Justified and ancient


Anthony Bailey

Monday, August 17, 2015

Well, I"m just back from two weeks "staycation" to find the office is perfect peace and everything ticking along nicely in my absence, perhaps I should leave them to it? Seriously, we had a number of trips out - one of which was a fantastic craft fair and Michelham Priory, East Sussex. The quality was fantastic, ceramics, glass, textiles, woodturning, etc.


My eye was caught by a number of things permanent to the Priory, which just brings home how previous generations had to cope without modern contrivances and comforts. The first was a Bronze Age roundhouse with thatched roof and a rather open doorway, although I suspect animal skins might have been used to keep warmth in and cold out. Nevertheless, my wife, who feels the cold very easily despite having ancient Viking genes, didn"t fancy that sort of living at all, understandably...


More up-to-date was a rusted array of tools, some of which I confess I am using now, including a billhook, sickle and hoe. Not a lot changes unless you are using a machine with a plug on it so it seems.


Lastly, a Sussex hay cart resplendent in its jolly restoration colours. The skill involved in cart building and wheelwrighting with some rather basic tools does take your breath away. We seem to have it quite easy in today"s world, but peoples of any period in the past were determined just to survive, now we are lucky to be able to choose exactly how we want to survive... we have choices they never had, that"s the difference.

Until next time,


Photographs top to bottom

1. Basic living but skilled construction

2. Late 19th/ early 20th century horticultural and forestry tools

3. Not just the stuff of romantic paintings, these carts were built for a purpose


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