Thursday, June 11, 2009

Off the grid...

Dear All,

I am going off the grid for a couple of weeks as I am going away on business, but I shall resume posting at the end of the month. Take care everybody. D.x

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wells, Augers, and Divination....

Today we went out to the park and investigated the well which we had inherited from the previous landowner. After hitching the concrete cover up to the tractor we managed to remove it, to find a 40 foot pipe inside. We sent down a length of alkythene to take some water out for testing.

Then my grandfather, who is rather an expert at divining for water, clarified the position of the underground spring and underground stream which runs across the land and supplies the well. He could consistently track the stream undergound all the way across the land with a Y shaped piece of Beech. Hopefully, because of the free flowing stream, the water will be of good quality. We know that it will be clean and toxin free, but water in this area can have high levels of iron in it, which can block water filters and pumps.

We then surveyed where the fencing would go for the horse and where the water pipes will be run throughout the park. Then, we put in a temporary mailbox. We had fun using post-hole borer and auger, but my grandfather, a seasoned farmer, knew exactly what he was doing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Buying the past...

I found this website in the UK which manufactures classical stonework and pre-formed brick and stone follies in a variety of designs. Some of them are a little twee, but still as a concept it's rather neat.

Here are a few examples of their work:

Construction starts on the lake...

After deciding on where the lake was going to go, based on aesthetics as well as more practical reasons such as the lay of the land, we pegged out the outline of the lake. It was designed to have a kidney shape to it to allow for a small promontory to protrude into the middle of the kidney shape, upon which a Graeco-Roman rotunda will be built. Here are some examples:

I visited The Temple of Eros (above) at Le Chateau de Versailles, developed for Marie Antoinette, in the summer of 2007. My photos are below.

But probably the most famous example of an 18th century lake-side folly is that of the Temple of Apollo, at Stourhead (pictured below). The gardens at Stourhead were designed by Henry Hoare II and laid out between 1741 and 1780. The estate originally belonged to the Stourton family for over 700 years, until they were sold to Henry Hoare I. They now belong to the National Trust.

Most of these glorious monuments to craftmanship and architectural taste have been purchased and are maintained for the pleasure of future generations by The National Trust.

On a slightly less grand note, today the digger started work on our lake. Our lake is about a 1/2 acre in area. The rough excavation of the lake is expected to be finished by next week. Here are some photos taken early in the morning of the progress so far, and a video of the digger:

The view we hope to achieve looking back towards the house will be something like this:

My lovely lovely lovely Horse...

We purchased a horse today, who is 11 years old, stands 16.2, and is named Silver because he is a gorgeous dark bay except for a silver diamond on his forehead. He is being re-homed from New Zealand's Motutapu Island, in the Hauraki gulf, because the department of conservation is having all non-native animals removed and is restoring it to a reserve. Below is a picture of the island:

'My lovely lovely lovely horse', Copyright Channel 4, Father Ted

The most prestigious horse trials are the Badminton Trials. Badminton House is also famous, as it is one of the better English exampls of Carolingian architecture:

Willowbrook Park also has the local branch of Riding for the Disabled (RDANZ) near by. Please check out their website of all the good work that they do.

Windmills and Water

In keeping with the park's design to be environmentally friendly, we are going to install a windmill identical to the one above. It will be capable of pumping natural spring water found on the park, to every inch of the land. It will be used for irigation and for watering the livestock on the farm annex. Further information about these windmills can be found at:

It will also pump fresh water to the lake and the fountains. You can see pictures and a movie clip of the lake being dug in a coming post.
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