Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turnip House Courtyard; October

a beautiful October morning - a hint of chill in the air mellowed by the warm sunshine

this is a panorama of the Turnip House Courtyard, still some spots of colour and life!


a perfect end to the day

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A New Product: pebble purses

As well as much creative destruction going on about the place, we've been working on new products in the workshop, we took some on their first 'outing' today:

made by the wet felt process (see the psychedelic guineapig post) they are lovingly crafted by hand and each one is unique 

the first collection

colours so far: rainbow ink




rainbow sky

deep purple

These perfect little purses for young and old can now be purchased from Painted Earth in Newcastle  
- thanks Linda!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


That old gable end just had to go - was a major eyesore, and no use now one of the garage walls had fallen down!

at last a Meccano set for grownups!

Our first construction!

I think we'll take it from the top



a lot easier than we'd thought

That will do until the roofer comes

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Month of Roofs

with any luck, October and November will see big changes to the character of the old buildings. Plans are afoot to renew the roofs on the main outbuildings - planned to the the gallery, and the House.

The House is a major undertaking, requiring much planning, materials and expertise, but hopefully we're nearly ready to start!. More of that later.

The Gallery will have a replacement corrugated iron or 'tin' roof. We have the materials, and work is due to start next week!

As ever, there is as much pre work as actual work. Today the sun is out (well for a couple of hours anyway!, so we are setting about clearing the area below the walls, for access and to preserve two beautiful railway sleepers.
what a job! believe it or not this has already been substantially cleared after the sad loss of a fine slate roof
(it blew down just before we got it) - not one slate has been found whole

the garage workbench- two fine railway sleepers probably from
Belfast and County Down Railway which was only 2 miles down the hill

still poised for action!

good omen

some 'rescued' artefacts - many more to come

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Small Gems - Treasure Hunt 1959

In a small suitcase up in the top room, we found a collection of things - 

  • a pair of slippers,  
  • Last of the Mohicans the book by James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Easter Rebellion a book by Max Caulfield
  • some Christmas wrapping paper
  • 3 sheets of paper detailing a treasure Hunt from 1959

little treasures

very well thumbed - and much repaired, this book is still in print.
Max Caulfield was a founder member and head of news at ITN

Leitrim Presbyterian Church Treasure Hunt 11th June 1959

Starting near Leitrim ranging some 58 miles, as far as Killough and Ardglass, this treasure hunt (by car) started at 7.30pm and ended 3 hours later 10.30pm, no doubt followed by refreshments, a long evening!

entry fee 5 shillings - at least!

carefully researched - and in rhyme
wouldn't it be great fun to try this now?

 We will transcribe it some time and giver it a whirl - I wonder what landmarks are gone and what still stands?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Room Upstairs - more pictures

More pictures form our latest adventure! We've never been in this room despite being here for a year - it was too unsafe to get into it - the water from the holes in the roof have rotten all the way from top to bottom, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. Thanks to some scaffolding boards and an acro prop we were able to bridge the gap.

This room was not a bedroom in it's later years (back in the 1970's) but an office (so we were told by the family) , there is a table chairs fantastic dresser and tons of documents - bills, Vat returns and things like that.

this will again become a great room!

Mostly dry, although there are some disturbing cracks over the doorway - just wonder how far up they go? Time and care will tell!

downstairs - the vital acro prop!

upstairs - a bridge too far for Charlie?

wonderful cane table

books, documents, slippers!

an interesting piece - one of a pair on the dresser

just how far up this collapse goes will be a critical question

looking out into the front garden

the central table, with documents, wallpaper rolls, an old print...

a very unique candle holder

the fine dresser - still in great condition

beautiful carvings - but of what era?

The Final Room Upstairs

thanks to  scaffolding boards and an acro prop very kindly donated by Paul, we've just been into the last room in the house - too unsafe to go into without artificial support!

Here's a first look - more to follow....

feel a little bit like Howard Carter!