The house we live in is Tudor, basically, although it’s been altered a lot over the years, not least by my in-laws after they bought it in 1928, the year after they were married. It is timber-framed and, we’re told, originally displayed its half-timbered exterior before being brick-faced a couple of hundred years ago. There is also some Tudor brickwork and chimneys, and here is a very unseasonal photo (which I originally posted nearly a year and a half ago, so if you saw it then, gosh, haven’t we been friends for a long time?)
You will see, on the left of the picture, some new brickwork – they haven’t really weathered as much as we hoped although they are hand-made and will, I expect, blend in better in a few more decades. We built this extension because we were told by an expert in this sort of dwelling that the chimneys would never have been built at the end of the house and that there must have been a wing of it pulled down at some time, perhaps when the brick facing was done. This explained why the dining room was always slightly damp.
To create an extra bedroom, the Sage’s parents had divided a large bedroom into two plus a passageway and we decided to remove the partitions. It meant we’d only have four bedrooms instead of five, but it’s a lovely room and it was spoiled by being split up. Al agreed that he would sleep on his brother’s bedroom floor when we had guests. When we built the new part, we offered El the new bedroom. It would be reached through her old one, because the back stairs led into that, and then through Al’s room. It would be a big room, about 18 foot by 20 foot, plus built-in cupboards, so we suggested dividing it into a bedroom, a bathroom and a studio – at the time they both did stained glass work, Al was good at carpentry and El at art. And El would have her own ensuite bathroom.
Once the room was built, El came to us. “Why do I have to have a bathroom?” she asked. We said we thought she would like it. She pointed out what a beautiful room it was, and wasn’t it a shame to break it up? It was, and it was, and as long as she was happy to share the bathroom (because we didn’t want to lose a fifth bedroom before we had had a chance to use it) then that was fine with us.
Now that is Ro’s bedroom as El has long since left home. We have to have pretty easy-going overnight guests, as he has to go through the spare bedroom to get to bed.
It’s a funny thing though. The Sage and I leave the bathroom door open when one of us is in the bath, but our children don’t. And we always have our bedroom door open, but when they stay, they shut theirs. I have no idea if there is any significance at all in this.