Monday, 22 March 2010

If you go down to the woods today....what will you see? Future growth or fading History?

Well that's what me and my BF plus my BM Millie did yesterday when for one long day it felt like spring had truly arrived with gentle winds, warm sunshine and all the birdies singing in the trees.

So after a very lazy morning (didn't wake up till 12! shock horror) we got our butts moving, quickly made a pack lunch and walked briskly through the park into town to catch the next available Storthes Hall Bus to visit my beloved Bluebell Woods.

Once there we met up with my BM Millie and walked through the woods, enjoying the sunshine, listening to the Blackbirds and Bullfinches sing until we came across a sight that truly made me shiver.

Now some of you may recall me mentioning Ravensknowle/Keepers Farm, a derelict ancient building located on Storthes Hall Diggs Campus where I lived for my 1st and 2nd year at Uni. It's found just off a little track in Bluebell Woods. Now from the moment I set my eyes on it I have been permenantly curious by its history, its past, the people who lived there etc and I swore to myself that if I ever become rich and famous I will buy the plot and rebuild it.

However, this old house has been more than a curiosity for me, it's also be an idea and inspiration. It features in my first ever ghost story 'As Old As Houses' simply called 'the old farmhouse' although it's obviously it due to the mention of Storthes Hall. In that story, it is threatened with demolishition and has all its trees and bushes which have grown around it for decades probably removed in preparation for its end.

Sadly I believe it is the sight I beheld as the photographs demonstrate.
See the difference? It is the same house I can assure you.
Makes it look even older without the trees and bushes all around it protecting it in a way from the elements. When I was last there part of the roof was still covered by now, the rain can openly wash away the dust and rubble on the top floors. My worst fears in my writing are at least partly coming true for this beautiful old building, as there would be no other reason to remove so much vegetation if not for demolition. I'm still trying to find out the facts and hopefully when so I can attend its sad demise.

To me it's such a sad sight to see, especially after having spent the early days of last summer researching its history to find it has only just turned 150 years old. It's earliest recorded inhabitance being there in 1861! My only dream apart from being a published writer is to restore this old farm house to the way it used be.
(old photograph credited to the Kirklees Digital Archive) When it was lived in  1910.
 To what it's like now.

Doesn't it make you feel sad to see this quaint family home as it used to be to be abandoned and reduced to such a sorry state? It breaks my heart to see such little historic buildings disappear. It's like the landlord of the old tudor beamed pub on York's Shambles leaving it to collapse. That's how strongly I feel for this old house.

I've always known demolition was a realist possibility but I didn't think anyone would ever bother or put effort into it. *long sad sigh of dreams broken*.

Anyway on a slightly brighter note me, my BF and my BM Millie still had a nice little picnic and campfire in the woods, listened to the birds sing, the Pheasants call out amongst the trees and as dusk fell we even were lucky enough to see a Woodpecker flitter from tree to tree around us before vanishing into the night. Oh and the owls twit ta-wooing to each other as they began their nights hunt.

Here's me with my pen and travel notebook, wondering by the firelight that if I write a story of Ravensknowle's survival maye my worst fears of its demise won't come true.

1 comment:

  1. My, quite the premonition you had, hmmm?
    Never fear, one such as you will have plenty of other things to dream on.


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