1640, not 4.40 pm or 20 to 5 but the year: 1640. Okay, date laboured so let’s move on.
The date is significant as because last weekend in our closest town, Great Yarmouth, we viewed a property built in 1640. Yes 1640, King Charles I’s reign.
I imagined having to don cravats, hats and grow flowing Cavalier locks on entering this veritable treasure chest, like some extras from “Wolf Hall” but, alas, we didn’t have to.
So what is a property built in 1640 actually like?
Perhaps because the English Civil War was about to commence, the property felt suitably sturdy and substantial. Grade 2 listed externally as you’d expect, with hardwood sash windows that looked like a later addition – Victorian is my guess and multiple spacious rooms spread over 4 floors, like the grandiose piles lining Yarmouth’s historic South Quay.
A basement was accessed from wide stone stairs, hidden behind a bar – sadly not functioning but I’m in a teetotal phase but no J2Os in sight either. The living room was beamed with a beamed porch which was internally open. A large fireplace made me think of pigs rotating on a spit, with ale being quaffed around it, but a quick blink made the rurban woodburner look as practical and inviting.
A spacious modern kitchen had been tagged on the back, which seemed incongruous given its age.
Other marvels revealed themselves upstairs – 5 large airy bedrooms spread over two floors with beams, sash windows and that modern convenience, distinctly un 17th Century – en suites.
Floors were wonky – apologies for going all technical – but that’s to be expected for a property just shy of 400 years old?
We liked it.
It was set back in a central urban location with lovely views over the parish church with properties surrounding it of similar beauty and stature.
But do we love it enough to move from our Edwardian property – a foetus in comparison at 110 years old – to a Charles I bolt hole?
I’m decidedly undecided, to end on an oxymoron.