House Research

Librariangraphic
Wench Pat here, in scattered mode. The world has been intruding on my creative cave these past days, and any hope of concentration is shot. Currently, carpet installers are whamming nails into my bedroom floor, and the revision letter arrived for next summer’s historical, which is the mental equivalent of nails pounding in my head.  So, of course, I’m writing this rather than think about anything.

Before the pounding began, I’d been distracted by research for the 2009 hsitorical Should I ever write the scenes, my characters may ultimately spend all of fifty pages on the southwest coast of England. But I need that sense of place before I can get started. I have visited Somerset and Devon once and only briefly. While I’m far more comfortable staying for a few days in an area where I set my books, it’s impractical given my tendency to give my characters freedom to travel the globe.  I’d need a private yacht to keep up with them. And then there’s that invisible island in the Channel…

So I’ve been digging through my library for all the brochures and books and material I’ve accumulated. When I travel, I always grab up all those wonderful historical pamphlets that I can’t buy on Amazon, usually written by locals and almost always badly, but packed full of anecdotes and village history. If I’m really lucky, I’ll find small press books with photos and prints. In this case, my material is as sketchy as my plotting. So I’ve been heating up the internet in search of more.

Besides pamphlets, I need maps. I adore maps. Google Earth is the invention of gods. It certainly Somerset1812
doesn’t replace my physically standing on the coast, but at least it gives me a bird’s eye view of the countryside. I need to know if my characters are wading through mud or climbing cliffs, and then I have to figure how long it takes them to sail from the tip of Cornwall up close to Bristol or if they ought to be landing in the south and taking a coach north.

And then there are the houses!  Houses are my all time favorite subject.  I tell editors to just stick a house on my cover because one is bound to be the center of the story. Of course, with my itinerant invisible island people, this isn’t possible, but that doesn’t keep me from creating castles in my mind.  And in this book, I get to give one of my characters a real English estate, and I want to drool over it.  Which means lots and lots more books and research to determine what kind of building material might be used in the area, whether or not I can use an abbey or an old keep as the basis for the structure, whether it has fields of livestock or grain around it. 

Bradleymanor
And in my research, I discovered Bradley Manor  in Devon and fell in love. For my characters coming from the whitewashed stucco of a tropical island, it has to look far more welcoming than forbidding gray stone. I know my characters will be in Somerset, not Devon, but the materials aren’t that different. What do you think? Have I found them a home? Is anyone familiar with Somerset in the vicinity of the Parrett River? What are your impressions?

Out of curiosity, how many of you are as fascinated by houses as I am? Am I just a little OC or is this passion prevalent throughout romance-readerhood?

75 thoughts on “House Research”

  1. Yes, I love houses! I always have… so much, in fact, that I’ve dreamed of them since I was a little girl. There are several houses that I have re-visited in my dreams so many times that I could draw you a floor plan, if that floor plan would make sense! (You know how dreams are… there are a few paranormal hallways that couldn’t be explained on paper.)
    I love the houses with character… they don’t have to be huge mansions… they just have to look like they GREW where they live, rather than were plunked down on a plot of land.
    Yes, I like the house you found… and I love Google Earth, too. I can’t afford to go to the Highlands for my own book research, but I’ve criss-crossed them over and over again on Google Earth and Internet photo galleries! God bless the Internet!

    Reply
  2. Yes, I love houses! I always have… so much, in fact, that I’ve dreamed of them since I was a little girl. There are several houses that I have re-visited in my dreams so many times that I could draw you a floor plan, if that floor plan would make sense! (You know how dreams are… there are a few paranormal hallways that couldn’t be explained on paper.)
    I love the houses with character… they don’t have to be huge mansions… they just have to look like they GREW where they live, rather than were plunked down on a plot of land.
    Yes, I like the house you found… and I love Google Earth, too. I can’t afford to go to the Highlands for my own book research, but I’ve criss-crossed them over and over again on Google Earth and Internet photo galleries! God bless the Internet!

    Reply
  3. Yes, I love houses! I always have… so much, in fact, that I’ve dreamed of them since I was a little girl. There are several houses that I have re-visited in my dreams so many times that I could draw you a floor plan, if that floor plan would make sense! (You know how dreams are… there are a few paranormal hallways that couldn’t be explained on paper.)
    I love the houses with character… they don’t have to be huge mansions… they just have to look like they GREW where they live, rather than were plunked down on a plot of land.
    Yes, I like the house you found… and I love Google Earth, too. I can’t afford to go to the Highlands for my own book research, but I’ve criss-crossed them over and over again on Google Earth and Internet photo galleries! God bless the Internet!

    Reply
  4. Yes, I love houses! I always have… so much, in fact, that I’ve dreamed of them since I was a little girl. There are several houses that I have re-visited in my dreams so many times that I could draw you a floor plan, if that floor plan would make sense! (You know how dreams are… there are a few paranormal hallways that couldn’t be explained on paper.)
    I love the houses with character… they don’t have to be huge mansions… they just have to look like they GREW where they live, rather than were plunked down on a plot of land.
    Yes, I like the house you found… and I love Google Earth, too. I can’t afford to go to the Highlands for my own book research, but I’ve criss-crossed them over and over again on Google Earth and Internet photo galleries! God bless the Internet!

