removed, the panelling torn out, the pavement wrenched up, and the
materials were used for building operations in the neighbourhood. Indeed,
the order had gone out to tear down the walls and use the materials for
building a new farmhouse, but the Rev. Lambert Larking, to his eternal
honour, intervened and made so strenuous and effective a protest that the
old walls were allowed to stand. Ivy rapidly invaded them and had done,
and was doing, dreadful damage, when in 1905 I was able to have it bodily
removed and the plague stayed. At some unrecorded time the north moat was
filled in, and an orchard planted beside and over it.
Meanwhile the other house continued in occupation. It came to
be subdivided, I believe, into two labourersí cottages, but, as little
was done to maintain them, it fell into ruinous condition and was in its
turn about to be abandoned and perhaps disroofed in the year 1895.
Fortunately Mr. Dudley C. Falcke at that moment intervened and pluckily
took a lease of the wretched tenement. He it was who saved it from
destruction. He cleared away the farmersí
mess and substituted roses for it. He made weak places strong, and kept
things safe and sound for eleven years. When I first saw the castle it was
in a very different state indeed from that in which he had found it.
Outside unfortunately, while he had been embellishing and saving it
within, the neighbourhood was being destroyed by the formation immediately
in front of the gate-house of a hideous manufactory for tar pavement,
which might just as well have been placed close to the lock, where it
would have been less injurious.
I was fortunately enabled in 1905 to purchase first the lease
and afterwards the freehold of the castle and some 40 acres about it. The
leases of the various philistine undertakings in the immediate
neighbourhood will shortly be terminated, and away will go the tar-paving
people, the manure wharf, and the oast-houses which form so sordid a
setting for the castle. Whether what I have done and am doing in the
nature of restoration to bring the place again into a habitable condition
does or does not meet with public approval I do