Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Estate Cottages

These days it is very fashionable to lambast the eighteenth and nineteenth century improvers for demolishing whole villages and removing their occupants to other houses out of sight of the big house. Personally, don't join in this vituperation; if I was a cottager living in a hovel right at the Lord's front door, and he built me a nice new cottage out of his sight- so I wouldn't have to look at his ancestral pile every morning, I might actually be quite pleased.

The link is a photo of five Hampshire cottages built in East Stratton, Hampshire. Personally I think the local Squire did a good job, in this case. Do you agree?

Oh, and if you look at the map below the photo, you can see "New Farm"; a nice square of beige-y brown, that just might be 'new' after enclosure.

( Oh, and the word hovel originally meant a shed to put cows in- it's a synonym of byre. The fact that it was applied to people's homes suggests much; it also makes me realise just how badly -off the cows were- they often had nothing at all....)