Better, but still dizzy. Fine sunny morning. To office late, and had a very quick breakfast at Rose’s. Captain Folkard affable, but ticked me off about unanswered correspondence. Had a coffee with Daphne Young, [who also worked in the War Agricultural Committee Office] who has been very badly treated by the Labour Dept: and was seething with fury.
Called in Museum, saw Poulter, and heard that Alderman Owen Ward is dead. Much talk about firewatching, the iniquities of Hull, etc. etc. Poulter very depressed. Stayed until 7, then back to Higham.
Really the cottage is very delightful. It is a simple oblong building, lying East to West divided into three bays, the centre one double the size of those at either end. I suggest that the original hall-house was set up about the same time as Stuart Rose’s house [at Boxted] and the
Culver Street Hall [one bay of which was then displayed in Colchester Castle],
at the end of the 15th century.
Then perhaps 50 years later, the centre hall was converted into a
bedroom and lower room, by a massive ceiling, and the huge brick chimney stack
was wedged in, partly in the former hall and partly in the West end room. The new bedroom floor was supported on a very
massive beam, while in the room above the original tie-beam was left, some 2’
above the new floor. The centre of it is now polished like glass by generations of rural behinds swinging over it to
get to bed.
There is an original doorway leading into the East end lower chamber, but the heading of it is in a bad state. In the upper room at the East end (where I sleep) several timbers show the joiner’s marks – IV, V. and VII. There is a tiny dormer window on the South side of the room.
The outside of the house is plastered and colour-washed. At the East end a further room, brick built, was added in the 18th century, as a brew house. This is now used as a bathroom, water being supplied by a pump from Jones’ house.
The place is very lonely, and I feel I shall enjoy this winter when Jacquie has gone.