Place Farm Part 5

Returning to the main house, I was told that this is the second house on this site. It appears that the first house was burnt down in, at a guess, about the 1700. In 1931 the present house was flanked on either side by two very old wings built of flint stonework.

The last time I visited in about late 1950s the left hand wing had been demolished but the right hand wing was still there. These wings were the remains of the original house. The right hand wing contained a small office, the garage, a stable for the pony and upstairs was a granary accessed by an external staircase.

The left hand wing is shrouded in mystery. I referred earlier to a door in the kitchen. This led into the remains of the left hand wing which was merely a flint built lean-to, very dark and very ghostly. I was terrified to go through there. This, in 1931 housed a derelict dairy, still used for the separator machine and cream storage as it was very cool.

At the other end of this lean-to was the mystery. There was a door out into a small wooded area known as The Green. Out here, there was visible the top of an arched window. The bottom was buried in the ground. This was the erstwhile window of The Dungeon, a deep cellar under this lean-to. This had a well in the floor which overflowed every 6 months or so and had to be bailed out when the water reached about 4 feet deep in the cellar. Access was via a door and rickety wooden steps from the passage above.

In this dungeon were the remains of wooden racking and, most intriguing of all, there were iron rings and chains attached to the walls. What on earth were these used for? Prisoners? Animals would not have been down there! The last time I visited, this had all been filled in and the whole lean-to had vanished. This seems like a cue for a visit by TVs Time Team! Across the Green in a corner was an old privy, earth closet, used by the maid. This had three differently sized seats. Like the three bears, it had one big one for Daddy bear, a medium one for Mummy bear, and a little low one for Baby bear.

This contraption was emptied at intervals by a local emptying service! There were rumours of buried treasure in the Green but despite digging by Ken Bowyer none was ever found. My matchbox bedroom had a window overlooking this area and there was ivy up which a cat would sometimes climb into the room. This area is of course all part of the Towers estate and is very historical.

Next: Part 6