When I’m asked what I do for a living, I’m tempted to cop out and refer to my previous career or give my professional title, which I still consider valid. Then, the inquisitive enquirer will want to know where I work, how I spend my day and, in a moment of awkwardness, I would have […]

Birthdays are family time. The giving and receiving of presents, a cake maybe, and perhaps a party. For Rose, a birthday is a day to spend in the company of her granddaughters. She likes cake, especially chocolate cake, and always has one candle on top of it to blow out. What she also does is […]

I created a family. It began with a name, one that I discovered using census data. The website provides details of the popular surnames of English counties. I picked two – one for each of the families that feature in my book, The Women of Heachley Hall. Dates became crucial to plotting the story. Who […] […]

And so here we are at Z. Except not quite. I need to go back a little in time before we come to Z properly. Many of my posts have been about houses in rural settings – manor houses and great halls. So for my last post, I’m in London because I feel I’ve neglected […]

Houses are homes first and foremost, which means they are as much about the people who live in them as they are bricks and mortar. And then there are the people who come and visit. Yeldersley Hall in Derbyshire is an unassuming, Georgian mansion built in 1800 for Edmund Evans, whose family owned a mill. […]

I’m starting at Wigfair Hall in Wales, but I am going to wander off to somewhere else by the end of the blog, just to warn you. But first, Wigfair.  The Reverend Howard built this large country house on the River Elwy in 1884. Part of the house is a tower, which was originally a […]

Most of my posts have been about old, really old houses, so it’s nice to choose one that is more recent (relatively speaking). Voewood House, near Holt in Norfolk, was built for the Reverend Percy Lloyd, the son of the publisher, Edward Lloyd. Lloyd’s publication, Lloyd’s Weekly, was the only newspaper in the 19th century […]

For the letter M I told the sad tale of six houses called Montagu. This time I have two Ufford Halls and thankfully, they are still intact. The youngest Ufford is a Georgian mansion near Peterborough. The house was built in 1734 by the Duke of Rutland’s younger son, Charles Manner. His son enlarged the […]

My family and I visited Traquair House just outside Peebles in Scotland when I was in my teens and two things stick in my head – it’s very white and tall, and for some reason, we nicknamed the place Traquack and that also has stuck in my mind. In England, old manor houses were centred […]

The point of having a house is to live in it. Isn’t that its purpose? For Charles Paget Wade that wasn’t the case. In 1919, he bought the Tudor manor house of Snowshill in the Cotswold village Snowshill and restored the property. From 821, Snowshill was a monastic building and under the control of Winchcombe […]

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