The continuing loss of so many cottages which represented our traditional rural England led me to preserve a record of these old homes as an expression of a lost way of life. I was trained as a precision engineer and used those skills in the rebuilding the lost cottage heritage. My writing and T.V. appearances brought me the funding which enabled the completion of the years of research, enabling the correct plans for the building of each cottage to be made.
Working with appropriate materials and methods allowed me to construct these seminal buildings 32 times smaller, but in precise proportion to the original building. I made plans and took photographs on site of each surviving cottage or used exact archival records, only if they existed in full and complete detail and always reproducing the heyday of the building.
During my on site research for Willy Lott's Cottage, featured in John Constable's painting "The Hay-Wain" I found that the restorers had carved on a panel of the staircase, lines which mirror my own motivation:
O, there are Voices of the Past
Links of a broken chain,
Wings that can bear me back to Times
Which cannot come again;
Yet God forbid that I should lose
The echos that remain
Each cottage is built onto a solid base. Here is a replica of a vernacularly significant building, an interesting centrepiece for any room, office, alcove or snug. Only two of each building have, or ever will be made. Each authenticated by an incised autographed (John Constable) terracotta plaque set into the base. These cottages, being traditionally built, will weather naturally outdoors. My book "Landscapes in Miniature" explains the miniature trees and plants with which to create a small, outdoor, living countryside into which the buildings can be safely set.
My book "Understanding Cottages" has a full chapter detailing the significance, history and structure of each cottage offered for sale. A signed first edition of "Landscapes in Miniature" and "Understanding Cottages" will accompany each cottage sold.