The Restored Rectory West Wing
The Lady of the Old Rectory became very friendly and invited us to look over the house to admire what she and her husband had done! She disappeared to get ready for some real visitors and left us to browse. We did not feel comfortable going too far so did not venture out of the west wing which had once had a great hall two or three storeys high with a minstrel's gallery linking the upper floors of the west wing with the first floor (British) of the main house.
However, we explored with astonishment. What had been a crumbling shell (roof fallen in and all floors descended to the ground level!) is now beautifully restored with cellar, ground floor and an upstairs great hall.
West Wing 'Library'
This picture and the one above are both of the room that the lady of the house called the library. This might once have been the stable and tack room. The banister on the left indicates a few steps up toward the main house, and a closed-off set of stone steps going down to a cellar.
I cannot judge how faithfully the restoration has been done but I must say that it looks wonderful and must even be comfortable to live in (see the radiators tucked away in the window nooks?)
We ventured carefully up the stairs (not visible in these pictures) to the Great Hall .
The Great Hall
This very large room extends most of the length of the west wing to the main house with no connection from this floor. We wondered if the plan was to have tours or even to have special events in this room. The ceiling beams are superb. They are french oak imported from France - I wonder if that is authentic?
The lady of the house was nowhere in sight as we left so we put a couple of visiting cards (ok - they were business cards not visiting cards) on the hall table with a polite thank you written on them, and left.
The next day Brian drove us to Heathrow and John talked the gate staff into upgrading us so the return journey was much more comfortable than the outward one.
Post Script: Some weeks later Clare received a card from Mrs. Mellor 'The Lady of The House' inviting her to come back!