This afternoon Jackie and I went on a house recce. Aiming for Sway Road, Bashley, we became diverted at Wootton, on the heath of which lies the horse trough previously mentioned. Down a roughly made up road we discovered Trefusis.
For me, in particular, this timber-framed house in its tree-bound spot knocked the larger, more substantial, house in Bashley out of contention. However, having had a quick look at the wooden building and its location, we drove on to Bashley. This was a possibly 1950s house with a great deal of room, but it did have close neighbours either side. From the agent’s pictures, we could live with the internal decor. We gave it a cursory glance and returned to Wootton Road. I had fallen for this stretch of the New Forest when I had walked along it on 27th February.
Then bright sunshine had enhanced beauty of the forest. On our outward visit today there had been no more that a feeble glimmer of sun glinting off the apples on the trees in the garden. As we passed the numerous ponies surrounding the trough the sky cleared and the sun shone as strongly as it had on that brief interlude from a rain-filled winter and spring. As they had been then, the animals were strung out on the road near the house, and clustered on the forest verges. They looked fat and sleek and were clearly stoking themselves up for winter.
The garden of this empty house had recently received the attention of a lawn mower, but it occurred to me that one only had to open the gate in the picket fence for croppers to come and sate themselves to the owners’ advantage.
The right hand front corner post of the fence, being a tall oak complete with parasites including bracket fungus, is far older than the rest of it. The plot’s own spinney occupies the section between this tree and the house. There is, nevertheless, plenty of light around the dwelling.
Continuing past the house, we bumped and jolted down a pitted road, reflecting, as we had when visiting Ossemsley Manor, that we would need a 4X4 if we lived there. There were a number of houses, all with a great deal of land, of different periods. Some had their own, occupied, paddocks.
Colt have been building timber-framed houses with cedar shingle for almost 90 years. This find is billed as one of theirs. The oak frames are built on foundations complying with normal building standards and regulations. The firm offers advice, conversions, and refurbishment of existing buildings. There are a number of comments on the web from people who have been satisfied buyers of models from as far back as the ’60s.
Wherever we end up, especially once we have actually entered potential purchases, we will have learned a great deal, and had a lot of fun from the research.
This evening Jackie served chicken breasts slow roasted with a honey and mustard marinade and accompanied by mushroom risotto. Bread and butter pudding was to follow. She drank a 2012 Liebfraumilch; I prefered the more savoury Berberana Rioja produced the same year in a different part of Europe.