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Curiously incurious

There are 200,000 listed properties in the UK (I forget where I read that). I’m pretty sure we looked into at least half a million of them before we found what we were looking for. No, it wasn’t one of these pricey horsey things — I just needed a screencap.

There are still LOTS of wonderful, heartbreaking properties that anyone with a fistful of money can buy — and many need LOTS of heartbreaking repair and renovation. Outside (most) royal palaces, these homes have been continuously lived in and altered throughout their lives.

We looked over one house with a 13th Century cellar, a 15th Century kitchen, and a fine 18th Century façade stuck on the front. Heh. Modern architecture.

I really liked that one, but it needed a lot. We still drive past it often, and the new owners haven’t done much with it. Uncle B calls it Hell House. He worried about the drains. And the funeral parlor next door. (“It’s very quiet,” the tenants told us, “but sometimes late at night, you can hear the refrigerators kick in.”)

We were told there was “probably” a 16thC smuggler’s tunnel connecting that house to the (still extant) pub across the street. And I’m like, “what the FUCK is the matter with you people?!?” You tell me there’s “probably” an ancient tunnel under my house, and I’m “probably” out back digging a hole with a spoon within 15 minutes of signing papers.

Jesus. You can take the whole blasé English thing too far, you know.

So it’s just as well we didn’t buy a house in one nearby lovely, haunted old town. Most of the houses there, you have to sign an agreement not to dig more than 18″ deep in your own garden. On account of you’ll almost certainly dig up something important and Roman. Or the plague.

They were really hard hit by the Big One of 1348.

December 10, 2008 — 8:18 pm
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