On the tenth of September ,the day I posted my tribute to John Santore ,It was Heritage day ,not sure how wide spread it was certainly in Peterborough and Huntingdon areas,all sorts of places of interest were open to the public,we had ,had visitors all morning and I think Maurice saw how involved I had been in the tribute ,we decided to go out for a ride ,and sheerly by accident we discovered ,that a house of note was open to the public ,
Funnily enough it is a house we pass by quite often ,Grade one listed Bodsey house is now privately owned, so this was a rare chance to see it ,by a delightful couple Brian and Chris,Chris laughingly explained Brian had come home one day recently and announced ,he had been approached about opening up the house to the public on Heritage day ,he had agreed ,he was however conspicuous by his absence ,Chris however did a marvelous job showing groups of people around ,and telling us lots of interesting facts .
The house was part of an endowment to the local Abbey,and was used as a retreat for the Abbot and monks,The present day house,is of variuos dates.Some of the outbuildings are mediaeval while part of a 14th century chapel remains .And is in use as the couples lounge ,very tastefully decorated keeping many of the features .The major part of the house dates from the 17th century and one of the bedrooms has a barrel shaped ceiling .
We were shown into a room down stairs ,and the thickness of the walls was pointed out ,also that this was an outside wall,,so this was in fact part of the old courtyard ,where two of the sons of King Canute were buried ,they had been drowned in the near by Mere which in those days was vast ,before the fens were drained ,my Brother in law Pete said he had read that the King had a road built around the Mere because he refused to go by boat ,the usual method .in this area at the time .
Chris explained that Brian is a restoration builder ,,and that he uncovers old walls ,we saw the old whattle and daub in the hall way ,I took pictures of the downstairs cloak room ,Maurice was excited to find the motor bike in there ,(every home should have one !)Iwas excited to see the little house ,on the dresser ,an old Dr Barnardo's collection box !there was also one on the hall table ,we had one when I was a child ,we put our pennys in there as children and the money was to help run homes for orphan children .
Up stairs the floors were all uneven and Chris explained they had to saw down a front and back leg on her wardrobe in order for it to stand level ! The bedroom with the barrel shaped ceiling ,had a false ceiling until the 1950's imagine their delight when they opened it up to find those beams .
We enjoyed our afternoon visiting Bodsey house I hope you did too ,With Love