After 12 hours of searching, I found the manor house. And for only one reason. I still don’t recognize the street names. The house had a name of its own although I’ve forgotten that, too.
I wouldn’t have recognized the property except for the retaining wall running up the side of the driveway.
As soon as I saw it I knew I was home.
The rest of it is altered beyond recognition. The house is not that house. The terraced gardens with wide rock steps and secret places to sit and places to hide are gone.
On one side of the garden were brick steps going down to a gate and the street. That land’s been excavated and leveled to make room for a large driveway. A garage has been built beneath the house, as well as a second house! (That’s the house viewed from the driveway; not the old house. No wonder I didn’t recognize it.) What’s left for garden are two small patches of green with a trampoline on one instead of a pond. (Seen in aerial view.)
There’s something terribly odd about the vertical stripes. They don’t fit and they weren’t there before.
Tall hedges and rock walls around the property have been replaced with brick posts and a rock facade. There are traffic lights on the corner that weren’t there 50 years ago. There are metallic railings around the curb to keep people from running into cars. The large house on the opposite corner has been replaced by a featureless apartment block.
If I look close I can see remnants of what was once a stately manor house with gardens befitting. I wonder if the stables are still there, alongside the house next door. Certainly there are no horses grazing on pasture land.
The old people are gone now; the end of an era of seances and men who wore white shirts and bow-ties in broad daylight. All vanished in the English fog.