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14/10/1468 Stoneygate, a Humble Ideal

Within the boundaries of Devon there is an unique settlement called]Stoneygate. Far from the bustle of other English towns, it is said to present a purer and more authentic lifestyle among its residents, despite the]cultural differences found in its manor house. Andreas Sharpe recently visited Stoneygate and when asked about its uniqueness, had this to share:

“The size of the place. Compared to a lot of farms in the area, it is huge. Almost the size of an estate in itself. The man in charge of it all, Hereward, has every right to be proud of what he has developed. It's a busy place too, no-one is idle, not even the youngsters. Especially Hereward's son, young Kenric. He's usually kept busy with simple tasks in between his research into falcons and asking his Uncle Andy about kissing girls.”

To get an insider view of this community, I interviewed one of its inhabitants, Hulda.

Question: what do you think sets Stoneygate apart from the rest of England?

I think Stoneygate is just a very ordinary farm. We grow seasonal crops on our arable land, and graze a variety of cattle and sheep. We have a small number of villagers who help out, and a mill that my husband runs. I think you could find thousands of small villages and farms like it across England. If anything makes it special, it is my father, Hereward. He has such respect for the land, and the generations before him that worked it. He sees it as his responsibility to be a steward of the land, to pass onto his children, and grandchildren, and all the generations to come.

Question: how many people live there? Who is in charge?

My father, Hereward, without question, is the head of our family at Stoneygate. He inherited the land from his father, and both of them worked to add acreage and expand the farm to the prosperous place it is today. He lives with my step-mother, Magda, and my brother Kenric. He and Magda have two small children, Madeleine and Masho. Then I live there with my husband, Roldan, and our two wee ones-- Brann and Nattana. My cousin Ailith also lives with us. And then there is the widow Hazel, she has two children with my father, both wee ones as well. And Gervase, my brother, who comes and goes. That is the whole of the family-- a rather large group of us. And then there are the villagers-- that number goes up and down. Usually no more than thirty or forty.

Question: what are the benefits and pitfalls of living in Stoneygate?

The benefits are being part of a large family group where there is much love and warmth among us. It is a prosperous farm, so we do not fear hunger or want. My home is the large farm cottage, which is a funny rambling old structure, with different wings added on over the years. I have a special flock of sheep, with a fine, luxury wool, and I spin and weave from them. I also have a flock of milk goats and sheep, and make fine cheeses.

The only problem on Stoneygate was a]Peasant Revolt several months ago, where the villagers turned against a visiting lord, and then mob violence swept through, and they burned down the manor house. My father and family were lucky to escape with their lives. Now we are all in the farm cottage, getting the harvest in. No long term plans have been made about rebuilding the manor house or not-- no decision taken either way.

Question: are there any special celebrations or traditions?

No, nothing special. Just the normal farming ways, of a harvest home celebration when the crops are in, and the calling in of the harvest as we start the first cutting. But I think people on farms everywhere do those things. We like to remind ourselves of our ties to the land.

Question: does Stoneygate get many visitors? Any traveling traders or craftsmen?

No, we do not get a lot of visitors. It is a farm that is somewhat remote, so no one really comes by unless they plan it. We do see visitors who are family-- they come by and stay from time to time. But they are family, and welcomed anytime, there is always a space for them. My Sharpe family relatives come through to visit if they are in the area. And we have a market once a week, so people come from the nearby hamlets and farms. But other than that, no. No traders or craftsmen. I don't suppose there is enough on the farm to attract them.

Question: if you were not living in Stoneygate, where would you be living?

That is hard to say. I cannot imagine being anywhere else. This is my home, and has been the home of my father's family for generations. This is exactly where I belong. This is my home now, and that of my children, and hopefully of their children.

Julianna for KAP]The Right to respond to any KAP article is located in the International KAP offices.


