Farm Tour – the old Scullery

The farm has, excuse the pun, grown organically over the centuries, making it very difficult to date. But one thing that is clear is that the old scullery appears to be one of the oldest parts, possibly dating back to medieval times.

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into the room (apart from its current function as a workshop for the kitchen refurb) is the inglenook fireplace at one end. Whilst not as large as some locally (the one in Plantagenet House can comfortably seat two groups of diners) it’s still pretty big, with the arch approximately 5’ high and 6’ wide. Inside, the chimney tapers up in classic funnel fashion and boasts a beautifully finished brick-lined bread oven and two Victorian washing coppers. The inglenook, with its coppers and oven, is so important that it is one of the main features described on our Grade II Listing.

Traditionally, stairs often wound around an inglenook fireplace, and though our stairs are now positioned between the kitchen & the rest of the house, there’s still clear evidence that they used to rise from the left of the inglenook up to the first floor. The curved wall in the room above also supports this.

At the other end of the room there’s another fireplace opening which housed a solid fuel range before the new kitchen was built circa 1910. There’s also a hatchway through into the dining room, the last remnant of a narrow doorway which we plan to reinstate.

When we moved in, the window had a couple of fairly rustic shutters propped up against the wall but not fitted. These are quite a contrast to the much more glamorous shutters in the living room, being much smaller and using a ledge & brace construction rather than being panelled & moulded.

During renovations we also noted a previous doorway to the front, about a foot or two away from the smaller fireplace, possibly an earlier front door. At one point, the scullery was also divided into two parts, with a stone wall that reached about 6’ high – still a good couple of feet shorter than the ceiling. Wooden panelling had been used to fill in this remaining gap. The floor also shows signs of this adaptation: most of the floor has slate flagstones but near the inglenook the floor is cobbled, with the cobblestones running under the slates.

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