Lovedown Farm, 200 acres in the village of Hockley in Essex, UK, about an hour east of London, was once owned by my great-great-grandparents John and Ellen Jolly. It’s now owned by the Baker family who welcomed our random knock on the door last spring, and showed us all round. (Nope, no relation. Just crazy coincidence.)
It was pretty cool to see the original barns and orchard, and the same views my great-great-grandparents saw as the tended their animals, grew crops, and cultivated the vegetables and fruit that graced their table.
John Jolly died in 1881, age 57. Ellen Jolly died in 1907, age 72, the day after her daughter (my great-grandmother Kitty – the youngest child in the 1874 photo below) and two granddaughters (my grandmother Rachel and her sister Madge) arrived in Canada to join my great-grandfather Arthur Daniels. He’d been in Canada for a year, working where he could until a shipbuilding job in his trade came up in Victoria.
John and Ellen’s headstone still occupies pride of place in the lovely shaded yard of the parish church they attended in Hockley, and Lovedown Farm still grows things. The studio Wayne built for me this past winter, for writing and reading and painting and just plain contemplating, really needs a name. I think I’ll call it Lovedown Cottage.