medieval to Tudor. It was built in the 13th C. The original floor (hard-packed and white, made of sour milk and chalk) had a firepit in the center. It was one big open room, with the master’s table at one end and the servants at the other, just like a Medieval hall (or Viking longhouse). The smoke rose up to the high pitched roof and escaped out the…well, thatch or stone. They’re not sure of the original.

One big smokey, sweaty communal living area, just like Wayland intended.

Then the Tudors got hold of it and installed all sorts of wacky newfangled conveniences, like a fireplace and an upstairs with stairs and rooms.

The picture shows what it looked like in the late 19th, when it had damn near crumbled back into the earth. It was so far gone, it was more easily returned to its original Medieval condition, with the outline of the later innovations still showing.

It’s not one of those so-rebuilt-it’s-practically-Disney sorts of places, though (I’m looking at you, Great Dixter). It’s all original, down to the funky floors and wattle-and-daub construction.

I could spend a lot of time staring at those walls, if the steward hadn’t been such a loquacious and excitable young man.

Remember, now: Dead Pool Round 77. Tomorrow. 6WBT. Be here, or be somewhere else! Or go somewhere else and then come back here!

September 24, 2015 — 9:03 pm
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