8 The Rickyard

Photo: Illustrative image for the '8 The Rickyard' page

The inscription over the front door, Pax et Bonum, means ‘Peace and Goodwill’.  It appears on many of the houses in the oldest port of Assisi in Italy because it was a favourite greeting of St Francis of Assisi.

The eight houses which constitute The Rickyard were built in 1976 and these simple, unfussy designs go well with the old houses of Ashwell, without trying to mimic them.

The land they were built on was part of Dixies Farm (behind you in Back Street, and now converted into homes and businesses).  On it was a cart-hovel, where farm vehicles were kept, conveniently near the stables and large farmyard.

The word Hovel was commonly used for a shed or small barn and did not, as nowadays, imply that it was dilapidated.  This one consisted of a rectangle of stout wooden posts, set in the ground, with tree branches fixed across them to support a thatch of tightly bound bundles of brushwood, piled up in layers to throw off the rain.  All the materials were grown on the farm, so it was a very inexpensive way of building and the method was widespread in years gone by.

Behind the hovel there was said to be a well which supplied the water for Dixies Farm and the nearby labourers’ cottages until mains water was connected in 1914.



This page was added on 21/12/2010.

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