Have you ever heard of Macon?

Have you ever heard of Macon?

The settings in my next historical book Treacle Moon (which is available on June 23) move from Rome, Italy, to a house on the edge of an English Village Green. Townend Farmhouse was one of the settings used to research this old way of life.
At Townend Farmhouse, which is in the Lake District, England, there is a preservation of a middle-class way of life that is a wonderful step back in time. In the kitchen, above the fireplace, actually within the chimney, they have placed some linen wrapped packages to show visitors how the family used to dry and smoke meat to store it. I assumed they were hams. But the family were sheep farmers and therefore the meat they cured was mutton (from sheep), not pork, and the dried meet they ate was called Macon…
I have not put this in a book, it would take too much explaining as most people will never have heard of it. Ha. Ha. 😆
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A weavers’ bowl – was filled with water and spread the light farther in poorer homes so people could work in the evening

A weavers’ bowl – was filled with water and spread the light farther in poorer homes so people could work in the evening…


This is an unusual little fact that I learned while visiting a very old English Farmhouse.

Townend Farmhouse, in the Lake District, England, is owned and kept by the National Trust. It is a lovely and rare preservation of a moment in a middle-class way of life.

Because the family were not rich, but well off, there are remnants of a very different style of life than you normally see preserved. Below is a picture of a candle holder. There are places for beeswax candles but these would have been rarely used, due to the expense. So there are also holders for tallow candles that were made by dipping reeds into melted animal fat. These reeds could be “burned at both ends” so that people could work into the night. Here, though, there is another artefact that rarely survives the test of time – A weavers bowl. The glass bowl in front of the candles would have been filled with water. This would have acted in the same way that mirrors did in richer households, reflecting the light and spreading it further around the room.

Of course, I have now managed to find a scene in Treacle Moon for this lovely little fact! 


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