Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Behind the door there lies ..


It’s easier than you think to turn the old metal handle on yesterday's door so we’ll step inside shall we ? The hole was of course used to allow the cat back and forth, a free run to seek out delectable morsels no doubt in days gone by when the top floor of the house was used for chitting potatoes and the roof space lined with the husks of the maize.

Ooh this is a rather nice little space leading through yet another door into a shower room. But what’s this other door to the left ? It’s very gloomy in here and I can hardly see. I’ve been told not to put the light on as Bonne Maman as she is affectionately known is sitting perched on her eggs on the window ledge and all shutters are closed. Once my eyes become accustomed to the gloom I can just make out a shaft of light at the far end. Hanging from the old beams above are huge heavy metal hooks on which the hams used to hang, after being salted they would be cool and air nicely in this north facing room. Picking my way carefully through trunks of clothes and tennis rackets sticking out at odd angles I come across a very old and rickety staircase, it doesn’t look that safe to me but I’m intrigued by yet another door at the very top. This one has obviously never been painted and is slightly warped making it difficult to push open.

Inside according to His Lordship is an extremely rare architectural feature of the house. The date of construction of Le Chateau is roughly 1800 built after the French Revolution and tailored accordingly as so not to attract the attention of the man with the guillotine. Inside though the original features continue to delight some 200 years later. There is however one feature that I defy you to find on any other house and one that continues to perplex and intrigue.

His Lordship is so confident that no-one will guess what this feature is, although sadly no longer in use, a small clue is that it was aimed at the comfort of the servants and occupants of Le Chateau, that he has rashly offered a half price weekend for up to six people at Le Chateau (subject to availability) for the most imaginative guess ! (in his sole opinion) The winner will be announced on Monday as will an explanation of the mystery feature.

Well, what are you all waiting for ?

14 comments:

DevonLife said...

is it a secret hot tub?

lixtroll said...

Oh Lawks, I just LOVE this place! Little secret staircases and fascinating nooks and crannies and rooms all hidden away! The hole was for the cat. Of course.

It's got to be a really weird-shaped loo, up on the north - there are strange ones in Castle Campbell near here which are just holes cut in the stonework - people sat in a row next to one another - and all the hem-hems went careering down a cavity and straight out of the north wall!
Perhaps the one here could be an enormous bat carved out of stone? Or an effigy of Mme Grognonne's ancestors!

Oh the suspense! I can't bear it!!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

I'm with Lixtroll, Its a garderobe isn't it (as ina privvy, just right for north facing what with the cool breeze to waft away the pong and cool down the nether regions.. either that or its the laundry shoot ! Or a priest hole to hide your aristo relatives in when Madame Lafarge popped in with the lads to compare knitting patterns.

When madame G gets there tell her togive it a quick once over with teh dettol whatever it is dear, you never can be too careful!

Inthemud said...

Oh Sally, this is intrigueing, what on earth could it be? I hope its not a guillotine!

The cat must be quite small to get through that hole!

What an exciting place you do live in.

Suffolkmum said...

I so want to see your house. Love the mystery. I can only lamely agree wtih everyone else - some sort of loo? A spinning wheel in the manner of Sleeping Beauty would be more appropriate!

toady said...

Well I would go along with the loo theory but will also offer a breton style enclosed bed, or a pigonniere. Spellings probably wrong. Toady

Pondside said...

A dumb waiter? A slide from the pretty maid servant's room to the master's?
You house looks like a child's dream of a fairytail French chateau!

Sally's Chateau said...

This ingenious addition to Le Chateau based on Arab science made the inhabitants lives more comfortable in days gone by ...

muddyboots said...

ah ha, hmmm, ok so it's up some steps. Now what is upstairs. l know l know. It's an atic haunted by a mad troubedour who was driven insane by the unrequited love of a fair damsel.... or could it just be something to do with water, emursian [spelling] heater? water tank, upstairs pool, wet room?

ChrisH said...

Oh, I know! It's the place where the Estee Lauder Fairy leaves goodie bags for the mistress of the house. Well, that would certainly make my life more comfortable. In days gone by that would be ... hmn, all the perfumes of Arabia?

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Oh Lawks this is hard but a hoot! Umm some sort of arab air conditioning unit perhaps? We don't have one of those but I use Madame Loufoque instead. In hot weather I get her to walk behind me wafting a large fan. Added bonus as it keeps the flies off too!

patsy said...

Is it some sort of astronomy gizmo, for calculating high days and holidays? Those Arabs were really clever and into all sorts of mathematical wizardry.

Exmoorjane said...

Yup, I'm for some kind of cooling device....sort of the opposite of a sauna.

Brent said...

Our house in Gascony has a large water tank fed by a hand pump at the well connected to pipes leading up to the tank. This water would then feed spigots in the hallways for the servants to fill the wash pitchers. Running water at its simplest!