Reading the Pipe Rolls (a collection of financial records) from about 1270 for Highclere, it is clear that some things do not change. Walls were being mended, mangers for horses and stables repaired, stone and chalk pulled by bullock cart to shore up some building, trees were hewn and there were always missing tiles from the roof.
Highclere was quite an economic centre during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. A village lay just ½ mile to the north of the Castle, there were rabbit warrens, a deer park and horses grazed the park.
We still have horses grazing the Park, some pet rabbits as well as all the wild ones, numerous tiles to mend and walls to be repaired. I also hope that we are something of an economic centre for the surrounding area and people.
In terms of endlessly rebuilding walls I thought I might also join in. This particular wall was overgrown with ivy which had degraded all the lime mortar. The top foot of the wall was utterly wibbly wobbly (technical expression). In between filming and events, Sid, Bob and Trevor took down and rebuilt part of it using all the old bricks and rebuilding the arch above the black gate which leads to the gift shop. I only proffered advice with the taking down part. The ladders, however, were within easy reach for the rebuilding part and I could not resist becoming a temporary brickie.
Trevor is the best brickie on the team so he was the boss. I was just the apprentice. He firstly demonstrated how to lay a brick. He loaded the brick with mortar from the trowel from around the sides, which took some practice on my part. Having placed the brick I had to concentrate tapping the brick in, something which seemed so instinctive as he did it. Sid was working the other side along the top, so I had some catching up to do. It was good positive way to start Monday morning.
I have plenty more wall to practice on and Trevor said I listened more than Sid. He said he would take me on. Excellent news!!