There are certain signs I simply cannot resist. Free Cheese, for example. Oh, how I wish I’d ever seen that sign. I live in hope. Op Shop Open is a particular winner. But one of my favourites would have to be Historic Cottage This Way. It doesn’t even need to be a cottage. An historic anything is pretty awesometastic, in my view, but a cottage is always such a sweet thing.
So when we were driving out to Hurstbridge the other day and I saw a sign beginning with that delightful word Historic, then I knew what we had to do. We had to keep going to Hurstbridge because I was incredibly hungry and needed to find some lunch.
But on the way back? Yeah, we followed the sign and found this:
Historic Ellis Cottage.
Can you imagine those trees when the cottage was built in 1865? They would have been tiny little things, neatly guiding your way to the door of this impressive stone cottage. Now they’ve really gone to town with the whole growing business and tower alarmingly over the little building.
The road to the cottage was a ribbon of gravel that wound its way across a swathe of greenery in the middle of the suburban creep. The greenery was not there to surround and protect the cottage; no, there’s a hint as to its purpose in one of the photos below.
Giant power pylons, marching across the landscape. The cottage itself is off to the side of the towering pylons, nestled between two modern houses. In fact, one of the houses faces directly onto the cottage itself, with nothing much in the way of a fence. I don’t know if I could live that way myself; I’d be too disappointed at the constant reminder that I was living next to a gorgeous old cottage instead of in it.
Of course, I’d also be living next to a chain of giant power pylons, which, along with nearby houses and a giant shed, made it a bit of a challenge to photograph the cottage. If I stood in just the right spot, however, it came up like this:
I know it’s a little on the cosy side, but I want it for my very own. Look at the brickwork framing the windows! And isn’t the stonework amazing? Apparently, the fact that it’s built of stone makes it quite rare for the area. It’s also ensured that Ellis Cottage has survived through a century and a half, still looking as solid as ever.
Why yes, I did attempt to hide the giant pylon behind the chimney there. I actually wish I hadn’t, though; it would have been much better to show the contrast between the elegant old and the less-than-attractive new. On the up side, I’m quite a fan of the random stack of bricks beside the house. It really adds a dimension of ‘why the heck is that even there?’ to the otherwise delightful assortment of old tools and carriage parts.
It was a quick stop but I was glad we’d made it. This is why I believe it’s always worth following those random little signs that start with ‘historic’ – you just never know what you’ll find! There are fabulous little treasures being concealed by streets you think you know well. It’s a delightful conspiracy and it just goes to show that you don’t need to go out of your way to make discoveries; there could be one just around the corner from you right now.