    Reply
  5. Yes, I love houses! I always have… so much, in fact, that I’ve dreamed of them since I was a little girl. There are several houses that I have re-visited in my dreams so many times that I could draw you a floor plan, if that floor plan would make sense! (You know how dreams are… there are a few paranormal hallways that couldn’t be explained on paper.)
    I love the houses with character… they don’t have to be huge mansions… they just have to look like they GREW where they live, rather than were plunked down on a plot of land.
    Yes, I like the house you found… and I love Google Earth, too. I can’t afford to go to the Highlands for my own book research, but I’ve criss-crossed them over and over again on Google Earth and Internet photo galleries! God bless the Internet!

    Reply
  6. Pat, Bradley Manor looks fantastic, but do note there are no refreshments or WCs!
    For eight years I was a Realtor, the Antique and Vintage Properties manager of a Connecticut realty company. Apart from the fact that I worked through a wretched market slump, all my joys of peeping into others’ lives was fulfilled. I got into lots of eighteenth century houses that were never on house tours, and I decorated a room in a 1789 mansion that was open to the public at Christmas for a hospital fundraiser. When we travel abroad I always go to some old house or garden, and I dragged my kids through the estates in Newport, R.I. The only TV shows I like are of the home improvement variety. So, yes, I am a house-aholic. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Pat, Bradley Manor looks fantastic, but do note there are no refreshments or WCs!
    For eight years I was a Realtor, the Antique and Vintage Properties manager of a Connecticut realty company. Apart from the fact that I worked through a wretched market slump, all my joys of peeping into others’ lives was fulfilled. I got into lots of eighteenth century houses that were never on house tours, and I decorated a room in a 1789 mansion that was open to the public at Christmas for a hospital fundraiser. When we travel abroad I always go to some old house or garden, and I dragged my kids through the estates in Newport, R.I. The only TV shows I like are of the home improvement variety. So, yes, I am a house-aholic. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Pat, Bradley Manor looks fantastic, but do note there are no refreshments or WCs!
    For eight years I was a Realtor, the Antique and Vintage Properties manager of a Connecticut realty company. Apart from the fact that I worked through a wretched market slump, all my joys of peeping into others’ lives was fulfilled. I got into lots of eighteenth century houses that were never on house tours, and I decorated a room in a 1789 mansion that was open to the public at Christmas for a hospital fundraiser. When we travel abroad I always go to some old house or garden, and I dragged my kids through the estates in Newport, R.I. The only TV shows I like are of the home improvement variety. So, yes, I am a house-aholic. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Pat, Bradley Manor looks fantastic, but do note there are no refreshments or WCs!
    For eight years I was a Realtor, the Antique and Vintage Properties manager of a Connecticut realty company. Apart from the fact that I worked through a wretched market slump, all my joys of peeping into others’ lives was fulfilled. I got into lots of eighteenth century houses that were never on house tours, and I decorated a room in a 1789 mansion that was open to the public at Christmas for a hospital fundraiser. When we travel abroad I always go to some old house or garden, and I dragged my kids through the estates in Newport, R.I. The only TV shows I like are of the home improvement variety. So, yes, I am a house-aholic. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Pat, Bradley Manor looks fantastic, but do note there are no refreshments or WCs!
    For eight years I was a Realtor, the Antique and Vintage Properties manager of a Connecticut realty company. Apart from the fact that I worked through a wretched market slump, all my joys of peeping into others’ lives was fulfilled. I got into lots of eighteenth century houses that were never on house tours, and I decorated a room in a 1789 mansion that was open to the public at Christmas for a hospital fundraiser. When we travel abroad I always go to some old house or garden, and I dragged my kids through the estates in Newport, R.I. The only TV shows I like are of the home improvement variety. So, yes, I am a house-aholic. 🙂

    Reply
  11. I love houses. In fact when I was young I used to do comic like romance stories, but before I could begin the drawings I had to draw the houses, including the blueprints. I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.

    Reply
  12. I love houses. In fact when I was young I used to do comic like romance stories, but before I could begin the drawings I had to draw the houses, including the blueprints. I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.

    Reply
  13. I love houses. In fact when I was young I used to do comic like romance stories, but before I could begin the drawings I had to draw the houses, including the blueprints. I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.

    Reply
  14. I love houses. In fact when I was young I used to do comic like romance stories, but before I could begin the drawings I had to draw the houses, including the blueprints. I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.

    Reply
  15. I love houses. In fact when I was young I used to do comic like romance stories, but before I could begin the drawings I had to draw the houses, including the blueprints. I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.

    Reply
  16. I love old houses- I recommend the book,”Ancient English Houses,” by Christopher Sykes- Photos of gorgeous old structures still standing, and many still inhabited, that date prior to 1650 or so. I have this book and have spent hours dreaming over it. Two of my favorites are Compton Wynyates and Stokesay- you can just picture people living there- generation after generation- gives me goosebumps!Try your library for a copy- it is superb.

