Weekend breather

We are still exhausted after the previous weekend (and the fact that neither of us have had a day off in weeks now) but we still have so much to do, think about and make decisions on.

Colour matching the dusty blue paint colour that we found on the landing lime plastered wall. We will definitely be using this colour somewhere, maybe even on the landing again.

Our priority this weekend though was to sort out where we want our lights and sockets. Sam the electrician will return next week to run the cables for the study through the floor before they pour the concrete slab, and he needs to know where they need to go.

It is so difficult to visualise lighting when you are looking at a building site, it’s proving quite challenging. The study is the easy one, we know exactly what we want and where now, but the rest of the rooms are proving much trickier. We are having Anglepoise lights in Elephant Grey in the study. Two traditional, fully adjustable lights fixed to the walls, one above each desk, and three adjustable spotlights, two fixed to the main beam and one fixed to a joist. Bloody fussy designers…

Zanna wanted to open up the shelves/window that we discovered under the buttress in the wall of her bedroom on Friday.

It does look like an old window, the lintel is far larger than the ones above the other shelves that we have found.

Took a bit of persuading with a crowbar.

Behind the brick was decades of dust, cobwebs, a couple of mice skeletons, more old wallpaper fragments and lumps of old lime plaster.

It’s a very sweet shelf and would be a shame to have this hidden by the wardrobe (this is where the wardrobe is planned to go), but now we might rethink this…

The shelves were originally covered in wallpaper, bits of which still remain. This is still attached to the back wall and looks to me to be very old indeed, it certainly predates the work done in the 50’s and could be Victorian or older.

This blue and white wallpaper we have found on the other shelves on the landing and in other areas of the house.

I was very excited to find this in the dust and cobwebs!

I googled this and was delighted to find that there was a chemist called Fox at 23 Parson’s Street, Banbury. I found references to them being there in 1852 and 1954. There is some handwriting on this too, I can just make out “to be…” but that is all, so maybe it’s a prescription? Annoyingly the mice have eaten the rest so we will never know!

At the same time I found this old pen knife!

It looks like it’s made from antler, but is sadly rusted shut.

A close up of the blue vase that was found yesterday complete but in pieces within the buttress. The one we reckon a builder broke and hid in the wall! It would have been a very pretty vase.

All of our joists have these large holes in them that all line up. It was puzzling us as our floorboards were fixed with old square nails and the holes look like they are for wooden pegs. Then we asked the historical oracle (our older sister, Lucy) who suggested that maybe they were for an older floor that was pegged in place. The timbers in the roof, the window frames and door frames were all pegged together, so why not the floors. I shall google this and see if I can find any information on old pegged timber flooring…

Cat finished off the door. This is what it will look like when it is oiled. The colour is gorgeous.


  1. “It’s a very sweet shelf and would be a shame to have this hidden by the wardrobe (this is where the wardrobe is planned to go), but now we might rethink this…”
    Have a secret door in the back of your wardrobe!! well…not so secret now eh?

  2. Loving your voyage of discovery and restoration. I’m pretty sure the wallpaper dates from 1880 to 1900 also the blue lime wash would have originally been darker, I presume you will use lime wash when you redecorate, Francesca’s In London is very good for lime wash paint. The vase/bottle of course could be a “witch bottle” put into walls to protect the building and inhabitants, did there seem to be any contents? They were also sometimes used as love-charms or cures for physical ailments. Love it. Xx

  3. That knife is such a great find! You could almost certainly get it repaired/restored if you so desired. There are lots of places that do that sort of thing for old tools.

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