Jenny's cottage is the latest addition to our accommodation and it has a wonderful story that creates magic within four walls that might otherwise have been torn down.
The cottage is named after my Mom, Jenny, who built the house along with her 3 brothers. They used to come to the farm on holiday and stayed with Aunt Whinny who lived next door in, what we now call Forest Lodge. Tired of camping, my grandparents decided that it would be a fun project to build their own 2-roomed holiday home and so they began the process of laying foundation, making bricks and cutting the wooden beams that would later house all 6 of them. I can imagine my grandmother making sandwiches and lemonade for them as they slaved away, while my army general grandfather, gently, but firmly, took charge of the construction. The little house was a fabulous holiday adventure, in both the making and the living. The little house had no toilet and the children's first job on arrival was to dig the latrine in the bushes next door (which might explain why the trees grow so tall around the house) Can anyone imagine asking that of one's children these days.....
Later, my grandparents built a larger home and moved permanently to honeywood farm and the little holiday home was no longer needed. My parents (Jenny and Alex) bought this section of the farm from my uncle Ben and the cottage eventually became a staff house . The house became a bit run down as staff left and they needed more space for their children. We had to decide whether to tear it down or restore it.
The location was not perfect-quite close to the road and a small foot print plus the roof needed serious attention. But the history of the place gave it a charm that could not allow it to be destroyed so we started restoring it. Using the same footprint, with the combined expertise of our local builder, Oom Jan, we began a project to create another magical holiday escape with (a toilet).
Restoration is always a difficult task, especially with a house of this age. We wanted to keep as much of the original bricks, plaster and wooden beams as possible. If we had to do new plastering, we tried to mimic the original rough style.
Building is only half the work....then its the furniture, curtains, finishing, equipping that takes the time but makes all the difference. No project is ever done on a farm and we are still planning outside pools, landscaping and outside showers. We can now offer a cute cottage that is a perfect escape for couples or small families and does not require the building of an external latrine!