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Biomass Fired Up, Reverend Blown Up & Clay Pipe Dug Up

With autumn setting in at South Ormsby Estate, preparations for colder weather are well underway. We switched over from the fuel-oil boiler to the new biomass system; the initial fire burned well and we marked the first day of supplying biomass heat to the Hall.


At Keal Farm, work moved quickly on erecting a new barn to house Lincoln Red cattle throughout the winter months. From filling holes with foundation material last week, the construction crew had a steel and timber framework in place by the end of this week. Meanwhile, in the park the team from Pell Plant continued their excavations to improve drainage.

Closer to home, Allen Archaeology’s team opened a fascinating window into South Ormsby’s past. Their exploratory trench in the Walled Garden uncovered a path whose bricks lacked frogging, dating it before 1850. A five-course wall and a quantity of broken glass also emerged. The glass has been sent for dating, but may just have been part of an orangerie intended to protect continental fruit trees from the British winter.


The most intriguing find was an intricately decorated clay pipe, bearing the mark of tobacconist Naylor’s of Lincoln. Our new graduate trainee, Daniel Hall, found references to Naylor’s from the 1750s. This degree of craftsmanship would have been beyond the means of a labourer, so the pipe may well have been smoked – and lost – by an early resident of the Hall.

Daniel Hall is the newest member of the estate team. Hailing from Lincoln, Daniel graduated this year from the University of East Anglia with a BA (Hons) in History. Daniel combined his studies with part-time work in hospitality at Cadwell Park. In his free time, Daniel is a keen gym-user, runner and footballer. Despite being a Lincolnite, Daniel was obliged by family tradition to be an Aston Villa fan.


In his one-year traineeship at South Ormsby, Daniel will try key roles including event management, business development, housekeeping, gardening, marketing and cattle management. He’s currently shadowing Paul Barnes in estate management. “It’s hard to find schemes like this in Lincolnshire,” said Daniel. “It’s a really good opportunity and the variety of it appealed to me. Rotating through different roles gives me a chance to learn a lot of skills.”


After much deliberation in The Old Rectory Guest House, the Reverend Massingberd’s newly enlarged portrait was hung at the top of the stairs close to the chandelier. The Reverend Francis Charles Massingberd – who went on to become the Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral – commissioned what is now The Old Rectory from architect C Penrose in 1849.

To give the Reverend the presence he deserves, we took a small portrait from The Old Rectory’s hall and made it larger than life-size. Damian Furlong photographed it and it was reproduced and framed by P&M Framing of Swaby. The 19th-century rectory replaced a less grand building described as a ‘mean cot’ by Samuel Wesley, who lived there in the 1690s. His children went on to found Methodism.


Jackie, Nicky and Annie served tea and cake at The Old School in support of Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘Drop-in’ Coffee Morning. Visitors enjoyed some fine treats from the Hall’s kitchen and money was raised for an excellent cause. David Whiteley hosted Louth Lions with a view to having vintage tractor runs pass through the estate. The Lions enjoyed a tour of the Hall, and the occasion proved useful for networking and for supporting a local charity.