In addition to Marshes Hill Common and Greenway Bank Country park, our local area is cris-crossed with many public footpaths. In this section we will attempt to describe some of the walks we have built up and illustrate them mapped tracks and with photos taken at different times of the year to show the changing views and vegetation.
I think it is natural that when you live in an old house you wonder about its history. Who built it, who lived in it and how has it eveloved and developed over the years. It provides continuity and connection with the past and a reminder that the future will continue when we have gone. Combining this curiosity with our genealogy research we have dug into the archives to find out who lived here during the nineteenth century. In this we were greatly assisted when we finally registered the property and took possession of the old deeds. In this section we have presented the information we found and provided copies of the actual historical documents we obtained.
We have traced the previous occupants and owners of Ladymoor Gate from 1806 to 1921 with reference to wills, parish records, births, deaths and marriage records and the title deeds. This section contains the information we have uncovered and copies of some of the original documents.
Today Ladymoor Gate Farm is a small holding of approximately seven acres and comprises a house and a range of outbuildings. There is a reasonable sized garden and the rest is fields. One of the fields was rendered almost unusable when the council changed the road drains resulting in road surface water from many metres in each direction to drain directly into it. Several attempts by various drainage engineers to solve the problem have failed and we a now wondering whether a coppice of willow or similar trees may help. Horses (not ours) graze in the other field.
We have lived here for nearly thirty years but are still relative new comers, many of our neighbours tracing their families back in unbroken lines for generations. However we, unknowingly returned to a place where some of our distant ancestors once lived and there is a family myth that the family once owned Marshes Hill and that it was named after on of my paternal great grandparents. To this day some of the family members have Marsh as a middle name.
Over the years we have waxed and waned in our efforts in the garden variously making a pond, planting an orchard, renovating a vegetable patch and building a green house. The weeds always seem to win, but this section chronicles our triumphs and our disasters.
Ladymoor Gate has quite a large garden which, from time to time, we try to bring under control. We have been known to grow vegetables, plant an orchard and, once upon a time, we built a pond. It is a constant battle against the weeds. Nettles and docks usually win, but occasionally we get the upper hand.
Never mind, whatever its condition there are lots of birds, insects, butterflies, frogs and other creepy crawlies and we console ourselves that while the garden is not as neat and tidy as it could be or that the vegetable harvest is sometimes neglected, the wildlife benefits and certainly the variety of birds is of great delight.
Some of our successes and failures in the garden are recounted here. I will leave you to decide which are which.
There are eightfull time residents of Ladymoor Gate: the Webmaster, the Worker, the Old Dog, the Young Dog and four cats.
From time to time the full time residents are joined by the Student, an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham with an extra "year abroad" at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo (CA, USA).
Previous residents were the Lawyer, now an independent young professional and Andy (1957-2004)
The Webmaster, the Worker and the Student are all members of Staffordshire Moorlands AC.
The Worker used to be a keen runner, but like the Old Dog, has had to slow down due to creaky joints. The Webmaster loves his two dogs and every morning takes them for a walk round Marshes Hill. When she is on holiday from work, the Worker accompanies him, and then the walks may be longer. Sometimes the Students goes too. Of course it depends on the weather.
Besides the morning walk with the dogs the Webmaster and the Worker also take an evening stroll. The length of which depends on when the Worker gets back from the office, the time of year and the weather. In their otherwise busy schedules it is a time for chatting and putting the world to rights. Where better to do it than in the beautiful local countryside.
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