I never liked a beamed ceiling. Why at this stage in my life do I now love beamed ceilings?
I think they always reminded me of 80’s pub fakes where the ‘Disney-fakation’ of old pubs was popular. The idea was to rip all of the original old stuff out and put in the fake old/new stuff. I couldn’t get my head around it and I hated it.
Now I can see the real deal. All the old soot dirt and grime from generations of family cooking around the fire and I’m loving it. I’ll be giving the beams a bit of a gentle scrub to take off the caked on soot, but most of the old tar and soot grease stains can stay. It would seem odd to sand or steam blast them back to their original new finish.
Getting so excited for our trip in May. Can’t wait to hoover the cobwebs away and see what remains! On the last trip, we found a sleeping Loire door mouse in our house. The French / Roman tradition is to coat them in honey and BBQ these fatty rodents. Alex our brave son gently collected up the little critter and popped him in one of the outbuildings to survive the winter. I’m not hugely looking forward to returning and finding the Loire and his extended family have moved back in.
Slightly concerned about woodworm and their enjoyment of my floorboards but hey ho. The Historic England and restoration expert Peter Ward calms my nerves when they say chemicals are a pointless and dangerous no, no, that won’t stop the pests returning. We have to work hard to eradicate any damp issues by getting ventilation, heating and airing the place out, then keeping the place dry. We have installed a dehumidifier for the winter and we’ll return in the spring to review the house.
Take a look at what Peter Ward has to say on youtube here. We’re pretty sure that the beetle holes in our farmhouse are just old flight holes from previous generations. We’ll be checking the wood for strength and replacing any areas that are worn. From our initial inspections, this is just a couple of floorboards on the landing. The Oak beams are solid. The heartwood is intact and we’ll check again the surface wood for any new sawdust burrowing. Thankfully Termites are not active in our area due to the very cold winters so we can breathe a sigh of relief that the house won’t be fully consumed by the time we return this spring and summer.
These are our findings – please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below.