Saturday 6 May 2017

Cambridge 01 May 17

Through Cambridge to Caius

Coe Fen

Click for a larger image - Press <Esc>to return

Lammas Land

Garrett Hostel Lane

Leading to Garrett Hostel Bridge


Up Trinity Lane to Trinity Street and into Caius via the Gate of Humility, and into Tree Court looking towards The Gate of Virtue

Looking towards the Gate of Honour

and back to the Gate of Virtue

The chapel  

The view through to Kings Parade

And then back out to Trinity Street

And a view down Green Street where I stayed in my third year!

Sunday 30 October 2016

2 Westbrook Green

In 1971 we moved into 2 Westbrook Green.  We had lived in the village since 1966, so it was a short move.

'We' means Janet, Derek (me) and our two sons Richard and Ben - not to mention our dog Cato.

The house was built by Martin Sylvester, an admired architect who lived in the village.  It has a quite uncompromising design.  There are 3 houses in the terrace - so far as I know there are no other similar terraces.  Here is ours- No 2, being visited by some ducks.

Our garage to the left is the eastern end of the house.  Strangely, the garage went, at that time, all the way from the front of the house to the rear garden.  So it was a double garage, but the cars were end-to-end. This picture was taken in 1976.

Here the view looking south west (towards No 3) taken in 1973.

Now inside

The main sitting room to the back with sloping ceiling, with my mother and again taken in 1973.

Subsequently more decoration in 1976:

and the garden taken in 1975:

Looking back to the house (1973):

Here are Janet and Cato in 1975:

and this shows Richard , Ben and Cato with their French friend Oliver in 1976.  It also shows the open design of the staircase in the hall behind

Looking a bit further to the right from the above are Richard and Cato:

with a friend sitting behind.  The door at the back is the original rear door to the garage - by then we had made that into a separate bedroom - but the door remained!

Here Cato is receiving attention from his French friends - which he does seem to be enjoying.  Behind, once again is the original rear door to the garage.

Turning right a bit further was our patio with lots of plants and shade.  A south facing wall protected garden like this can be very hot in summer.

and here are Richard and Ben showing they can do it!

with Janet and Cato watching from the sitting room side door.

Cato's seen it all before.

I have recently (October 2016) visited the house again and met the new owners.  It is now much changed, and improved, but they asked to know what it looked like some 40 years ago.

This blog is my reply.


Wednesday 24 February 2016

St Michael's House

St Michael's House is close to St Michael's Church.  It is a grade 2 listed building.

From the back garden:

and at the front:

Despite having the same name there is no evidence that the house was ever a rectory for the church. The original building dates from the mid 17th century. It was inherited in 1727 by Robert Corderoy, a mercer, His daughter Mary married George Wells - an apothecary.  So it became an apothecaries shop.  Later in 1818 James Norris created a general shop and his son William made it into a butcher's shop.

Etched, very elegantly, into the brickwork, four initials JN, MN, IN, and WN can just be seen - presumably members of the Norris family. 

The house has grown over the years.  The original timber framed building was end-on to the road and  was probably built around the time of the English civil war. Later in the 18th century the new frontage replaced some of the timber framing, and the part to the right was added in 1867 by John Lane.  This date is inscribed on a brick on the end wall.

The Village

Is in South Oxfordshire at the foot of the downs.  The ancient ridgeway track runs along the top of the downs.  Edward Thomas in his book 'The Icknield Way' talks about his overnight stay at the Red Lion pub before the first world war. The Red Lion is still there.

In those days it was part of Berkshire, and if you want to read Pevsner's description of the church you will still need to buy the Berkshire book I believe!

It is a very lively and energetic village with lots of activities and events.It lies at the point where the chalk of the downs meets the clay of the plains. So the rain drains through the chalk and emerges over the clay.  The village has numerous springs and streams - one of which passes quite harmlessly across the end of St Michael's garden.


One of the pleasures of living in St Michaels is the grandstand view you get of events in the Church in general, and specifically weddings.  We've seen many over the years.  One that remains in our memory is that of a couple who were evidently steam train enthusiasts.

After the ceremony the guard of honour consisted of a group of firemen raising their coal shovels to celebrate the marriage!

Now, the house itself:

First the 17th Century

Looking first at the original timber framed building at the rear of the house:

And now the downstairs sitting room:

which, in addition to central heating radiators, has a substantial and very efficient log burning stove in the old fireplace:

and upstairs the bedroom, which also has central heating radiator.

Then the 18th Century

The front sitting room faces on to the churchyard:

with the fireplace and wood burning stove (again very efficient):

And plenty of shelves for books

Upstairs is the middle bedroom, looking across to Charity School House:

and the north bedroom again overlooking the churchyard:

And the 19th Century

Originally the south end of the house was single storey.  You can still see the original roof alignment in the loft.

Downstairs we now have a kitchen/diner:



Above the kitchen an extra floor was added in 1867 - the date is etched on one of the bricks
This is the bedroom looking west:

and looking east:

In summary

The house has:
  • Four reception rooms (a kitchen/diner, an office and two sitting rooms)
  • A utility/shower room
  • A connecting double glazed porch to the rear
  • Two staircases to:
  • 5 bedrooms (3 with en-suite washing sinks, and floor to ceiling cupboards behind the walls)
  • A bathroom
Loft (accessed by retractable ladder)

Garage - currently a workshop/log store

Garden leading to downland stream

Gas central heating

A maintained alarm system

Freesat aerial and a conventional TV/Radio aerial