    Reply
  17. I love old houses- I recommend the book,”Ancient English Houses,” by Christopher Sykes- Photos of gorgeous old structures still standing, and many still inhabited, that date prior to 1650 or so. I have this book and have spent hours dreaming over it. Two of my favorites are Compton Wynyates and Stokesay- you can just picture people living there- generation after generation- gives me goosebumps!Try your library for a copy- it is superb.

    Reply
  18. I love old houses- I recommend the book,”Ancient English Houses,” by Christopher Sykes- Photos of gorgeous old structures still standing, and many still inhabited, that date prior to 1650 or so. I have this book and have spent hours dreaming over it. Two of my favorites are Compton Wynyates and Stokesay- you can just picture people living there- generation after generation- gives me goosebumps!Try your library for a copy- it is superb.

    Reply
  19. I love old houses- I recommend the book,”Ancient English Houses,” by Christopher Sykes- Photos of gorgeous old structures still standing, and many still inhabited, that date prior to 1650 or so. I have this book and have spent hours dreaming over it. Two of my favorites are Compton Wynyates and Stokesay- you can just picture people living there- generation after generation- gives me goosebumps!Try your library for a copy- it is superb.

    Reply
  20. I love old houses- I recommend the book,”Ancient English Houses,” by Christopher Sykes- Photos of gorgeous old structures still standing, and many still inhabited, that date prior to 1650 or so. I have this book and have spent hours dreaming over it. Two of my favorites are Compton Wynyates and Stokesay- you can just picture people living there- generation after generation- gives me goosebumps!Try your library for a copy- it is superb.

    Reply
  21. I used to go for walks in a posh neighborhood on Sundays, just to drop in on the open houses that realtors were having, or to ogle the georgeous places that weren’t for sale. I’ve been to a few Stately Homes in England, too; the sense of those that I miss in romance novels is how LONG IT TAKES to get from one room to another. And with the older ones, no corridors! You have to pass from room to room to room. They didn’t have our refined ideas of privacy.
    I’ve been driven through Somerset and Devon on the way to Cornwall once. Georgeous country. There’s a seaside village in Devonshire called Clovelly that’s built on a hillside so steep they put ridges in the roadway to keep people from slipping. You can’t drive down it; you park at the top and walk; the people who live there have wooden sledges to drag their groceries home (or be dragged by them, I suspect).
    Google World sounds like a great resource. Now if only they do Google the Past!

    Reply
  22. I used to go for walks in a posh neighborhood on Sundays, just to drop in on the open houses that realtors were having, or to ogle the georgeous places that weren’t for sale. I’ve been to a few Stately Homes in England, too; the sense of those that I miss in romance novels is how LONG IT TAKES to get from one room to another. And with the older ones, no corridors! You have to pass from room to room to room. They didn’t have our refined ideas of privacy.
    I’ve been driven through Somerset and Devon on the way to Cornwall once. Georgeous country. There’s a seaside village in Devonshire called Clovelly that’s built on a hillside so steep they put ridges in the roadway to keep people from slipping. You can’t drive down it; you park at the top and walk; the people who live there have wooden sledges to drag their groceries home (or be dragged by them, I suspect).
    Google World sounds like a great resource. Now if only they do Google the Past!

    Reply
  23. I used to go for walks in a posh neighborhood on Sundays, just to drop in on the open houses that realtors were having, or to ogle the georgeous places that weren’t for sale. I’ve been to a few Stately Homes in England, too; the sense of those that I miss in romance novels is how LONG IT TAKES to get from one room to another. And with the older ones, no corridors! You have to pass from room to room to room. They didn’t have our refined ideas of privacy.
    I’ve been driven through Somerset and Devon on the way to Cornwall once. Georgeous country. There’s a seaside village in Devonshire called Clovelly that’s built on a hillside so steep they put ridges in the roadway to keep people from slipping. You can’t drive down it; you park at the top and walk; the people who live there have wooden sledges to drag their groceries home (or be dragged by them, I suspect).
    Google World sounds like a great resource. Now if only they do Google the Past!

    Reply
  24. I used to go for walks in a posh neighborhood on Sundays, just to drop in on the open houses that realtors were having, or to ogle the georgeous places that weren’t for sale. I’ve been to a few Stately Homes in England, too; the sense of those that I miss in romance novels is how LONG IT TAKES to get from one room to another. And with the older ones, no corridors! You have to pass from room to room to room. They didn’t have our refined ideas of privacy.
    I’ve been driven through Somerset and Devon on the way to Cornwall once. Georgeous country. There’s a seaside village in Devonshire called Clovelly that’s built on a hillside so steep they put ridges in the roadway to keep people from slipping. You can’t drive down it; you park at the top and walk; the people who live there have wooden sledges to drag their groceries home (or be dragged by them, I suspect).
    Google World sounds like a great resource. Now if only they do Google the Past!

