Sunday, 17 August 2014

Little Moreton Hall

From the front, with the bridge over the moat
  Yesterday we decided to move on from Congleton in case Sunday’s weather turned sour. We moored our boat close to the South Cheshire Way and walked to Little Moreton Hall. What a treasure the house is. And what a treasure NT has in James McGrath who was our guide. He was erudite, articulate, full of knowledge about the house and the Moreton family, and most of all passionate about the place and its history. We and a number of others in the bunch of people he led the tour with thought he was the best guide we've had in a historic place.
This is not the most flattering photo of me, but it shows how scared I was - I could barely grimace and my fists are clenched - if I concentrated hard, the floor would not fall in

See the rise and fall of the floor and windows?

James McGrath, top guide.
  If you are pounding up or down the A34 or boating along the Macclesfield Canal - do stop and see this manor house. It is well worth the couple of hours to wander around by yourselves and do a tour - seeing the place is one thing, but understanding how it was built and extended in less than 100 years really made the visit wonderful. And if you are not yet a member of the National Trust, join up at Little Moreton Hall as it gives you free entry and it puts more money from your subscription into LMH's coffers for maintenance.

Most of the above is the review I tried to put on TripAdvisor – my least favourite review site (lack of moderation, the power to destroy businesses that it gives to people who are slightly miffed by something they didn’t like at a restaurant, hotel, B&B, … Rant over.) This time, I couldn’t load the user name I wanted to use that reflected our B&B  - TA seems to want to use my Facebook ID, so I swapped back to that – sorry that name is taken. Yes, by me, you idiot! I will try again later or get my IT consultant who travels with me to sort it. But he is stressed at the moment trying to get Facetime to work on our i-phones or somesuch, and growled at me last night for texting Lesley instead of using Viber or WhatsApp which are both free. And Lesley asked why I was sending every text twice. Well, I wasn’t but maybe something the onboard IT consultant was doing had that effect. Maybe I’ll just sort the Trip Advisor review on my own in a quiet time …
Anyway, Little Moreton Hall is amazing. I didn’t like being in the large room at the top – I don’t like heights or staircases where I can see through or am not protected from vertigo on both sides – my bad. And then the floor of the room is distinctly up and down, seriously! As are the window frames – the whole of the top floor has subsided in places. However that was my personal flaw re heights and lack of steadiness (we did wonder if it was the boating effect where we seem to be less steady on our feet on shore for a bit after being on the boat which moves most of the time). The room (and whole house) itself was amazing, the leadlight windows have been in place for 500 years – must have cost them a bomb when glass tax was introduced! National Trust spent about half a million on supporting the topfloor, so I didn’t need to worry, but the guide did say (after we’d been up – I wouldn’t have gone at all if I’d known) that until then only 12 people at a time were allowed up.
The ducks and fish co-exist happily. I don't think the herons have yet discovered the moat and its large fish!

I think this is a recent addition or otherwise a recreation of an old feature - easy to find the way around at the moment ...

The two large bay windows were added by the son of the original William Moreton. He also added the second storey,  flagged the groundfloor and built a fireplace in the Hall respectively replacing the earthen and straw covered floor and the fire in the middle of the room.

The hall has no foundations, hence the subsidence. In the white bag is our dinner - two cheese and tomato tarts.

Our mooring - space for a boat in each gap (the one closer to us filled later in the afternoon) and we are on the last ring of the  48hr moorings.

This morning we headed to Heritage Narrowboats about 8 minutes away to get a pumpout and top up with water, turned around (easy using the wind to help the turn!) and came back to where we are in the above pic, just pointing the other way. Tomorrow morning we will move all of 500 yards to about Bridge 85 Aker’s crossing, to be ready for Ed. He is going to make sure the engine is fine after his work a few weeks ago (we think it is sounding lovely and yesterday, as we were coming down the cut, a guy on a boat coming towards us said how quiet our engine was – he wouldn’t have said that before when we had the world’s largest alternator on board as he could have heard and felt the vibrations from a mile away, let alone the engine! Do I exaggerate? Well, just a tad …), and Ed is going to measure up so he can link all of the radiators to the Webasto over the next couple of weeks, wherever we happen to be. At the moment, only the bathroom one is linked and that makes the Webasto inefficient and increases its chances of getting coked up or something – I didn’t know they were so into cocaine myself.
It has already clouded over and got windy, chucked rain down, got sunny, stayed windy from a sunny calm start at 7am when I got up to make tea and provide David with gingernuts – I cannot should not eat them as they are not gluten free. Fortunately Tesco’s does a lovely range of GF biscuits and their ginger ones are yummy – not the same style as Griffin’s gingernuts, but pretty good all the same.
So a big day ahead for me watching TV, reading, cooking a Thai green curry for dinner, and David has some Weaving Memories work to do ;-) Best we get on with it.


NB Holderness said...

Hi Both,
Little Moreton is an amazing place and well worth a visit for anybody. Maybe you were more worried about getting to the top floor than up to the top of Mow Cop!
Cheers, Tony and Helen.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Mow Cop wasn't scary apart from going through the paddock that had young steers in: alternatives - there were none as the field beside had the bulls ... The stairs and the floor of the top floor of LMH had me very tense - as you saw in the photo ... But I am acknowledged as a wuss when it comes to heights - it's the result of being held out over the side of a bridge by my brother at low tide over rocks and mud. Until then I climbed any tree, stood on the high edge of anything. Not anymore though - ladders are a real trial for me once I am more than 4 steps up. My head says go up and my legs say Not on your Nellie, or words to that effect. Mx