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Monday, 12 August 2013

Rambling around Caistor

Aye up me ducks, I'm here. Chat and craft was good this morning, more people, and lots of friendly banter. I took some hand made stuff to show, and they were interested in what you can make from rubbish. Lots of ideas to share, I think one or two of them might have a go at something. Lunch was scrambled eggs and erm, courgettes, ha ha.
Yesterday I went off to Caistor on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. It's a good place to start a ramble. I picked up the Viking Way, to Nettleton. A charming little village which I have posted about before. Here is another photo of the church. It must be popular if  the amount of cars which lined the roadside for the morning service, are anything to go by.  
I left the village along the main A46 road, good job there was a footpath as it was a bit busy. It wasn't long before I was leaving it and going off to the left through a field planted up with sweetcorn. Not ready for picking just yet. The kindly farmer has left a path down the middle. It was lovely to walk through that, the soil was all soft and sandy.  
I love the colour of the hairy tops of the corn growing amongst the lush green leaves. Pink hair is the fashion at the moment, ha ha.

Most of it was taller than me, like walking through the jungle.

For quite some distance I had the hills on my left hand side, while I walked along the edges of the fields on my right. This looks like a good place to rest my bum while I have a bite to eat. Sometimes nature has the knack of placing a ready made bench just where you need it. It was sunny but with a lovely cooling breeze.

On the map it says I pass a piggery. When I got near I could hear the most horrendous squealing, shouting, screaming noises coming from a big shed just the other side of a thick hedge. It actually sounded a mix of pig and human noises. Goodness know what was going on there, was a pig giving birth, or was something horrible happening? I don't know, and I'm not sure I wanted to know. As much as I love walking through the countryside, there is one aspect of it which upsets me, and that is the way people treat their animals. It just reaffirms my decision not to eat meat. I couldn't bear to think I might be responsible for some poor animal being treated badly.    
A bit further on I picked up a minor road into Claxby, another small Lincolnshire village. Very small in fact. As per normal, I had a look at the church. There was a cosy nook sheltered from the wind, with a bench where I parked my bum for another refreshment break. It was a little sun trap, I could have sat there all day. 
As I wandered around the back of the church I came across this sight, a magnificent house which was slowly being devoured by creeping ivy and all kinds of bushes and trees. There were wooden shutters on the insides of the ground floor windows, I wasn't sure if it was occupied. I half expected a crazy recluse to appear and point a gun at me as I was poking around. No one did, there was no one there.

It very much saddened me to see such a beautiful house standing proud and defiant, fighting against the elements in it's bid to survive in this tranquil part of the Lincolnshire countryside. I could almost hear it crying out, please won't someone come along and save me. The locked front door. In front of that the tarmac forecourt and driveway, now not accessible to vehicles or on foot. There is very little left of the tarmac surface.

Around the back, there seems to be some sort of sun room with windows on three sides. The views of the surrounding countryside must be fabulous from up there. I wish I could go inside.

Looking down over the brick built outhouses. There was weeds everywhere, still some items of garden equipment lying around.

The orangery is being swallowed up, but I didn't see any evidence of vandalism, all the glass is intact. The house is in a secluded place, almost a secret place, so I suspect not a lot of people know about it.
The plants which found their way through to the inside are now dead and brown due to lack of water. A few bits of kitchen and outdoor items scattered about.

The benches are all in good condition.

 Oh my, if I was rich I would buy it.

As I came away I passed the front gate, the sign is still there on the rusty iron railings.
This is the main entrance, now just a wilderness of overgrown trees and shrubs. You would need a hacksaw to chop your way through to reach the front door.

I am finding myself feeling very emotional about this house, I don't know why. It's the sort of place which oozes character. It appears to have a heart, a once living breathing being, now bereft of it's owners and left to a slow and lingering death.

As I walked away from it I saw a man tending his garden, I just had to ask about it. I mentioned how tragic it was that it was so neglected. He told me a little story.. A wealthy businessman bought it and he moved in with his wife and daughter. They were a happy family, then tragically his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and three years after they moved in she died. The daughter got married and moved away to Birmingham with her husband. The man couldn't bear to be in the house on his own, so he locked the door and walked away from it, and moved in with his daughter. That was five years ago. He told me it has a swimming pool. He also said that two people have shown an interest in  buying the house.