    Reply
  25. I used to go for walks in a posh neighborhood on Sundays, just to drop in on the open houses that realtors were having, or to ogle the georgeous places that weren’t for sale. I’ve been to a few Stately Homes in England, too; the sense of those that I miss in romance novels is how LONG IT TAKES to get from one room to another. And with the older ones, no corridors! You have to pass from room to room to room. They didn’t have our refined ideas of privacy.
    I’ve been driven through Somerset and Devon on the way to Cornwall once. Georgeous country. There’s a seaside village in Devonshire called Clovelly that’s built on a hillside so steep they put ridges in the roadway to keep people from slipping. You can’t drive down it; you park at the top and walk; the people who live there have wooden sledges to drag their groceries home (or be dragged by them, I suspect).
    Google World sounds like a great resource. Now if only they do Google the Past!

    Reply
  26. Ahhh, isn’t it loverly to be in the company of soul mates! Yes, Katie, I’ve dreamed of houses since childhood and could draw the floor plans of several of them. Prior lives perhaps? Although many of mine tend to be contemporary with those “paranormal” walls. “G”
    If it weren’t for that selling bit, I’d adore being a Realtor, especially in an historic part of the country. How very cool!
    Gretchen, thanks for the tip. I was probably put off by the “ancient” in the title since I do Georgian and Regency but now I’ll check it out. I can get some nice research and photos out of ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Cooper and Majerus, and the National Trust Book of the ENGLISH HOUSE by Aslet and Powers. But I can never have enough photos!
    I think I’d like to live in a village one can’t drive through, although it does sound as if weekly grocery trips could be tedious. “G”

    Reply
  27. Ahhh, isn’t it loverly to be in the company of soul mates! Yes, Katie, I’ve dreamed of houses since childhood and could draw the floor plans of several of them. Prior lives perhaps? Although many of mine tend to be contemporary with those “paranormal” walls. “G”
    If it weren’t for that selling bit, I’d adore being a Realtor, especially in an historic part of the country. How very cool!
    Gretchen, thanks for the tip. I was probably put off by the “ancient” in the title since I do Georgian and Regency but now I’ll check it out. I can get some nice research and photos out of ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Cooper and Majerus, and the National Trust Book of the ENGLISH HOUSE by Aslet and Powers. But I can never have enough photos!
    I think I’d like to live in a village one can’t drive through, although it does sound as if weekly grocery trips could be tedious. “G”

    Reply
  28. Ahhh, isn’t it loverly to be in the company of soul mates! Yes, Katie, I’ve dreamed of houses since childhood and could draw the floor plans of several of them. Prior lives perhaps? Although many of mine tend to be contemporary with those “paranormal” walls. “G”
    If it weren’t for that selling bit, I’d adore being a Realtor, especially in an historic part of the country. How very cool!
    Gretchen, thanks for the tip. I was probably put off by the “ancient” in the title since I do Georgian and Regency but now I’ll check it out. I can get some nice research and photos out of ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Cooper and Majerus, and the National Trust Book of the ENGLISH HOUSE by Aslet and Powers. But I can never have enough photos!
    I think I’d like to live in a village one can’t drive through, although it does sound as if weekly grocery trips could be tedious. “G”

    Reply
  29. Ahhh, isn’t it loverly to be in the company of soul mates! Yes, Katie, I’ve dreamed of houses since childhood and could draw the floor plans of several of them. Prior lives perhaps? Although many of mine tend to be contemporary with those “paranormal” walls. “G”
    If it weren’t for that selling bit, I’d adore being a Realtor, especially in an historic part of the country. How very cool!
    Gretchen, thanks for the tip. I was probably put off by the “ancient” in the title since I do Georgian and Regency but now I’ll check it out. I can get some nice research and photos out of ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Cooper and Majerus, and the National Trust Book of the ENGLISH HOUSE by Aslet and Powers. But I can never have enough photos!
    I think I’d like to live in a village one can’t drive through, although it does sound as if weekly grocery trips could be tedious. “G”

    Reply
  30. Ahhh, isn’t it loverly to be in the company of soul mates! Yes, Katie, I’ve dreamed of houses since childhood and could draw the floor plans of several of them. Prior lives perhaps? Although many of mine tend to be contemporary with those “paranormal” walls. “G”
    If it weren’t for that selling bit, I’d adore being a Realtor, especially in an historic part of the country. How very cool!
    Gretchen, thanks for the tip. I was probably put off by the “ancient” in the title since I do Georgian and Regency but now I’ll check it out. I can get some nice research and photos out of ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Cooper and Majerus, and the National Trust Book of the ENGLISH HOUSE by Aslet and Powers. But I can never have enough photos!
    I think I’d like to live in a village one can’t drive through, although it does sound as if weekly grocery trips could be tedious. “G”

    Reply
  31. Yes, I love houses. I tell my husband he needs to get that new digital camera he wants so I can keep the old one in the car. That way when I pass cool houses, I can take a picture and have it to look at home.
    Beth

    Reply
  32. Yes, I love houses. I tell my husband he needs to get that new digital camera he wants so I can keep the old one in the car. That way when I pass cool houses, I can take a picture and have it to look at home.
    Beth

    Reply
  33. Yes, I love houses. I tell my husband he needs to get that new digital camera he wants so I can keep the old one in the car. That way when I pass cool houses, I can take a picture and have it to look at home.
    Beth

