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My family and I used to visit the old couple who lived there when I was a little girl and they were always so kind to me. They even gave me a chicken to bring home and I was delighted with myself. I had the chicken for a couple of days and my dog killed it and I was devastated.
The reason the coffin is carried over the wall is because the fox would smell the body and follow the scent but would get confused when it would come to the wall and would it leave and the body would be safe. This tradition goes back to when coffins were just timber and some bodies were just buried in cloth. I know this because most of my Dad’s family and his relatives are buried there and so is my Dad. My Uncle explained this to us and said it was the way it was to be done when we buried my Dad and we carried his coffin over the wall and we did the same for my Uncle three weeks later.
Thank you Pauline. The Hastings Farmhouse restoration project will hopefully progress well this year. The photographic record of the house in the late 1960s is a fantastic asset and will be invaluable in the restoration and furnishing of the house.