Inside the Farmhouse at Manor Farm, Wroxall

Manor Farm, Wroxall. The house (c.1935) shows the original chimneys (Queen Anne?). My mother was furious when they were removed and modern ones put up! N. B. Chimney on left wall came from fireplace in the garage/workshop the roof of which is seen beyond the ivy wall.
Image courtesy of ED Graham

The porch of the farm house had two shallow alcoves on either side with the front door ahead having a half glazed stained glass window. The hall, with its cardinal red tiled floor and a telephone attached to the wall, had a morning room to the left with a window facing the front and another looking across towards the farm buildings. There was a full height cupboard on one wall and a tiled fireplace. The room to the right of the hall was known as ‘the front room’ and similarly had two windows overlooking the front and a third looking into the kitchen garden. The open fireplace in there had a marble surround and if one crept inside the grate it was just possible to see the sky up the chimney. All the front room windows and the front door one had wooden fold back shutters.

The cat’s favourite sleeping place

The stairs were at the end of the hall to the left, while a passageway to the right led into the kitchen. Through the kitchen door there was a wooden folding screen on the right to keep the draughts out of the room. The most obvious features of the kitchen were a very large iron range, which my mother vowed needed about a hundredweight (cwt – about 112 pounds) of coal to produce any heat, and a large cast iron stove, which, I think, when lit might have heated water. There was a square alcove to the left of the range and on the right hand wall was an inset small water tank and latterly my father kept boxes of cartridges on top of it. His gun for shooting rabbits was kept elsewhere.

One window overlooked the kitchen garden and another the yard. There were massive wooden beams, a number of metal hooks on which the hams from the slaughtered pig were hung in muslin bags and a hanging oil lamp. Eventually a sink was installed under the garden window and the old range changed for a modern stove, chiefly memorable for having a small ‘stick oven’ at the bottom left hand side. Its purpose was to dry kindling to light the fires, but sometimes it served as a warm bed for orphan lambs or baby chicks. It also became a favourite sleeping place for the cat!

Apple loft and paraffin stove

Leaving the kitchen one came to the back hall, chiefly memorable for the back stairs on the left which led up to the apple loft and the row of bells high up over the doorway of the passage which led to the back kitchen. I cannot remember if the bell pushes in the morning room and front room still worked. The side door in the right hand wall of the passage way led into the side yard with the well. Against this wall my mother had a black and green paraffin stove, which was of more use than the large kitchen range! Above it was a window with a sill where the postman, who came daily in his Post Office van, left the mail and took any to be posted away with him. There was a red post box in the wall at the village school playground. Papers were delivered.

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