    Reply
  34. Yes, I love houses. I tell my husband he needs to get that new digital camera he wants so I can keep the old one in the car. That way when I pass cool houses, I can take a picture and have it to look at home.
    Beth

    Reply
  35. Yes, I love houses. I tell my husband he needs to get that new digital camera he wants so I can keep the old one in the car. That way when I pass cool houses, I can take a picture and have it to look at home.
    Beth

    Reply
  36. When I was a little girl, my dad took me to the Biltmore Estate (in Asheville, NC) and I have been fascinated by houses ever since. Gardens too. Dad loved Longwood Gardens (near Philly, PA). So do I. Every story I’ve ever penned has a house and a garden and each had a secret.
    I love it when a writer uses a house as a character. Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC and MJP’s THE BURNING POINT come to mind. I could really see the houses in my head (to the point that I asked MJ if the house actually existed since the story was set in a well know place in Baltimore). But, it didn’t. Ah, well… it does in my mind. 🙂
    Bradley Manor is beautiful, btw. I didn’t know medieval manors could be stucco. My mind always envisions gray hand-hued stone darkened by age. (or covered in ivy)
    My favorite book on houses is LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard. Great pictures and lots of little facts like what they used for “toilet paper.”
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  37. When I was a little girl, my dad took me to the Biltmore Estate (in Asheville, NC) and I have been fascinated by houses ever since. Gardens too. Dad loved Longwood Gardens (near Philly, PA). So do I. Every story I’ve ever penned has a house and a garden and each had a secret.
    I love it when a writer uses a house as a character. Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC and MJP’s THE BURNING POINT come to mind. I could really see the houses in my head (to the point that I asked MJ if the house actually existed since the story was set in a well know place in Baltimore). But, it didn’t. Ah, well… it does in my mind. 🙂
    Bradley Manor is beautiful, btw. I didn’t know medieval manors could be stucco. My mind always envisions gray hand-hued stone darkened by age. (or covered in ivy)
    My favorite book on houses is LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard. Great pictures and lots of little facts like what they used for “toilet paper.”
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  38. When I was a little girl, my dad took me to the Biltmore Estate (in Asheville, NC) and I have been fascinated by houses ever since. Gardens too. Dad loved Longwood Gardens (near Philly, PA). So do I. Every story I’ve ever penned has a house and a garden and each had a secret.
    I love it when a writer uses a house as a character. Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC and MJP’s THE BURNING POINT come to mind. I could really see the houses in my head (to the point that I asked MJ if the house actually existed since the story was set in a well know place in Baltimore). But, it didn’t. Ah, well… it does in my mind. 🙂
    Bradley Manor is beautiful, btw. I didn’t know medieval manors could be stucco. My mind always envisions gray hand-hued stone darkened by age. (or covered in ivy)
    My favorite book on houses is LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard. Great pictures and lots of little facts like what they used for “toilet paper.”
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  39. When I was a little girl, my dad took me to the Biltmore Estate (in Asheville, NC) and I have been fascinated by houses ever since. Gardens too. Dad loved Longwood Gardens (near Philly, PA). So do I. Every story I’ve ever penned has a house and a garden and each had a secret.
    I love it when a writer uses a house as a character. Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC and MJP’s THE BURNING POINT come to mind. I could really see the houses in my head (to the point that I asked MJ if the house actually existed since the story was set in a well know place in Baltimore). But, it didn’t. Ah, well… it does in my mind. 🙂
    Bradley Manor is beautiful, btw. I didn’t know medieval manors could be stucco. My mind always envisions gray hand-hued stone darkened by age. (or covered in ivy)
    My favorite book on houses is LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard. Great pictures and lots of little facts like what they used for “toilet paper.”
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  40. When I was a little girl, my dad took me to the Biltmore Estate (in Asheville, NC) and I have been fascinated by houses ever since. Gardens too. Dad loved Longwood Gardens (near Philly, PA). So do I. Every story I’ve ever penned has a house and a garden and each had a secret.
    I love it when a writer uses a house as a character. Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC and MJP’s THE BURNING POINT come to mind. I could really see the houses in my head (to the point that I asked MJ if the house actually existed since the story was set in a well know place in Baltimore). But, it didn’t. Ah, well… it does in my mind. 🙂
    Bradley Manor is beautiful, btw. I didn’t know medieval manors could be stucco. My mind always envisions gray hand-hued stone darkened by age. (or covered in ivy)
    My favorite book on houses is LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard. Great pictures and lots of little facts like what they used for “toilet paper.”
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  41. I love old houses and everywhere I’ve lived or visited I’ve been through the historic ones: Monticello, The McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant), Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt’s home), Williamsburg, the Revere House in Boston, Lincoln’s home in Illinois.
    Here in Portland there’s the wonderful Pittock Mansion:
    http://www.pittockmansion.org
    and the old Manor House at Lewis and Clark College:
    http://www.noram.no/image_view.php?bid=86&res=medres
    They need not be grand estates, either–my visit to Anne Frank’s “secret annex” in Amsterdam is something I’ll always remember and it illuminated her diary for me in a whole new way. I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin–maybe I’ll get there someday. . .

