Bulletin 393

June/July, 2015

Visit to Old Impton Farmhouse 21st June

On a delightful Sunday afternoon 21 members congregated at the front of Mr John Wilding`s farmhouse. The views alone were terrific but what we had not anticipated was the warm welcome and superb afternoon tea that awaited us inside the house.   Mr Wilding showed us around the outside of his Grade 2* listed farmhouse, pointing out the original part dating back to the Tudor times and the Georgian additions. The front porch was decorated with carvings from the Tudor period including the Tudor rose and as we entered the smell of wood smoke was quite atmospheric. He pointed out to us that this was a working farm and a family home, it had 6 bedrooms and we were able to wander around quite freely and view all the original features still in place, of which there were plenty. Downstairs was divided into the Tudor and Georgian with beautiful oak panelling in all the rooms and open fireplaces that showed the expanse of heating and cooking facilities. The solid oak staircase again divided the house and we were split into two ways on the landing to observe the bedrooms all of which had may original features and floorboards some at least 13 inches wide. Original beams were of various heights as the floors and walls were not equal in any way, it was true delight to see so much of this ancient house left intact, but still being lived in. The whole group were very impressed with the house and we all spent a long time feeling our way around the house. Mr Wilding was around to answer any of our questions and the members asked many. Tea was served in 2 rooms, the main parlour and the room off the kitchen . We all sat down and had the most sumptuous tea. It felt very much a home as we all chatted at the table and passed the sandwiches and cakes around.

Mr Wilding joined us and answered more questions. He had several books on display about the house, but they did not do the house justice, as the atmosphere could not be captured on the printed page. Memorable parts were the front porch, the flag stones in the kitchen, the half mill-stone door step, the oak staircase and the billiard table on which our tea served on in the front parlour.

Mr Wilding told us stories of the time when the Canadians were billeted at Norton manor and the firing range was behind the farm. When the guns were firing, two of the ceilings fell in upstairs as the house shook so much. The whole afternoon went too quickly and we are very thankful to Mr Wilding and his family for keeping this jewel of a house intact and a quiet secret in the hills above Norton.

Review: Nancy Wheatland

Dates for your Diary

Sunday 19th July Hay on Wye tours. Both tours start at the Cheese Market.

Please note the amended start time for both tours and look out for the green jacketed tour guides.
Heritage tour 11.30 am. Armstrong tour 2.30 pm. Also new time.
Revised start times are owing to the fact we are smaller groups and can be accommodated at a later time, so you get a bit of a lie in on Sunday morning. We are offered free tea & biscuits at Cusop Church after our Armstrong walk before we head back to Hay. Please wear sensible shoes, waterproof coat as we are out in the open countryside, and bring a drink for the afternoon walk. See you all on the day. Nancy Wheatland

If you have visited the library lately, you will notice that laudable members of the committee have managed to squeeze more than a quart into a pint pot. The history society office is now very small, owing to the refurbishments which have been going on of late. However, it is still possible to reach us there most days when the library is open and we look forward, as always, to seeing you.

By the way, there is still time (about another month) for you to let us have some items for the 2013-2014 Papers. Please get yourselves into print.

Editor: Vera Harrison