Sunday, 11 December 2011

Doors

Doors, gates: do they shut you out or invite you in?  I can never see a beautiful door or gate without wanting to open it and find out what is on the other side but doors in themselves can be lovely things.   I was so taken with some pictures of  doors from Rachel at slow lane life  that I wandered around looking again at our doors and I thought I would share them.  Some are pretty ordinary; some much less so.


Here is the front door.  Like most farmhouse front doors it is never used.  No one ever comes in through the front door but if you did and closed it behind you, you would find this.

At the top is the latch, possibly made in the forge that used to belong to the farm and which is now part of the holiday cottage.  Below that is the key, a good six inches long and nearly as big as my hand, and the lock into which it fits.  They still work.  Below them is a wooden bolt.  There is another similar one upstairs and I think this one has been fashioned to be like that.  It looks as if this bolt is a replacment for an older one.    This door won't be the oldest in the house as the porch was put on about two hundred and fifty years ago but it is a very lovely thing.



This is the door you would come through, straight into the kitchen.  It is a stable door so you can open up the top in the summer and let the light and air in, but keep the chickens out.  Look back through the glass and the angles are crazy.


Come through to the sitting room and these are the old doors with their strap hinges and boarded construction.  They all have iron latches like this on one side and this

on the other.

The great thing about a latch like this is that it is impossible to open the door quietly and every latch in the house has a slightly different sound to it.   When you live here and get your ear attuned,  the door from  my father in law's room makes a different sound to the sitting room door which is different again from the new door from the back kitchen into the corridor.  The house tells you what is happening and who is where!


The old doors are oak and presumably date from about 1600 when the house was built.  The new doors are in the extension that was put on about thirty years ago.  When we came here we tried to match the doors in the extension to the old doors so we had some made. These are pine not oak but they too are boarded doors of a similar construction to the oak ones and with metal latches.



Upstairs the doors are old too, with wooden handles and latches, some perhaps original and some repaired.  I wonder who scorched the door and with what? A careless candle?


I love the fact that someone took the trouble to make an elegant hinge for the bedroom door.


Looking along the corridor towards the bedroom door is one of my favourite lines of sight in the house.



But doors don't have to be wooden to be beautiful.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely. Every single one of them. This post has touched a special jealous note because only yesterday, I was looking at the horrid doors in our house and feeling overburdened by their bland and awful uniformity.

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  2. You do have very special doors. They were obviously made for a house that was meant to last for a few hundred years unlike the modern apartment I find myself living in. I have very boring doors. They have no character whatsoever. Consider yourself blessed.

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  3. Beautiful doors, beautiful post. Beautiful hinges even. Why is it that things made by hand frequently have a soul-touching quality? I recognise these doors - or at least their cousins - but sadly life has not placed me next to any of them. Yet! Another lovely and thought provoking post Elizabeth. Why do we make such ugliness when it is so easy to make beauty?

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  4. Well, that was delightful, thank you. I have two modern doors in the hall, the ones with the diamond-shaped panes, and I hate them with a passion! They will have to stay for now. But I just had to take the curly-wurly fake 'hinges' off the front door!

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  5. Our house has only four internal doors. We chose solid wood doors with four panels. Was a good idea, but it is a long story. I love that your house tells you which door is opening or closing.

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  6. I loved your internal doors when I visited - so robust so reassuring. They have a wonderful sense of the past about them and I love the way they have worn and you can imagine all the people who have pushed them to in the past.

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  7. Fascinating! I love the intrigue as to what could be behind a door, as well as a gate. When I moved into my home, I removed the flat panels that were on my doors, which uncovered wonderful original Victorian doors. Why would anyone want to cover them up?!

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  8. I have been drooling over your doors. I adore old doors, photos of doors, etc. We have old latch doors in the cottage, not as old as yours though.

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  9. They are beautiful doors, and I would find myself wondering about all the people who came through them over the centuries. I'd be trying to listen to what the doors might be saying about all those goings on. What is most beautiful about them is their age, to me.

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  10. Esther - I love our doors too. It is surprising how something can be inspiring in one form and dead as a pressed paper B&Q doornail in another.
    Nora - we are lucky, we know. Have never had doors like this before!
    Fennie - you have it exactly, as you so often do. Things handmade so often have a beauty, things made in their own place, purely to do their job with no thought of mass production or profit.

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  11. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around getting to live every day with something built 'around 1600'. And I just love the bookshelves leading to your bedroom tucked under the sloping ceiling!
    Gorgeous. You are lucky indeed.

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  12. Rachel - you have some lovely doors yourself!
    Elephant's Eye - fancy having a house with only four doors. I love the idea for your climate but here in winter shutting things out seems pretty essential!
    PG - funny word for doors, reassuring, but you are quite right. They have a solidity and a timelessness.

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  13. I love your doors. Your home is so charming and cozy.

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  14. Ronnie - I agree, doors are intriguing! And I have never understood covering up panelled doors. We had some in our previous house which had been hardboarded over. Why?
    Cait - latched doors are great. I love the noise!
    Sara - someone has scratched initials on one of ours, heaven knows how long ago! Mind you I would not be pleased if someone did it now.

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  15. Love your doors. I think doors and windows are really the most interesting parts of a house. I have literally hundreds of pictures of doors and windows. People think I'm mad photographing them everywhere but they are just such signs of lives that have been lived. Your doors are beautiful and it's lovely to get a glimpse inside your house.

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  16. Love doors! Thanks for sharing yours.

    Here's a post I did a while ago featuring doors I saw in Italy: http://mrssplapthing.blogspot.com/2009/11/doors-of-italy-and-maybe-window-or-two.html

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  17. Hi Elizabeth m, Doors are magical and this is spoken by a true Door Lover.. Every one so special.. unique.. mysterious ...they really do coax one to go through... to see what is hiding on the other side.. and your wooden latches.. I absolutely love them.. What a charming character filled home you have...
    and the cozy fire.. awe...Beautiful post!!

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  18. Thanks for the information about the internal doors..

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