    Reply
  42. I love old houses and everywhere I’ve lived or visited I’ve been through the historic ones: Monticello, The McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant), Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt’s home), Williamsburg, the Revere House in Boston, Lincoln’s home in Illinois.
    Here in Portland there’s the wonderful Pittock Mansion:
    http://www.pittockmansion.org
    and the old Manor House at Lewis and Clark College:
    http://www.noram.no/image_view.php?bid=86&res=medres
    They need not be grand estates, either–my visit to Anne Frank’s “secret annex” in Amsterdam is something I’ll always remember and it illuminated her diary for me in a whole new way. I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin–maybe I’ll get there someday. . .

    Reply
  43. I love old houses and everywhere I’ve lived or visited I’ve been through the historic ones: Monticello, The McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant), Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt’s home), Williamsburg, the Revere House in Boston, Lincoln’s home in Illinois.
    Here in Portland there’s the wonderful Pittock Mansion:
    http://www.pittockmansion.org
    and the old Manor House at Lewis and Clark College:
    http://www.noram.no/image_view.php?bid=86&res=medres
    They need not be grand estates, either–my visit to Anne Frank’s “secret annex” in Amsterdam is something I’ll always remember and it illuminated her diary for me in a whole new way. I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin–maybe I’ll get there someday. . .

    Reply
  44. I love old houses and everywhere I’ve lived or visited I’ve been through the historic ones: Monticello, The McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant), Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt’s home), Williamsburg, the Revere House in Boston, Lincoln’s home in Illinois.
    Here in Portland there’s the wonderful Pittock Mansion:
    http://www.pittockmansion.org
    and the old Manor House at Lewis and Clark College:
    http://www.noram.no/image_view.php?bid=86&res=medres
    They need not be grand estates, either–my visit to Anne Frank’s “secret annex” in Amsterdam is something I’ll always remember and it illuminated her diary for me in a whole new way. I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin–maybe I’ll get there someday. . .

    Reply
  45. I love old houses and everywhere I’ve lived or visited I’ve been through the historic ones: Monticello, The McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant), Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt’s home), Williamsburg, the Revere House in Boston, Lincoln’s home in Illinois.
    Here in Portland there’s the wonderful Pittock Mansion:
    http://www.pittockmansion.org
    and the old Manor House at Lewis and Clark College:
    http://www.noram.no/image_view.php?bid=86&res=medres
    They need not be grand estates, either–my visit to Anne Frank’s “secret annex” in Amsterdam is something I’ll always remember and it illuminated her diary for me in a whole new way. I’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin–maybe I’ll get there someday. . .

    Reply
  46. Beth, tell your husband a camera is a lot cheaper than BUYING all those houses. I tend to move every few years simply because I find neater places to live. It’s a terrible, terrible vice.
    I’m hoping people find other facilities or bring their own toilet paper to Bradley Manor today, but that does lead to the question of what they would have used in 1791. “G”
    And Biltmore is beyond awesome. It’s an entire city. Like RevMel, I prefer places where I can feel a sense of people living. Since I like my privacy, I have a hard time imagining actually “living” surrounded by hundreds of servants. Thousands. Armies.

    Reply
  47. Beth, tell your husband a camera is a lot cheaper than BUYING all those houses. I tend to move every few years simply because I find neater places to live. It’s a terrible, terrible vice.
    I’m hoping people find other facilities or bring their own toilet paper to Bradley Manor today, but that does lead to the question of what they would have used in 1791. “G”
    And Biltmore is beyond awesome. It’s an entire city. Like RevMel, I prefer places where I can feel a sense of people living. Since I like my privacy, I have a hard time imagining actually “living” surrounded by hundreds of servants. Thousands. Armies.

    Reply
  48. Beth, tell your husband a camera is a lot cheaper than BUYING all those houses. I tend to move every few years simply because I find neater places to live. It’s a terrible, terrible vice.
    I’m hoping people find other facilities or bring their own toilet paper to Bradley Manor today, but that does lead to the question of what they would have used in 1791. “G”
    And Biltmore is beyond awesome. It’s an entire city. Like RevMel, I prefer places where I can feel a sense of people living. Since I like my privacy, I have a hard time imagining actually “living” surrounded by hundreds of servants. Thousands. Armies.

    Reply
  49. Beth, tell your husband a camera is a lot cheaper than BUYING all those houses. I tend to move every few years simply because I find neater places to live. It’s a terrible, terrible vice.
    I’m hoping people find other facilities or bring their own toilet paper to Bradley Manor today, but that does lead to the question of what they would have used in 1791. “G”
    And Biltmore is beyond awesome. It’s an entire city. Like RevMel, I prefer places where I can feel a sense of people living. Since I like my privacy, I have a hard time imagining actually “living” surrounded by hundreds of servants. Thousands. Armies.

