Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Farm Worker's Cottage, Colyford, Devon

This is a bit of a mystery. I was told that it used to be a cottage belonging to the farm, the edge of which it's situated upon. But it's so overgrown during the summer that only the roof can be seen, and appears to be extraordinarily tiny. However, exposure during the winter reveals more to this building than meets the eye.

What appeared to be tiny was, in fact, only part of an altogether larger structure. The rear wall is over twice the length of the frontage and only the rear and end walls of the right-hand side of the cottage still remain. The right side wall of the intact building was once inside, and an upper storey door with no floor or stair access can be seen. It is impossible to explore that side due to the coppice of trees and brambles which have grown up and around it. Also there is a considerable drop to what would have been the ground floor.

The other oddlty is a small porch-like structure at the rear of the building. There is no access into the building from it, and I did wonder if it was originally an outside toilet. But, I think it may have been the porch entrance to the front door, which is no longer there, the wall to that part of the frontage having been demolished. Altogether a nice little mystery and a rather interesting explore, despite the struggle through the undergrowth to see it. 

Above, the front windows...as close as I could get!

Interestingly, I've since discovered that very old farm buildings that we today would consider tiny, were home to quite large families. There are remains of these - sometimes just the basic foundations - dotted around the Devon countryside and usually hidden from view in small woods and coppices.

The porch, above, now situated on the rear wall where there is no evidence of there having been an entry.

It was that rear wall that made me realise that the building was longer than appeared at the front. The photo below shows the once interior wall. It can't be seen on the photo, due to the intense undergrowth, but there is a door halfway up the wall. The roof and floors have been removed from that section.

The above photo shows the end of the rear wall, which was as far as I could go...or wanted to, in case I fell down into the lower floor. Below is the side of the intact part of the cottage, and below that is a view of the side and front.

Despite the frustration of too much undergrowth and not being able to get a proper look all the way around, or clear photos of some of it, it was a lovely little mooch and some intriguing detective work. The undergrowth was far worse than it looks on the photos - I could have done with a machete - and was mostly impassable, but it was fun trying.

Some more photos, along with these, can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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