Decay and dilapidations

This week, work has been continuing on the same elements as mentioned in last week’s blog, with volunteers busy flattening and organising many of the Norton Conyers estate vouchers which give a wonderful overview into the goods and services purchased to ensure the smooth running of an estate such as this.  The general upkeep of such a property and the cost of maintenance is one of the main areas represented and is responsible for considerable outlay each year.

This in part mirrors some of the work I’ve been doing in identifying material for project volunteers to transcribe remotely.  One document, eight pages in length and dated c.1640, provides in great detail, an appraisal of repairs to be made to Nunnington Hall and its associated buildings. One page, shown below, details the areas of concern for the mill – the use of the opening phrase ‘The decay of…’ features prominantly throughout the whole document and one can imagine the then owner, Humphrey Thayer’s heart sinking on reading the long list of dilapidations needing attention.

ZKZ 3 2 008

The most expensive item on this list is the work to be done to the mill stones themselves. £16.0s.0d equates to approximately £2,548 in today’s money. Although it’s not clear if labour costs were included or to be added.

It is documents such as these which give a real insight into the day to day problems encountered by seventeenth century folk and enable us to sympathise as the same type of issues are an ongoing occurence for us too. Although not everyone will have a mill in their back yard!

See you next week and hope you’re not too bogged down with your own DIY projects.


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