April 12th – I’ve been able to find out little of John Smith. He was clearly a big cheese, because he could afford a handsome, three-storey foursquare traditional redbrick Staffordshire farmhouse – Ivy House Farm, Lower Stonnall. I pass this name stone set into the barn an awful lot, and often wonder if the stonemason did that deliberately, or if he was just illiterate, and copying something written for him. It’s a charming little mystery.

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