    Reply
  50. Beth, tell your husband a camera is a lot cheaper than BUYING all those houses. I tend to move every few years simply because I find neater places to live. It’s a terrible, terrible vice.
    I’m hoping people find other facilities or bring their own toilet paper to Bradley Manor today, but that does lead to the question of what they would have used in 1791. “G”
    And Biltmore is beyond awesome. It’s an entire city. Like RevMel, I prefer places where I can feel a sense of people living. Since I like my privacy, I have a hard time imagining actually “living” surrounded by hundreds of servants. Thousands. Armies.

    Reply
  51. Pat, sister of my heart, I am also a house junkie. I laughed out loud when Kay wrote: “I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.” I think any house lover would understand this passion.
    A book I highly (very highly!) recommend is _Book of British Villages_ edited by Readers Digest for Drive Publications. It was published in 1981 and is chock full of vital information. It’s a writer’s paradise.
    It’s encyclopedic in nature, with tons of pictures and house histories. There are sections on village crafts, such as the thatcher, blacksmith, and wheelwright, along with pictures of their tools. Another section tells how villages got their names. Yet another section has pictures and descriptions of building materials and how they were used in house construction. Very useful for a writer.

    Reply
  52. Pat, sister of my heart, I am also a house junkie. I laughed out loud when Kay wrote: “I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.” I think any house lover would understand this passion.
    A book I highly (very highly!) recommend is _Book of British Villages_ edited by Readers Digest for Drive Publications. It was published in 1981 and is chock full of vital information. It’s a writer’s paradise.
    It’s encyclopedic in nature, with tons of pictures and house histories. There are sections on village crafts, such as the thatcher, blacksmith, and wheelwright, along with pictures of their tools. Another section tells how villages got their names. Yet another section has pictures and descriptions of building materials and how they were used in house construction. Very useful for a writer.

    Reply
  53. Pat, sister of my heart, I am also a house junkie. I laughed out loud when Kay wrote: “I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.” I think any house lover would understand this passion.
    A book I highly (very highly!) recommend is _Book of British Villages_ edited by Readers Digest for Drive Publications. It was published in 1981 and is chock full of vital information. It’s a writer’s paradise.
    It’s encyclopedic in nature, with tons of pictures and house histories. There are sections on village crafts, such as the thatcher, blacksmith, and wheelwright, along with pictures of their tools. Another section tells how villages got their names. Yet another section has pictures and descriptions of building materials and how they were used in house construction. Very useful for a writer.

    Reply
  54. Pat, sister of my heart, I am also a house junkie. I laughed out loud when Kay wrote: “I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.” I think any house lover would understand this passion.
    A book I highly (very highly!) recommend is _Book of British Villages_ edited by Readers Digest for Drive Publications. It was published in 1981 and is chock full of vital information. It’s a writer’s paradise.
    It’s encyclopedic in nature, with tons of pictures and house histories. There are sections on village crafts, such as the thatcher, blacksmith, and wheelwright, along with pictures of their tools. Another section tells how villages got their names. Yet another section has pictures and descriptions of building materials and how they were used in house construction. Very useful for a writer.

    Reply
  55. Pat, sister of my heart, I am also a house junkie. I laughed out loud when Kay wrote: “I also have a giant drawer full of blueprints…I don’t know why.” I think any house lover would understand this passion.
    A book I highly (very highly!) recommend is _Book of British Villages_ edited by Readers Digest for Drive Publications. It was published in 1981 and is chock full of vital information. It’s a writer’s paradise.
    It’s encyclopedic in nature, with tons of pictures and house histories. There are sections on village crafts, such as the thatcher, blacksmith, and wheelwright, along with pictures of their tools. Another section tells how villages got their names. Yet another section has pictures and descriptions of building materials and how they were used in house construction. Very useful for a writer.

    Reply
  56. Kay asked…”What did they use for toilet paper?”
    Well… it wasn’t exactly paper. In 1751 the requirements for the ‘little house’ (outdoor earth closet) at Felbrigg in Norfolk were described by owner William Windham. “…How may holes? There must be one for a child… There must be a good broad place to set a candle on, and a place to keep paper…”* This “place to keep paper” generally amounted to a place for the clean rags (wool, lace or hemp) and a bucket for the soiled. The soiled rags were removed, cleaned and returned to service.
    The same “paper” was kept close at hand when the indoor close-stools were used. Bess of Hardwick’s close-stool was handsomely fitted up in blue cloth stitched with white, red and black silk fringe. The contents of the close-stool (collected in a chamber pot) were tidily disposed of in a pit a good distance from the house and the rags removed to the laundry.
    Newsprint was employed for the task when available, but not preferred by the wealthy. Here’s a link to the history of T.P for any one interested in what the Romans used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
    Nina, who doesn’t want to be the second person to lift the lid on the bucket in “little house.”
    *derived from LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard

    Reply
  57. Kay asked…”What did they use for toilet paper?”
    Well… it wasn’t exactly paper. In 1751 the requirements for the ‘little house’ (outdoor earth closet) at Felbrigg in Norfolk were described by owner William Windham. “…How may holes? There must be one for a child… There must be a good broad place to set a candle on, and a place to keep paper…”* This “place to keep paper” generally amounted to a place for the clean rags (wool, lace or hemp) and a bucket for the soiled. The soiled rags were removed, cleaned and returned to service.
    The same “paper” was kept close at hand when the indoor close-stools were used. Bess of Hardwick’s close-stool was handsomely fitted up in blue cloth stitched with white, red and black silk fringe. The contents of the close-stool (collected in a chamber pot) were tidily disposed of in a pit a good distance from the house and the rags removed to the laundry.
    Newsprint was employed for the task when available, but not preferred by the wealthy. Here’s a link to the history of T.P for any one interested in what the Romans used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
    Nina, who doesn’t want to be the second person to lift the lid on the bucket in “little house.”
    *derived from LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard

