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Frampton worker David admitted he couldn’t resist, his curiosity had got the better of him. He’d already unearthed, literally, a pristine Stroud creamery green bottle top from the soot and grime in the huge fireplace. And then some bones… just chicken bones.

But the brickwork and stonework to the right of the fireplace, with its cavernous chimney rising into the black, was begging.IMG_9870
And there, behind the bricks, he discovered the discovery of the day, the week even: An iron bread oven with its own little chimney, rusted shut and grimy and covered in black soot… but an iron bread oven with big hinges and a door handle nonetheless.

How old? This is the oldest room in the cottage, near 300 years old. We imagine the warmth of the fire, the smell of bread… welcome in what would have been an otherwise cold, drafty and damp retreat after a trudge up the hill from the rigours of the Rooksmoor mill down the steep, narrow track.

The iron bar inside the chimney probably held a black kettle over the fire.

The bottle tops are not so old. Pasteurised milk from the Stroud creamery in Lansdown, Stroud. The red top was “tubercular tested”.

The bones? Chicken? Rabbit? Lamb? Pig? But no doubt succulent and worth sucking off the juicy meat before tossing back into the fire.