Wreningham Time Capsules

Church Farm

At the end of the 1900s, the owner of Church Farm decided to remove one of the two chimneys in the farmhouse. Behind some of the internal masonry, a package appeared. It contained two complete newspapers and a hand-written page – all dated July 1896.

The hand-written page was celebrating the completion of the (just) reconstructed farmhouse with a clear expectation this package would be discovered at a future date.

This House was Restored and Enlarged in the Year of our Lord 1893 by Mr George Rix, Builder and Mr George Brooks, Carpenter, Wreningham.
Mrs Bullimore, Owner. The tenants being at the time Mr Daniel and Miss Mary Ann Bush. The Rev A W Upcher being the Rector of the Parish. The Churchwardens being Mr Henry Bothway, Farmer, and Mr John Potter, Blacksmith.
Surveyor Mr William Long, Farmer. Overseer Mr Alfred Quantrell, Carpenter and Farmer. Mr J W Bullimore living at the Hill Farm.
Parish Clerk, Mr David Saunders.

Written by Daniel Bush, Wednesday July 26th 1893”

The two 1893 newspapers were from the 7th and 8th July – consecutive issues of the Daily Graphic. They provided extensive coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary (“May”) of Teck, at Windsor Castle. The happy couple were later to become King George V and Queen Mary.

The Royal wedding had taken place nearly 3 weeks before Daniel Bush had consigned his time-capsule.

This was from a period before printed photographs in newspapers, so both editions include extensive pen & ink drawings of the many scenes witnessed at the time.

The detail about who attended the wedding, what they were wearing and the food they consumed, is no different to the equivalent journalism of today.

The Old Homestead, Toprow

Chimneys must be a common time-capsule theme! There has been a similar occurrence in Toprow at The Old Homestead.

The black shed to one side of the house was once a slaughterhouse – although it has since been demolished.

The soil beneath the slaughterhouse had become jet-black with dried animal blood. When dug up and moved elsewhere, the soil produced fantastic rhubarb!

In the late 1970s, the Old Homestead’s new owners were removing crumbling plaster from the side of an upstairs chimney when they were surprised to encounter a small garment which had been entombed in a brick recess.

They shook out the dust and realised it must have once belonged to a young girl.

The garment appears to be velvet on the outside with a cotton lining. There is a colourful embroidery on the back.

An investigation has established the garment to be very old. It is presumed the original owner died very young – a common occurance in earlier centuries.

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