Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rambling in Northumberland 2013

I have always had a fascination with old, ruined buildings.  There were stories there once.  Happy times and sad, births and deaths.  Now just silent walls.  From my window at the Twice Brewed Inn I could see a couple of ruined farm houses a short ways off.

Taking one of the many public footpaths I was off on a bright Saturday morning.

Of course you have to say hello to the current inhabitants.

The first building has a very modest feel to it.  A single room now with walls tumbling every which way.  It must have been a chilly place despite the hearth at one end and the stove - now mostly buried under debris - at the other.

There is just enough shelter for the sheep to huddle together against the elements.  The floor has a solid carpeting of their little round droppings.  It has been a very hard spring here.  A weak one did not make it.

Up the hill a ways is a more substantial croft.  All the walls still stand.

But the interior has a sort of sterile, unlived in feel to it.

I was surprised to see what looks like fortified firing slots in the walls.  This was a troubled place in times past but a mini Alamo still seems a bit jarring.

Actually this little stone building has roots that run very far back indeed.  Directly under it, or perhaps past its front door, the main East-West Roman road once ran.  So, circa AD 70 when the first Gospels were being put into written form and when the very idea of a world without Rome was inconceivable, this was a busy highway.  Nothing now remains but a muddy track, the only travelers but myself a bunch of witless sheep.

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