Around the World in Eight Months: Cornwall, England

I recently dug out my old Round the World scrapbook and paging through the photos and notes reminded me of why I wanted to be an architect in the first place.  I thought I’d celebrate the fact that we’re having a REUNION this New Years by  posting some of the more architectural of my photos.

This building might very well be the reason I went to architecture school.  The original cottage was just two rooms – parlor and fireplace downstairs and tiny bedroom upstairs.  A kitchen and second bedroom were added on later but still probably more than a hundred years ago and then a tiny lean to bathroom was tacked on yet more recently.  The floor boards of the upper level were the ceiling of the rooms below and you could drop coins or conversation easily between the cracks.  The yard was boxed in by ramshackle farm out buildings – a potting shed, a barn.

I would give anything for more images of this place – this was before digital camera opened the world traveler up to unlimited snapping.  The only other shot I have is this one below of the cozy kitchen table.  Also pictured here is the wonderfully eccentric Ormerod house, one of my first adventures in natural building.  The house was dug into an old quarry, used a spring for its water and heated it with coils wrapping around a wood stove.  The living room with glass ceiling had greenery to shade it in summer and captured all the light it could in a northern climate in winter.

Both Deb’s Cottage and the Ormerod place were far flung isolated farm-steads.  Those of us living in them got rides into the village for our daily classes or walked quiet lanes over hedges and stiles for a few miles cutting across country.  The village of Withiel comprised one street lined with tiny stone cottages, a post office and a community center were the most of its public buildings.  I was completely enamored of the place and hope to come back someday.

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One response to “Around the World in Eight Months: Cornwall, England

  1. Wonderful pictures, and my envy of your travel experiences is tempered by my admiration for the lessons you drew from them. The best lesson we can draw from visiting another place or time is that nothing is inevitable, that alternatives exist, and that a culture is a set of habits: difficult but not impossible to change. That’s an important thought at this most critical juncture for American culture and for the planet it endangers.

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