As this now crumbling yet brilliantly unique manor house spent some of its later years as a youth hostel, I thought I'd dig out a diary entry from one of its customers, dated 3rd February 1936. 'Found hostel, alone again. A most peculiar place this time. A great draughty barrack of a house, built in the sham-castle style – somebody’s Folly – about 1860. All but three or four of the rooms quite empty. Miles of echoing stone passages, no lighting except candles and only smoky little oil-stoves to cook on. Got out of bed so cold that I could not do up any buttons and had to go down and thaw my hands before I could dress. Left about 10.30 am. A marvelous morning. Earth frozen hard as iron, not a breath of wind and the sun shining brightly. Not a soul stirring. The lake had frozen over during the night. Wild ducks walking about disconsolately on the ice. The sun coming up and the light slanting along the ice the most wonderful red-gold colour I have ever seen.'