The Monday Photo
Tucked out of sight at the back of the Mentmore Towers estate is Crafton Lodge; a gatehouse. It’s named after the hamlet of Crafton, part of Mentmore parish.
The lodge allows access into the back of the Mentmore estate. Like many of the estate and village buildings around the main house, it was built around 1870-80, some years after the main house was finished.
The lodge is built in a picturesque, almost Tudor style, but like many Victorian buildings that look back to earlier times (I’m thinking of the Gothic Revival churches quite common in North Bucks) the roofs are uniformly very steep; steeper than a thatched roof would be. This is a bit of a giveaway if you are not sure how old a building is.
It’s a nicely proportioned house, and a much nicer place to live in than the many modern boxes now being built. But unlike the lodge they do not look as though they will still be here in 140 years.
This lodge, like the other two on the entrances to the Mentmore estate, Cheddington Lodge and possibly Stone Lodge, was designed by George Devey, who also did much work at Wing to extend Ascott House.
Crafton Lodge is a private house and is obviously looked after. But the 1852-54 Grade 1 listed main house (built for the Rothschilds) was reported in April this year to be neglected and no longer quite weatherproof. It’s a shame.
Tucked away places like this are the reason I look out for lanes to explore with “No through road” signs on the entrance. On my motorcycle there’s no road I can’t turn around at the end of; I’ll never get stuck if the lane just stops at a farm gate.
It’s a bit different in a car, but you might like to try exploring on a bicycle. To travel further, you can go by car or by train with your bicycle to explore an area you aren’t familiar with.
Give it a try; I might see you out there.
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