Crazy Cottage

Here’s a crazy home at Conisholme , near Louth. It is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. John Spendlow, whose family has been sheltered by its roof for nearly 300 years. Now it has been doomed to demolition and a modern bungalow has been erected by the family at the side. Part of it can be seen in the picture.

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Our readers will gain some idea of the old cottage in our picture reproduced above; but it must be seen to be believed that Mr. and Mrs. Spendlow have actually lived in it in its present condition.
At a first glance it seems to be nothing but a heap of stacked straw, but smoke curling from a brick chimney leaning drunkenly over on its side, tells us that it is a real dwelling and occupied.
The roof has collapsed so far that there is only a foot or two of wall to be seen between it and the ground, and out of this little space a window winks an eye; but one notices with interest that plants and flowers in pots still grow on the sill. The roof is not even as a normal roof should be. It is all in lumps and holes with sheets of rusty corrugated iron and odd bunches of reeds from the dyke, patched on here and there, while even a strong iron chain is fastened round the house “to keep it together” as Mr. Spendlow says.
Four years ago Mr. and Mrs. Spend-low gave up retiring to bed upstairs. It was far from safe, and now one can-not walk upright in the living room, for the old house is collapsing so steadily. Mr. Spendlow, who is full of cheeriness, wit and good humour, says that lie knows just when to bend so as not to strike his head, and he really enjoys it all! Mrs. Spendlow doesn’t enjoy it quite so much; and tells her husband so frankly but also with the best good humour.

The living room is so quaint. One’s eyes are on a level with the beams of the roof and one can see that they are the original trunks of young larch trees. They are soaking wet because heavy rain transforms the room into a veritable pond and as one glances round one notices that the bulging ceiling is apparently held up by, one worm eaten, powdering, yet still stout, oak beam from floor to ceiling. Yet with a bright fire in the grate, one sees it through Mr. Spendlow’s own eyes, one imagines the cosy room as it was perhaps a hundred years ago.
But now the house is deliberately propped up all round with wooden stakes and sheets of corrugated iron are thrown on the roof here and there to hold it together. It is the craziest looking home this side of dreamland.

Source: Skegness Standard 1935


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