Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Ruin

We have a closing date, currently set for next week. So barring some really strange circumstance, it looks like the ruin is ours.

It´s a house outside Melide, La Coruña. It has 2100 m2 of land attached, as well as a 100 m2 barn. It´s walled on the east, hedged along the south and bordered along the west by a seasonal creek.

According to the documents, it was built in 1930. A second ¨house¨ was added sometime after the original structure by adding on a half-second story and a few rooms to the east side separated by a hall.

There is electrical pole and supposedly a well that we haven´t found.

We´re buying it from people who intended to turn it into a rural hotel. After purchasing it from the heirs in 2007, circumstances prevented them from following that plan and as far as we can figure, they never actually got around to doing anything. Two years ago half the roof fell in, and it´s been on the market for almost all that time. A large section of the northern wall has caved in, and some of the beams took out parts of the interior walls when they came down.

The house (or houses) is approximately 10 m x 12 m. We´ll be ripping off what´s left of the roof and the second floor addition and making it all one level. We´d like 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and 2 baths. We´ll need to install a septic tank and leech field. I have my eye on the barn as a future studio meanwhile, it will probably be the garage and tool storage.

The attached land is overgrown pasture, though there are apple and walnut trees, as well as elderberry, I think. And grape vines. And lots and lots of bramble and nettle. Some growing from one side of the house, over the top and in. I´ve attached a photo from the listing so you can see the before and current state.


August 2010

So the first order of business is to chop away some of the excess vegetation to get a good look at what´s connected to what. Three mysteries must be resolved. The first is to find the well - it could be lurking under various weedy mounds. The second is related to the interior of the house. On the other side of the passage, the middle of the house, there are a series of openings low on the wall. Windows from the original house?

The third involves the creek. V played intrepid explorer and discovered that our side of the creek is walled.

The creek disappears into the undergrowth at the right. (Also, this tree worries me)

But curiously, there´s a part of the wall that has a pronounced curve and roof tiles. We´re baffled. A pigeon house? The missing well? A very tiny oven?

Wish us luck!



    You know, you really, really need to get a few goats to deal with all of that overgrown pasture. Seriously.

  2. Wishing you lots of good luck, you sure have a project on your hands, on the plus side it looks as though the roof was pan tiles, much cheaper to get done than slate. Could your curved wall be an old bread oven, how tall is it?

  3. Thanks guys!

    I long for goats - but I´m not sure they´d enjoy living on the terrace in Madrid.

    We´ll take more pictures of the mystery structure after we get some of the vegetation off. I suspect it´s too small for an oven.

    what a project! but what on eart is a leech field? do you mean something like a reed bed or are you really planning to breed leeches? my experience with septic tanks is that they just need a good soakaway, in the opposite direction from the creek.
    and if you ask really nicely, I bet you get some offers of help from blog readers.
    thinking of you.

  5. Marianne - you´re absolutely right - leach field is the term. Soakaway to you Brits.

    Slugs are many - leeches hopefully not so much!