Friday, December 14, 2012

Medieval Barn Restoration

As well as working on the inside of the Medieval Barn we also have quite a lot of work to do outside. The window to the left in the photograph will be filled in with cob bricks and the door to the right is to be replaced and will match the new door on the left. The shrubs have been grubbed out in front of the barn ready for repairs to the rendering and then once completed the outside with be painted with limewash,. The stonework over the doorway will be covered with lime rendering and then the rose which is currently tied up will be trained to go over the doorway.

Winter Restoration on the Medieval Barn

This winter we are doing some restoration work on the old medieval barn. The two trusses which were burnt in a fire with the previous owners of Burrow Farm are now being replaced with new oak trusses hand crafted by Charley Brentnall and his team. Charley is well know for timber restoration having worked at Windsor Castle and Shackleton's hut in Antartica. The photo shows a new truss being created in our garage which was also built by Charley.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TREC Horse Competition

Over the weekend of 21-23 September we ran a British Horse Society TREC competiton at Burrow Farm. This competition is made up of three phases, on the Saturday the riders go out on an orienteering route with one class for Level 2 riders riding 17km and the Level 3 riders 27km. On the Sunday their riding skills are tested and then all the scores are added to find the winner. We ran the competition in aid of the equine charity Brooke and at the Saturday evening social which was held in Wootton Courtenay village hall  Petra Ingram the CEO for Brooke gave a talk outlining its work. Competitors travelled from as far as Co Durham, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Kent and Surrey. Hilary Barnard from Bristol the reigning GB  Level 4 TREC Champion entered our event and came second with her pony Harvey in the L3 class (see photo overlooking the Bristol Channel and Minehead). Despite the rain on the Sunday everyone seemed to have a good time and Rob and I received many emails thanking us for the competition.

Summer and the Barn

Where has the summer gone. I seem to have spent most of this summer stressed out with rain and haymaking. It seems we never managed more than three days at a time without drizzle and mist and a local Somerset person described it as 'mizzle'. We managed to make hay during the one good hot week in July and then not again until the middle of September, in between we just made haylage. Now we have so much hay and small bale haylage it has filled up half of the barn! It's a good job we got planning permission to put on a side extension which has now been completed, otherwise we would have ended up putting all the equipment outside for the winter which would not have been a very good idea.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Disaster!

We have now started taking the rendering off the front of the Medieval Barn because it is falling off the cob and letting in the rain. However when the rendering was taken off over the barn door a great chuck of the cob wall fell out. Rob wedged up some wood to hold up what was left and put in another oak beam across the door to help with the loading of the wall. We are now waiting for Russell the man who built our walled garden to come and put in some stone to hold up the remainder of the wall before we can continue taking off the old rendering.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baby Doves

In April like the rest of the country we had a lot of rain, but now May is here the weather has finally improved. All the birds are busy nesting and this year we have a good number of Swallows returning to build their nests, some are high up in the roof of the stables and in the barns. A pair of doves have made a nest on top of a pillar in the new stable block and I managed to stand up on several bales of hay to take a a photo while mum and dad were away.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring work begins

In the South West just like the rest of the country we are experiencing an exceptionally dry March. The weather has been more like June with temperatures at 19c and everyone in Minehead seem to be wearing T-shirts and shorts, madness. We have taken advantage of the dry ground and Derek has managed to harrow, roll and fertilize all our fields, which means we now need some rain to make the grass grow. This was exactly the same position we found ourselves in March 2011, so I hope our grass grows well and we can make some good hay in the summer.

Horsey Boarding School for Mim

On Sunday 18th March we took Mim in the trailer to Emma Massingale's home in Devon, just off the A39 not far from Bude. Emma is a trainer in Natural Horsemanship ( and is just amazing with her technique. Mim should be with Emma a couple of months and so far so good. Mim has been hacking out with Emma everyday for a week and only became excited when she saw some young cows in a field who were running around. This week she will be having a set of front shoes put on for the first time as she is wearing her hooves down on the tarmac roads. Emma will continue with hacking her out for another week to get her used to traffic and all the exciting things you find when out riding!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mad March!

We are really busy this March trying to get lots of building works completed before out first guests arrive for the season. We've just had a new chimney stack built on the main house as the old one was letting in water and hopefully the scaffolding will be taken down shortly. The cottage has had some work done to the main bedroom window and that has now been completed and painted. Unfortunately the boiler in the cottage sprang a leak so that has just been replaced and we are now waiting for a new vinyl floor to be laid in the kitchen.
The builder has just finished plastering the main house lobby and downstairs cloakroom, so hopefully that can be fitted out soon and then I can get on with decorating and moving everything out of my lounge which looks a total mess!

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Pygmy Goats

Two Pygmy goats from Surrey have come to join our other three; Erin, Gay and Gordon. Sadly their owner died last year and Rosie and Bessie needed a new home. They travelled down in a horsebox and have settled in very well. They are both easy to lead on a headcollar rope and come when called. We did have a few problems when we introduced them to our other goats with some fighting, but they have now all calmed down and are grazing together each day. However I am keeping them in a separate stable at night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Old Stable Block

Our old stable block is looking a bit of a mess now that all the ivy has been taken off the walls. All the rendering is coming away from the cob walls, so it will have to be stripped off ready for new rendering in the spring. The climbing rose has had to be cut down to the base, but hopefully it will recover and grow back up the wall. We have also temporarily taken down the dovecote, but the doves weren't using it anyway, prefering the medieval barn! However they will be getting a shock this year when we fill in the gaps so they can't roost in the barn.