|Oast House In Brenchley
||[Jun. 6th, 2013|10:45 am]
Oast houses are peculiar to this part of the world. You find them in Kent and East Sussex and- as far as I'm aware- nowhere else. What they are is kilns for the drying of hops- for use in beer. These days they're uneconomical to run and large numbers of them have been converted to other uses. There's one just up the road from here that's used as a B & B; Ailz and I stayed in it once. Circular rooms- what fun!
Nice place, Brenchley. Just down the road from us.
Oasts just seem like a normal part of the furniture to me but then I was brought up with them! :o)
Yes, it's a very pretty village- one of many such...
Brenchley? It's mine, I tell you, mine! (I went there once, and found it very odd just walking down the main street seeing Brenchley Post Office and Brenchley Church and so forth. Actually, I kinda want to retire there, so's people can write to me at "Chaz, Brenchley, Kent." I shall be Brenchley of Brenchley...)
(Also I want to be buried there, because as far as we could see on a cursory inspection there are no Brenchleys in Brenchley Churchyard, which just seems such a shame.)
It seems more than likely that your distant ancestors came from the place. I can't think of any other reason for them having that surname.
Pretty, isn't it?
Yup, that's established, that the family does indeed hail from there. And was still there or thereabouts in the nineteenth century; my grandfather was born in rural Kent, tho' not actually in Brenchley.
And yes, it's lovely. I liked the original Tudor mansions more than the mock-Tudor flung up between 'em (weird, huh?), but I did kinda feel that I really could live there.
You know we have a plastic corporate oast house pub in Manchester, too? Newly built in Spinningfields. Just outside the law courts. Wildly popular, particularly in summer.
I haven't seen that. What larks!
They could always convert the circular room to an attached dovecote. Well, maybe not...
What's the metal-ish doodad on top of the tower?
It's a wooden construction. It's the oast cowl which the vane (like a weathervane bit on the side) turns into the wind which helps to keep the hop drying room fires hot whilst also allowing spent hot air out. The wee piece of metal statuary on the vane will be our rampant white horse of Kent 'cos it always is! :o)
Edited at 2013-06-06 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks. All I know about the historical Kentish hop industry is that jazz guitarist Martin Taylor's traveler ancestors used to pick hops in Kent.
There used to be a huge influx of folks during the hopping season- locals like my own family, working class Londoners and Romani folks (also part my own ancestry) Quite a social mix which leads to some interesting folklore and the Romani name Hopkins. :o)
What fun! Thank you for sharing!