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 ?