    Reply
  58. Kay asked…”What did they use for toilet paper?”
    Well… it wasn’t exactly paper. In 1751 the requirements for the ‘little house’ (outdoor earth closet) at Felbrigg in Norfolk were described by owner William Windham. “…How may holes? There must be one for a child… There must be a good broad place to set a candle on, and a place to keep paper…”* This “place to keep paper” generally amounted to a place for the clean rags (wool, lace or hemp) and a bucket for the soiled. The soiled rags were removed, cleaned and returned to service.
    The same “paper” was kept close at hand when the indoor close-stools were used. Bess of Hardwick’s close-stool was handsomely fitted up in blue cloth stitched with white, red and black silk fringe. The contents of the close-stool (collected in a chamber pot) were tidily disposed of in a pit a good distance from the house and the rags removed to the laundry.
    Newsprint was employed for the task when available, but not preferred by the wealthy. Here’s a link to the history of T.P for any one interested in what the Romans used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
    Nina, who doesn’t want to be the second person to lift the lid on the bucket in “little house.”
    *derived from LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard

    Reply
  59. Kay asked…”What did they use for toilet paper?”
    Well… it wasn’t exactly paper. In 1751 the requirements for the ‘little house’ (outdoor earth closet) at Felbrigg in Norfolk were described by owner William Windham. “…How may holes? There must be one for a child… There must be a good broad place to set a candle on, and a place to keep paper…”* This “place to keep paper” generally amounted to a place for the clean rags (wool, lace or hemp) and a bucket for the soiled. The soiled rags were removed, cleaned and returned to service.
    The same “paper” was kept close at hand when the indoor close-stools were used. Bess of Hardwick’s close-stool was handsomely fitted up in blue cloth stitched with white, red and black silk fringe. The contents of the close-stool (collected in a chamber pot) were tidily disposed of in a pit a good distance from the house and the rags removed to the laundry.
    Newsprint was employed for the task when available, but not preferred by the wealthy. Here’s a link to the history of T.P for any one interested in what the Romans used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
    Nina, who doesn’t want to be the second person to lift the lid on the bucket in “little house.”
    *derived from LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard

    Reply
  60. Kay asked…”What did they use for toilet paper?”
    Well… it wasn’t exactly paper. In 1751 the requirements for the ‘little house’ (outdoor earth closet) at Felbrigg in Norfolk were described by owner William Windham. “…How may holes? There must be one for a child… There must be a good broad place to set a candle on, and a place to keep paper…”* This “place to keep paper” generally amounted to a place for the clean rags (wool, lace or hemp) and a bucket for the soiled. The soiled rags were removed, cleaned and returned to service.
    The same “paper” was kept close at hand when the indoor close-stools were used. Bess of Hardwick’s close-stool was handsomely fitted up in blue cloth stitched with white, red and black silk fringe. The contents of the close-stool (collected in a chamber pot) were tidily disposed of in a pit a good distance from the house and the rags removed to the laundry.
    Newsprint was employed for the task when available, but not preferred by the wealthy. Here’s a link to the history of T.P for any one interested in what the Romans used. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_paper
    Nina, who doesn’t want to be the second person to lift the lid on the bucket in “little house.”
    *derived from LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNRY HOUSE by Mark Girouard

    Reply
  61. I have duly noted the Village book on my hunt list, thank you! I have the Girouard but my memory does not hold anything, even when it’s sitting on the page in front of me. “G” You should see me with three books of French history spread across my desk, desperately trying to remember exotic names as I enter them into the revision…

    Reply
  62. I have duly noted the Village book on my hunt list, thank you! I have the Girouard but my memory does not hold anything, even when it’s sitting on the page in front of me. “G” You should see me with three books of French history spread across my desk, desperately trying to remember exotic names as I enter them into the revision…

    Reply
  63. I have duly noted the Village book on my hunt list, thank you! I have the Girouard but my memory does not hold anything, even when it’s sitting on the page in front of me. “G” You should see me with three books of French history spread across my desk, desperately trying to remember exotic names as I enter them into the revision…

    Reply
  64. I have duly noted the Village book on my hunt list, thank you! I have the Girouard but my memory does not hold anything, even when it’s sitting on the page in front of me. “G” You should see me with three books of French history spread across my desk, desperately trying to remember exotic names as I enter them into the revision…

    Reply
  65. I have duly noted the Village book on my hunt list, thank you! I have the Girouard but my memory does not hold anything, even when it’s sitting on the page in front of me. “G” You should see me with three books of French history spread across my desk, desperately trying to remember exotic names as I enter them into the revision…

    Reply

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