Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Something different....Fresnay Grange

My submission to a local Franco Anglo newspaper: What makes your house unique in 250 words
Fresnay Grange French & Family History:
It started with a small child and an old man.

“Tell me again Gramp”; the story of a pink granite farmhouse in the hollow and a pretty young lady called Irene. A young dispatch rider, missing in action and sheltered, he fell in love. The girl knew every detail the buildings, the kitchen, its range, the pewter jugs and brass candlesticks

Then came Le Fresnay a pink granite farm and barn & the girl remembered. The old barn was the original house; there was the hearth and the chimney space, the low walls of the first thatch, it all fitted.

So began our renovation of Fresnay Grange and every step was one history. All the work respecting the builders of 300 years ago and  the detail honouring the stewardship. The mantle had those candles & jugs via vide greniers, the stairs of local oak and the hearth stones relaid again.  There is a spirit to our house, we call him Pierre and imagine him as an old  French farmer. There’s no ghost it’s the spirit of the very stones, the privilege of rediscovering , reinhabiting & those stories from long ago.

And it’s a homage to the story of that old man, who never forgot that French family and later named his daughter, Irene, after the girl he had met. That daughter named me, an old French name, Pauline.

My Grandfather can’t tell me the stories now, but as I look across the farmyard, history lives and I smile.