I've had a look on the internet, can't find any photo's of it, I would have liked to see it before it had been abandoned. I've looked on goooglie earth there is a car in the driveway and the gardens are tidy. There is a business registered to the address, but nothing more. I would imagine that he has ceased trading.  Someone needs to come along and rescue it, before it's too late.

I left Claxby and headed towards Normanby le Wold, where I picked up the Viking Way again. I have walked this section before, but it is quite pleasant. The path goes along Nettleton Beck in between two hillocks. I got so far along when I found I had to walk through a lot of cows. I am not normally nervous of cows, I had already walked through a field of brown beasts which didn't take a bit of notice of me and carried on chomping the grass. But I saw this next herd up ahead had some young with them, and the mums can be quite protective, so I decided not to push my luck, and veered off to the left and up the side of a corn field. My plan was to get back on the road, which runs parallel. I had to climb over a barbed wire fence to achieve this, but no bother, my lightweight body is pretty agile. My ankles and legs were beginning to feel like a thousand pins were sticking into them, with all the prickly bits of corn I picked up in my socks, and the nettles I waded through. I didn't stop and take them out as there was nowhere to sit, and it would take ages to get rid of them. So I soldiered on regardless.
Boy was it a relief to get my boots off when I got back to the car. I drove home with my soft shoes on and no socks at all. My poor legs were red and stinging when I bathed them, and for a few minutes after smothering them with moisturiser, I was in agony. It's much cooler to wear shorts when walking, but it has it's disadvantages, ha ha.

I did 12 miles, not a great distance, but an interesting walk. Toodle pip.


  1. Just catching up here and wanted to say how much I love that 'Old Rectory' sign. In fact I love the look of the whole place, but the sign just made it that little bit extra special. Great photos. :)

  2. Gorgeous house! Thanks for the lovely photos.
    Ruth x

  3. My kind of house, shame its left to go derelict when people need homes. It would need some TLC to put it in order now but it would make a great Pussy Cat Sanctuary even if a couple of pals got together and purchased or rented it. Nothing is imposible Just a thought.


  4. A house to dream over indeed. If only I had been born rich instead of beautiful! My Granny used to say that when she came across something well out of her price range.

  5. Hello Ilona from Housefairy.
    Brilliant Photo's and such a sad tale about the house.
    Thought of you at dinner time. Today we had rice and lots of steamed veg. Very colourful.

  6. Oh, what a discovery on that walk. Wouldn`t you just love to move into that house you saw?
    So much potential wasted by letting it fall to rot and ruin. Such a shame!

  7. That was a good walk, and to find an abandoned house like that was creepy! You got your exercise that day.

  8. The house is stunningly beautiful and just cries out for a family to move in and give it life again.
    I heard a pig being slaughtered when I was a child...I can still hear it....glad to be vegan.
    Jane x

  9. Maybe, if you go back in a year or two someone will have bought the house and renovated. Would love to read an update at some time in the future.

  10. the churches are so beautiful, And the house, I am in love with it, would love to live there.
    thanks for sharing your journey!

  11. What a waste of a beautiful house! I hope someone gives it some TLC soon.

  12. I haven't been able to post a comment for a while - had a battle with my ipad and the ipad won. But am back on track. I enjoy all your posts but love, love, love your posts about your wanderings. I agree with you - it is too sad about the house. What a very sad story! You seem to be able to get people to open up and share tales and shoot the breeze with you. I know you are fit but you must be one tough bird - being able to stand the prickles for so long and soldiering on.

  13. Very sad story about the house. I hope that someone nice comes along and buys it soon to save it from total ruin.
    Enjoyed your walk today Ilona.

  14. Your ramble has all the ingredients for a mystery thriller. Lots of cars around but the village was deserted, then into a cornfield to get out of sight. Then the strange goings on at the piggery. And then the spooky abandoned house. All with the perfect alibi 'not me detective, i was at the craft club.'
    Interesting house, it looks like the kind of place you could buy for £10k but you'd need to spend £300k to do it up. Also surprising how quickly nature takes over and starts to recliam the land.
    There was a programme on the tv a few years ago that showed what might happen to buildings if the human race died out and nature took over as the buildings crumbled.

  15. If you look at the roof of the house it looks quite intact so the house itself is probably still sound. Such a sad tale and such a shame for the house to be abandoned like that. It would make a fab Youth Hostel :o)
    I was curious about why you didnt eat meat and was gonna ask if it was a economic decision, but youve answered the question for me here.
    Great post,

  16. What an interesting walk today! That house was a fab find, I'm with the others, I'd love to know more about it. Living there would be lovely! If only I could afford it!

