So it was with great excitement when the call came through to say a wall in Beatrix Potter’s back garden had come down and we were the team to be given the honour of rebuilding it. How often do you get called in to repair the scenery that appears in such a renowned children’s book?
|From The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter (Frederick Warne and Co, 1907). You can just about see the wall we were to rebuild heading up the lane in front of Jemima Puddleduck. In a later photo you can see the lane as it looks today.|
|Adding the last of the cams on top of the completed section. The stretch without all the moss on it is the bit we rebuilt.|
This wall in particular fell down mostly through natural wear and tear. It was bowing in odd places, suffering the cumulative damage from hawthorn tree roots, users of the track, weathering and many freezing winters. This wall is also taller than most of the dry stone walls in the South Lakes area. Beatrix was a very private lady. We speculated that she had the walls built so high to allow her to keep her privacy. Beatrix is said to have run out of a fire door she had built at the back of the cottage when she saw someone approaching the house she had no desire to speak to at that time. We were doing our bit to maintain the privacy for the residents living there today.
|Although it is hard to see, you can just about make out the ranger in red working on the wall... helping to keep the lane just like it was in Beatrix Potter's day|