Product Price Variation
Loaf of bread 5.97 -0.01
Fruit 12.26 0
Bag of corn 2.56 -0.01
Bottle of milk 8.7 -0
Fish 19.39 0
Piece of meat 15.15 -0.01
Bag of wheat 11.61 -0.02
Bag of flour 11.7 -0.1
Hundredweight of cow 29.62 -2.53
Ton of stone 8.83 0
Half-hundredweight of pig 15.46 0
Ball of wool 11.03 0
Hide 16.8 0
Coat N/A N/A
Vegetable 7.65 0.16
Wood bushel 5.27 -0.03
Small ladder 35.72 0
Large ladder 66.21 0
Oar 21.74 0
Hull 43.53 0
Shaft 9.26 0
Boat 93.31 0
Stone 15.83 0.03
Axe 149.6 0
Ploughshare N/A N/A
Hoe N/A N/A
Ounce of iron ore 21.45 -0.01
Unhooped bucket 23.77 -0.01
Bucket 33.4 -0.24
Knife 16.7 0.09
Ounce of steel 46.89 0
Unforged axe blade 71.08 0
Axe blade 92.99 0
Blunted axe 116.94 0.08
Hat 48.7 0
Man's shirt 106.74 0
Woman's shirt 114 0
Waistcoat 130.81 0
Pair of trousers 66.92 0
Mantle 260.08 0
Dress 250.78 0
Man's hose 41.42 0
Woman's hose 46.88 0
Pair of shoes 25.72 0
Pair of boots 80.8 0
Belt 34.98 0
Barrel 8.74 0
Pint of beer 0.8 0
Barrel of beer 69.67 0
Bottle of wine N/A N/A
Barrel of wine N/A N/A
Bag of hops 18.75 0
Bag of malt N/A N/A
Sword blade 101.8 0
Unsharpened sword 171.21 0
Sword 152.86 0
Shield 55.02 0
Playing cards 83.71 0
Cloak 171.49 0
Collar 69.25 0
Skirt 126.72 0
Tunic 240.11 0
Overalls 110.92 0
Corset 123.71 0
Rope belt 44.53 0
Headscarf 46.04 0
Helmet 161.17 0
Toque 50.11 0
Headdress 83.57 0
Poulaine 63.46 0
Cod 19.16 0
Conger eel 20.86 0
Sea bream 20.88 0
Herring 19.99 0
Whiting 20.13 0
Skate 23.46 0
Sole 18.58 0
Tuna 24 0
Turbot 21.31 0
Red mullet 17.6 0
Mullet 18.26 0
Scorpionfish N/A N/A
Salmon 17.92 0
Arctic char N/A N/A
Grayling 21.06 0
Pike 17.13 0
Catfish N/A N/A
Eel 25.72 0
Carp 11.19 0
Gudgeon 20.63 0
Trout 16.69 0
Pound of olives 19.84 0
Pound of grapes 13.07 0
Sack of barley 12.78 0
Half-hundred weight of goat carcasses 12.86 0
Bottle of goat's milk 10.72 0
Tapestry 102.71 0
Bottle of olive oil 110.35 0
Jar of agave nectar N/A N/A
Bushel of salt 23.71 0
Bar of clay 4.75 1
Cask of Scotch whisky 106.12 0
Cask of Irish whiskey 93.73 0
Bottle of ewe's milk 14.75 0
Majolica vase N/A N/A
Porcelain plate N/A N/A
Ceramic tile N/A N/A
Parma ham 165.94 0
Bayonne ham 87.49 0
Iberian ham 49.38 0
Black Forest ham 70.25 0
Barrel of cider 78.48 0
Bourgogne wine 120.25 0
Bordeaux wine 55.33 0
Champagne wine 81.25 0
Toscana wine 73.09 0
Barrel of porto wine 120.94 0
Barrel of Tokaji 95.41 0
Rioja wine 122.44 0
Barrel of Retsina 73.75 0
Pot of yoghurt 130.63 0
Cow's milk cheese 72.97 0
Goat's milk cheese 162.49 0
Ewe's milk cheese 66.88 0
Anjou wine 87.15 0
Ewe carcass 13.75 0
Mast 403.2 0
Small sail 284.06 0
Large sail 904.2 0
Tumbler of pulque N/A N/A
Jar of pulque N/A N/A