Well that was a busy old day. We made our appearance in the County Down Outlook on Wednesday, asking for more information about the house, and specifically, the range cooker. Gary, nephew of the previous owner came to visit us yesterday, and we learned a lot about the building work that he’d helped with over the years. Then Grace, youngest of the family who grew up here, visited today and brought along all sorts of interesting things.
This is a picture of the previous owners of the property, whose name we still have to confirm, but who are believed to have originated from Scotland. They may be Rowans, but we’re not sure. The picture probably dates from the turn of the last century.
Then this picture, which Grace was always told was of the cottage. She noticed today that the roof of the outbuilding to the left of the house matches that in the background of the family picture above. Although the windows in the house are now much larger, she remembers the original small sash windows that were in the building when she was a child.
We also learned that the house was thatched in 1942, most probably the last time it was thatched before the tin roof was put on that remains today. The current external render is fairly recent, probably done at the time the windows were replaced.
When it came to the Doric range,Grace came up trumps. Not only the original instructions that came with the stove –

but the installation guide too!

 It was fascinating to talk to Grace and Jim, and we look forward to hearing more news from the various older members of the family whom Grace has contacted. They are all variously collecting their thoughts, and will be passing their stories onto us through her.
We rounded the day off with a visit from John and Elaine, owners of the Turnip House, and their dog Charlie, with whom Sirus had a great time racing around. They very kindly gave us most excellent winter hats (pictures to follow), which we will need often if the stories about local winters are to be believed.