Happy Christmas!!

I thought I would simply share a few photographs of some of the projects we have taken forward over the past year.

We have repaired the floorboards, electrics and re-carpeted a wonderful corridor on the second floor of the south side of the Castle. It was a rainy day job for Pat Withers and her team in between other projects. One staircase from here leads to a Robing Room (photographed) whilst another leads up the Great Tower (yet to be carpeted but two landings and four rooms are finished on the first floor).

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The Estate office is both a joy and a challenge. You can see some of the old beams reused in one photograph and some new ceiling on the top floor in the other. We have used linseed oil on the old beams and they look amazing. I rather like the smell of linseed. It is so evocative – I used to use it on my lacrosse stick and my husband still uses it on his cricket bats.

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All the scaffolding is down from Winchester Lodge, an excellent restoration job led by Eric Knight and Heritage Building Conservation. A little more tidying to do yet….

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We have mended the roofs, rebuilt walls and begun to restore the old sawmill. Apart from Anna and Bates’ cottage, I have just begun to renovate the adjacent cottage (Rose Cottage) as well, which will be utterly charming too.

There are always so many stories and people to write about that I thought I would introduce a recipe each month into my blog starting in January as well as the occasional video. In the meantime, we have created an App which will be launched in January through which you will be able to explore the real Castle and see where ‘Downton Abbey’ is filmed.