Everything in Harp Cottage has been considered.
The beech worktops in the kitchen are from the hill immediately behind the cottage. Go straight up through the wooden gate at the end of the driveway and you’re on Old Radnor Hill. Shush, don’t tell we said you could go up there. In fact you may regret it as it’s a 1:4 steep incline. A number of trees had to be felled on the hill and one day hearing the chainsaws I puffed my way up to find out if we could have some firewood. Since moving to the countryside I have become obsessed with wood – logs in particular. I can suffer from wood envy at the sight of a beautifully stacked wood pile! In fact it turns out they offered us the trees themselves as long as we could get them down off the hill…..
Pondering over how to get them down we hatched a plan that these trees were too beautiful for firewood alone, they were perfect for worktops instead.
After a chance meeting with someone I found out that there was a man – not too far away (well not in country miles) that had a mobile cutter, that could slice up the tree in situ, which would make bringing them down off the hill ‘easier’. Remember we are talking about a 1:4 incline here.
Under the guidance of the amazingly named woodsman Sherwood, we decided that the beech tree would be the best tree to slice into slabs. I have a video of it somewhere, which I must find, of the tree being sliced up and it shows the skill and sheer force that was needed to do the job. The slabs were then brought down by sheer magic, I think, and no-one got hurt!
The planks were then left to air dry for two years.
Through the gate at the top of our lane up through the fields to the woodland on the hill.
When the boards were sufficiently aired they then were taken by the lovely joiner Chris, who made our windows, and left in his workshop to climatise. He then worked his magic (lots of magic in this story!) and made us the beautiful bespoke beech work tops we now have in the kitchen in the cottage.