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  1. Evening all, only got a couple of bits to offer atm but got a couple of fairly interesting things in the pipeline which look promising, hope everyone's had a good weekend and not too down about going back to work tomorrow. Here is one of said bits, Pitchford hall, what a bloody lovely building! This is probably one of, if not, my favourite explores mainly down the fact that i'm an oak frame carpenter myself and build houses like this everyday, which I love, and also the fact that when I found it, to my knowledge I didn't know anyone else had been here. I found it whilst trawling through what felt like the 600 million churches on the heritage at risk register for shropshire and when I googled the place for explorers reports I found nothing. So yeah as soon as I saw a 500 yr old oak framed house, tagged vacant and in a state of disrepair on HARR, less than an hour from me, with a 300 yr old tree house there was no way I wasn't paying it a visit! I love seeing old timber frames like this, as I say pitchford hall is about 500 years old and I love the thought of the houses I build being around in 500 years time, I always like carving my name and the year into the timbers where it will be hidden somewhere in the hope someone will read it in god knows how long and go, wonder who the hell Jake was and what the hell WOZ EAR! means, I found an outline of a shoe with a name etched into some lead and dated 1846 on the top of brogyntyn hall, love stuff like that, proper little personal connection with you and one of the craftsmen that put the place there, amazing stuff. Anyways on with the show. The explore. This was a solo mission for me, one that put me off solo missions a little actually as I went ass over tit down the mossy stone stairs at the front of the house, I blame not having my lucky boots on, I always explore in my boots and this time I forgot, as I thought it was just a reccy and ended having to traverse a stream, slipped down some steps and then got caught up in an extremely boggy stretch of the estate which nearly engulfed one of my adidases, is there such thing as plural for adidas?? Anyway yeah this was one of those that starts off as a reccy and before you know it your inside with less than 1/4 of a camera battery and whole bloody house to get around! First thing I did was tick off the tree house, if nothing else just so I can say I chilled out in the same tree house that queen victoria used to frequent as a princess, bust that one out at your next dinner party over a nice salmon roulade! I took a couple of pics of the tree house and chilled out taking in the view for 5 minutes and just thought how flippin cool the situation was, then headed back to the main house and found a way inside. I was probably inside for about 2 hours or so, getting my beedy eye all over the fine wood work in the place, beautiful stairs, wood panneling, fire surrounds, all absolutely stunning, I would love to have a go at carving some of the intricate details in these features, it's basically a chippy's wet dream in there! Toffee and haste Pistory courtesy of British listed buildings Pitchford hall, Country house. Circa 1560-70 for Adam Ottley with a probably C14 or C15 core and minor C17, C18 and early C19 alterations and additions; restored, remodelled and extended in the 1870's and 1880's by George Devey (1820-86) for Charles Cotes, and further restored in the late C20. Timber framed with rendered infill panels (with red ochre colouring on the north front - probably part of Devey's restoration) on coursed red sandstone rubble plinth, squared and coursed to east; stone slate roof. E-plan around courtyard to south, service wing and courtyard to west. 2 storeys and attic, over basement to east; jettied first floors with moulded bressummers, cable-moulded shafts to first floor in gable ends, and gables have cambered tie-beams with carved vine ornament; 5 brick ridge stacks, 3 external lateral brick stacks with grey sandstone ashlarlower parts, and integral brick end stack to west, all with clustered star-shaped brick shafts. Framing: square panels (4 from sole-plate to wall-plate) with diagonal struts forming lozenge patterns, close studding beneath some windows; some close studding with middle rail and short straight corner braces. Late C19 wooden mullioned and transomed windows with leaded casements. South front: 5-window recessed centre withprojecting gabled wings; 2-storey gabled projections in re-entrant angles with carved quatrefoil frieze to first-floor middle rail; central 2-storey porch has 4-centred arched doorway with pair of half-glazed doors, and first floor with cross-window and carved quatrefoil frieze to middle rail, and probably C17 louvred bellcote in gable above with flanking carved scrolls, diagonally-placed square clock, and small shaped gablet above (finial missing). Recessed garden seat with chamfered arch in stone ground floor wall of late C19 addition to west of left-hand gabled wing. North (entrance) front: near symmetrical C16 range to left with short gabled projections and large stacks flanking central 2-storey gabled porch with first floor oriel window and chamfered ogee-arched doorway with 2 boarded doors and approached by 8 stone steps; asymmetrical late C19 remodelling of C18 or early C19 range to right in a matching style. 5-window east front with 4 gables of differing size, high plinth, and central probably C18 two-storey bow window remodelled in late C19. Service wing to west forming one side of a service courtyard together with the west wing of the E-plan part and a retaining wall (qv); one storey rendered brick and slate roofed lean-to adjoining both walls of house with glazing bar sashes, probably reset carved red sandstone shield with foliage decoration, and short open loggia with chamfered painted stone posts; wing returning to south at west end has a coursed sandstone rubble ground floor with triple segmental arches; stairs within corridor lead up to a C19 timber framed service porch opposite stable block (qv), with chamfered red brick ashlar plinth, stone slate roof, moulded bressummer to gable end, moulded barge boards, and nail-studded boarded door with decorative wrought iron strap hinges. Interior: largely C17 and late C19 in a Neo- Tudor style; hall and dining room with late C19 panelling, moulded cross-beamed ceilings and Tudor -arched stone fireplaces; drawing room with early C17 fittings including panelling, fluted Ionic pilasters, fluted frieze, moulded cross-beamed ceiling with thin ribbed plasterwork and heraldic devices in panels, and stone Tudor-arched fireplace with carved spandrels and open triangular-pedimented overmantel; ground-floor rooms in west wing of E-shaped part have C17 fireplaces with elaborately decorated overmantels; library with fireplace dated 1623; two mid-C18 fireplaces in bedrooms said to be by Pritchard, with plain and lugged architraves, friezes with masks and carved foliage decoration, and moulded cornices; L-shaped staircase of c.l700 with closed string, turned balusters and square newel post; C18 dog-leg staircase in east wing with closed string, turned balusters, ramped handrail, square newel posts, and dado panelling; early C19 staircase in service wing with stick balusters. Internal fittings of interest throughout. The remains of a former probably C15 two-bay crown-post roof are visible in the roof space over the west wing of the E-plan part (see cambered tie beams and mortices). George Devey's alterations included moving the main entrance to the north side of the house, removing the wall formerly enclosing the south side of the courtyard, and creating the present garden with its summer house (qv) and retaining walls (qv). Pitchford Hall has a very complex architectural history for which space does not permit a detailed description. And here we go with some pictures, again same day I was at Calcot hall, don't know if you read that report but I was fresh out with a new dslr and took everything that day in jpeg apologies if they come up a bit crap quality. Traditional pegged mortice and tenon joints, exactly the same as I bash pegs into all day at work, the peg hole through the tenon would be slightly off set to the peg hole in the mortice, doing this creates 'draw' so that when you drive the peg through it forces the holes to align and brings the shoulder of the joint in tighter. Like a pig in shit! Underneath this tree is where I nearly lost one of my adidaseseses And last but by no means least, ol queen viccys holiday hang out spot, which now appears to have ginger bearded knob hanging out the window flipping the bird and chaving the place up, oh well at least no one will rob your pics and flog them to the fail if its of you with your finger up in the middle of it!! :grin2: Peace out to all my brothers from another mother n all my sisters from another mister, thanks for looking. safe exploring kids.
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