This morning I have been to a site meeting about Hoaroak Cottage in the wilds of Exmoor. Exmoor National Park have commissioned some consolidation works on the cottage to preserve its structure as much as is practical.
This is very much a ‘suck it and see’ job so this morning we all met on site to discuss exactly how far to take the work. Thankfully we were all singing from the same hymn sheet and works will now progress further in a few weeks time with completion due in late September/early October.
For more information on Hoaroak Cottage visit hoaroakcottage.org
After many months waiting for consents and conditions to be aligned I had a pleasant morning doing a recce run deep into the heart of Exmoor with Neil and Christel from Experience Exmoor. They will be helping us transport guests of The Friends of Hoaroak Cottage to Hoaroak Cottage as part of the Voices of Hoaroak Project we are working on. The guests are quite elderly but have valuable memories of the cottage and the people who lived there. We are hoping visiting the cottage will bring more memories to the fore.
The cottage is completely cut off from the world, to get there is an offroad adventure driving over open moorland with little more than a sheeptrack marking the way. Obviously taking vehicles over open moorland is very sensitive and we needed consent from the land management company on the day we were intending to travel. We also undertook to assess the conditions as we went to be sure we minimised any environmental damage. We took my Land Rover 110 to inspect the ground conditions and take a view on the logistics of taking Experience Exmoor’s Discovery 4 next time.
After a couple of weeks with no rain the moor was very dry and we had no problems getting to the cottage as the photographs show. Only one section of the drive could present a problem for the Discovery on less aggressive tyres and we can overcome that by winching it up the vulnerable grassy slope.
Yesterday a group of us walked out to Hoaroak Cottage (hoaroakcottage.org). Here are a few photos of the day. There will be a write up of the walk on the Hoaroak Cottage website in due course.
If you are adventuring onto Exmoor and are reasonably competent out in the wilds there is a place you really should try to seek out; http://www.hoaroakcottage.org/ .
Hoaroak Cottage is an abandoned farmhouse about as far from civilisation as you can get on Exmoor, it was once home to my Great Great Grandfather and Grandmother and their 13 children. Their story and that of the other folk who have occupied this remote place is told on the above website.
Below are a few pictures of us filming an episode of the popular FlameTV programme HeirHunters out at the cottage.
Update – It seems the series featuring this episode is being re-run, I’ll keep you posted…