  17. I was a boy gardener at Claxby Rectory in the 1980s for the Parkes family. These photographs are tragic. There is not one inch of the grounds I don't know and can recall; it was very beautiful. Though it is a long time since I have been there, I remember it so well.

    1. Thank you for your comment. If you ever go to the house again I would love to meet you there. It's such a shame that this beautiful house should be left to rot. I sent an email to the parish council asking about ownership, I had a reply, the person sent on my email to the other council members. No one bothered to come back to me. I wonder if the locals don't want anyone coming along and upsetting the tranquility of the place, especially a developer who might like to renovate the property.

  18. I just stumbled across your article in a nostalgic moment. I grew up at The Old Rectory in the 1980s, as part of the family that occupied it before the owners you refer to (I'm fairly sure I know who the gardener is that commented above!).

    Such a shame to see it in that state, but thank you for sharing the pictures. I'm tempted to go back there for a look sometime soon, since I still have connections to the local area.

    1. Hi Fred. Thank you for commenting on my blog about the house at Claxby. I would love it if you did go back there, I could meet you. It's like time stood still there. Can't seem to find the present owner. Such a shame it is abandoned.
      My email address is on my blog.
      Best wishes, Ilona

    2. Hi again. I went back on January 28th of this year 2015. It was still the same. Here is the link, copy and paste.

  19. Hi,

    I was in the area last weekend and popped by to see it from the church yard. Sad to see it in the state it was and incredible to see how overgrown the drive was. I hope one day someone picks it up and restores it.

    I'm not particularly sentimental about places I've lived, but it is something of an exception to see a childhood home left to the will of nature, hence my detour!



  20. saw it yesterday still as you described..... beautiful property.....renovated would be a million pound property ...interesting footnote ,I peeped through the door at the back and there is a bike and trainers and a shirt hung up , so it looks like someone is using it .....I wanted to knock and see if I could look around but I did not the orangery at the back is a full set of what looks like Victorian table planters ,the whole place is stunning if any of you get the chance go see it

  21. I am the sister of Fred and also grew up in that house, it holds a lot of memories for us a family. We have just been in the area and popped to see it, I was shocked it truly is a shame as it was a beautiful family home. We probably do have some old photos somewhere of it in its former glory, I will see if I can dig some out. Im sure I have some of my old bedroom which was the big bay window on the side of the house and down by the pool house. It is very sad to see it in such a state it would be truly amazing if someone took it on and did it up again, I hope someone does and I would love to see it if they do!

    1. Thank you for your comment. It seems a bit of a mystery who actually owns the house. I haven't been for a while, it's good to get your update. I hope it is not left to fall to ruin.

    2. Hi Meanqueen, I don't think I can post the photos, as this was your original blog but I could email them to you to post.

    3. Hi Amanda. It would be great if you could email the photo's. I will write a new blog post and include them.

      I feel like I ought to go and have another look at the house. Thanks a lot.

  22. I lived there to in the 80's being Mum of the above ! ,we bought the house from a retired couple and did quite a lot of renovations. We had lots of fun at the house whilst we were there. The lady who died was a friend of ours as her daughter was at primary school with my daughter although we lost touch after we moved out. We sold it to some one else who then sold it to the current owner. I am really sad to see the house now. I will post some photos of how it was when we lived there.

  23. Hi Amanda,
    We love this house, and any info would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to track down the present owner as I'd love to bring the house back to life with some tlc. The size of the plot, rooms downstairs and bedrooms.
    We came across the house one evening walking our dog while our children had a swimming lesson at one of the houses. We were looking around the church yard, turned the corner and wow. We're a family of 5 and we're looking for somewhere with outdoor space for our children, and I just fell in love with it. Hope you don't mind be being cheeky and asking you about your former home.
    Thanks and regards Jaci

    1. Hi Jacolynne. The trouble with a blog is that people don't always come back to pick up replies to their comments. I was rather hoping that Amanda would email some photo's but none have arrived.

      I would dearly love to see this house being brought back into use. I might go back and have another look to see if there has been any changes.

  24. how far has anyone got with the names of the last people to own it and why did they leave

    1. Hi Rebecca. I'm sorry, I can't answer your question. I haven't been back to see the house. I did do some research on the internet, but always came to a dead end. A neighbour told me that the owner had abandoned the house when his wife died, he went to live near his family in Yorkshire. I don't know any more. Thanks for your comment.


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