Life at Tyrannell


The Spiral of Life at Tyrannell

Life is in flux at Tyrannell. This is nothing new – in a place as old as this change is constant. Since I last wrote there has been the beginning of a generational shift in the family and that is as it should be. New ideas and energy are coming to imbue the place with youth and enthusiasm and the old wisdom needs to be shared. Our website will be our picture book and instruction manual for ourselves and to share with all our friends.

Tyrannell is a place for living; that is very clear. It is an ideal place to make a homestead: a flat meadow among the hills, sheltered from the prevailing wind by high ground and wooded land with a small river flowing safely by in a deep gully, at the end of the Drovers’ Road – an ancient green way leading from the warm western winter pastures to the central area where stock was traded – and on a major route leading to the Marches, with castles famous from medieval warfare and celebrated battle sites. The routes probably date back to before the iron age; hill forts are common in the area, and the Romans certainly marched by, leaving their ‘playing card’ shaped camps still visible in rough pasture.

We have scant records of the house before the eighteenth century although clues to a long habitation abound. There is a characteristic free standing chimney in the oldest part, betraying the existence of a traditional Welsh House and, although this is not obvious now, it was built at right angles to the road as it was then, an almost invariable trait. There was surely some cob and thatch structure before. Since then a continuous process of addition, alteration and some terribly ill advised cutting through major timbers has led to the rambling building of today and we honour this by making our own improvements, or so we think.

Interesting people have lived in this place and left their mark, literally and in reputation. Now it is our turn. When we arrived in 1999 little did we know that Ivor would have less than twenty years here, but what achievements he made and left for us to continue! Now that those young children are grown to adulthood and have children of their own it is time for them to learn the ways of Tyrannell and to take their next steps in its long life. Here we shall journal our seasons, share our experiences and celebrate all that is good in our communal life.

Some talk of the circle of life, some of time’s arrow. To me, a spiral describes better what goes on here. There is repetition, though never quite precise. There is growth, though the direction is not always obvious until we look back. There is dimension, though time is never exactly what we think and we roam through space more like the tendrils of a vine than on a carefully planned and executed journey.

At Tyrannell we follow the lead of the place and humbly do our best to leave it in good heart.

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