Monday, March 31, 2014

John Milton Lived Here - a Crumbling Mansion in the UK

Thanks to a friend, who knows I have a passion for crumbling mansions, I came upon knowledge of this house today. The Berkyn Manor Farm & Manor House in Horton - just 4 miles from Windsor Castle. Picture

The house is reportedly once home of John Milton, poet, author of  Paradise Lost.  He lived in the house with his parents from 1632 to 1638. (Not 100% sure about that, but perhaps this is the site of John Milton's home.)

She has really good bones and once was quite the show place.

From all the pictures, it appears to have just been left "as is" by the previous owner, Ernest Raynor. I did a little more Googling and found several sources with pictures.  Let's look.

Family pictures.

Look at this pram.

I bet this library was once a beautiful room.
I just love what one explorer, Oliver James, said "I felt as if I was in a Poirot novel. As I walked around, I tried to piece together the lives of the people who had lived there. The place is full of artifacts, as if it were a time capsule. It was amazing to see the newspaper from the day Prince William was born."
Like most abandoned houses, this one has constant break-ins and reported thefts. All very eerie and heartbreaking.

For more history, information and pictures:


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Face Jugs

Face jugs. What is a face jug? Well, simply put, it is a jug with a face on it.

Lanier Meadors

One theory suggests that these early face jugs were used as grave markers by slaves. These jugs were supposed to ward off evil spirits. A South Carolina potter, who can trace his ancestors to slavery, states that "the idea was that the face jug would be ugly enough to scare the devil away from your grave so your soul could go to heaven."

In the 1820's the practice of making face jugs spread throughout South Carolina and into Georgia, North Carolina and other states. In the 1830's about seventy folk potters operated pottery shops within a four mile area of Mossy Creek in White County, Georgia.  This became one of the largest pottery communities in the South. Click here for more history.


In North Carolina there is a strong folk potter presence and some of today’s most famous potters include Burlon Craig, whose large face jugs can go as high as $3000+ and others, Steve Abee, Charles Lisk, Kim Ellington.

Recently we were visiting the Catawba Valley of North Carolina and in the town of Lincolnton, they have added along their main street, the most delightful collection of face jugs.





Aren't they just wonderful? 

I have a small collection. They are in my kitchen where I can look up and see their fun faces.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


You are probably wondering, what is a Southern Belle doing posting about Queenslander Houses?

Well, for one thing, they are the Queensland, Australia’s equivalent to a Victorian. Developed in the 1840’s the style is still popular today.

They are usually set high off the ground.

They typically have high ceilings to allow for ventilation.

They have wonderful porches and outdoor spaces.

With large open spaces, they are the original "open floor plan" house. The one below has been "updated."

Just like Victorians, they have their own variation and character. I much prefer this one:

Open, white, and breezy.

Look at the faded beauty below......I just LOVE her.
What Mr. Deneen could do with this!!! I would so live here. 

A few more.....delicious Australian Victorian goodness.



Wouldn't you agree, that these beauties would work down here in the South?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Craigie House

Craigie House, a historic Midtown Atlanta building, collapsed on Feb 12, 2014, because of ice. I felt very sad when I heard the news.

When I was younger, I would occasionally drive by Craigie House. It was one of the original meeting centers for the Atlanta Chapter of the Daughters of The American Revolution. The chapter was organized 15 April 1891, making it the oldest chapter in Georgia and the second oldest in the United States.

Over the years, I watched her deteriorate. Here is picture taken in 1987. Rough, but preservable.

John Spink - AJC
Some of uses included a place where old, homeless Confederate veterans were once fed and bedded. During WWI, they made bandages here. Various efforts to restore and preserve and move the house have been unsuccessful.

According to the AJC, a tree fell on the home in the mid-1980s, damaging it and rendering it unusable. Repairs were made over the years, but the building was again damaged by Hurricane Opal in 1995. In 2001, the property was sold but ended up in foreclosure.

This is what it looked like shortly after its completion in 1911.

Chapter Archive - Atlanta
This is a one of the original memorial stained glass window installed shortly after house was built. I wish it was a color photograph.
Chapter Archive - Atlanta

In 1966, Craigie House was on the cover of the Georgia Magazine. She was the pride of the Atlanta Chapter of the DAR.

However, by the 21st century, Craigie House became very tired and very worn. The Craigie House was listed on the "2001 List of Endangered Buildings" by the Atlanta Preservation Center.


 The DAR insignia is the property of, and is copyrighted by,the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

And now, she looks like this -- just a shell of her former self. ~~SNIFF~~