Hopefully, the first of many...
Hello beautiful folk
Here I am, finally, doing my first blog post! It's only taken me the best part of 5 years to get myself organised enough and muster enough courage to get some words down! Writing is not something that comes easily, I don't have much confidence in my ability to eloquently get things down in black and white... but here goes!
Don't judge me too much...
That is assuming there is actually anybody out there interested enough to be here! Oh hello! ..there's my old pal imposter syndrome raising it's ugly head again ;)
So, it's been a busy few months since the start of the year. I've been full on with commission work, moving house, climbing & as ever seems to be the case for me, navigating matters of the heart! But don't worry, I won't bore you with the details of that.
I have recently moved from my (very) little cosy cottage in Dent back to Sedbergh. I'm not sure how it happened because I wasn't planning on moving but I happened to see a post on Facebook about a very intriguing property that was about to be listed to let on the Cobble Country website. I thought it would be out of my budget (really it is, I'm totally winging it and hoping for the best) - but I called them the next day and asked for the first viewing. My fellow Sagittarian wing-woman - Maddie met me there and even after just a few minutes in the property, we both knew it was a no-brainer! An hour after viewing I rang the estate agents and told them I wanted to take it... A bunch of paperwork and many carloads of stuff later and I was in, all within 2 weeks.
It was such a beautiful property with endless character and totally inspiring. To be honest, I felt quite moved when I was viewing the house, I didn't feel uneasy but I definitely felt something - both unusual and familiar at the same time. It wasn't until after I had applied for the tenancy, that I found out about the history of the house...
To my amazement, I found out that the house had a very long history in textiles, first as a cottage industry processing, dyeing and, knitting with wool but mainly and most exciting for me, was the chapter in its history where it was run as a small weaving factory. During this time there would have been up to twelve handweavers working on the top floor of the house. Obviously, with me being a weaver, I feel a connection to these folk that once grafted long hours at their looms in what is now my bedroom and the spare room. Any weaver I know would likely agree with me, I'm sure, that all weavers feel this connecting thread through time. This would explain the feelings I had when came to view the house.
Tower House is a 14th century garde 2 listed building and with an incredibly interesting history it even made it on to the old TV show - the House Detectives. You can view the episode on YouTube via this link
Joseph Dover, who later had links to Farfield Mill where my studio is based, managed and occupied the house from 1820, he was responsible for putting Sedbergh on the map and making it famous for its textiles production. It is thought that Tower House is a medieval house and the first house in Sedbergh.
Below are a few photos taken by lovely Beth at Cobble Country.
It's taking a little adjusting, it's much bigger and unfortunately, much draftier than my wee place in Dent, but I am starting to feel at home here. It was a bit like living in a museum at first but now it's feeling much more homely and comfortable. I'm definitely going to have to weave myself a few more warm blankets though!
I hope to bring weaving back to the house and have a little studio in my spare room, my big countermarch loom won't fit in the spare room so I am on the lookout for a second floor-loom, a small counterbalance perhaps?! Please feel free to contact me if you have one for sale or loan...
There have been many jokes about ghosts and weird happenings, like hearing the loom weaving by itself at night, the "loom of doom" as my friend Jon called it, but all jokes aside, I think the house is calling for a new lease of creative life and I am eager to "get weaving" here.
I feel incredibly blessed to have found my way here and to be able to add to, and continue the long history of textiles at Tower House.
Thanks for being here, until next time...