Oh this is a magical spot. Deep in the woods beneath the castle. Where crystal clear water gushes from a crevice in a rock through a lion’s head. Where a gentle stream tumbles down a rocky path. A dwelling place for nymphs or other water deities. We’ve not had the pleasure of a personal encounter yet, but now that we’ve cleared away most of the debris and cleaned the basins, this will surely be among the possible incidents of everyday life at Lescure.
The waters were less than sacred when we started. Decomposing rodent bodies in the water tank, trees that had toppled in a storm and damaged the stone surround, wild boar wallowing in the mud at night. I already learned that ‘awakening’ an estate isn’t always pretty and comfortable, now I also know it can be wet and very foul smelling. Thanks to Thomas and Willem, men who don’t mind getting their hands and indeed most of their bodies dirty, the hardest work on the spring is behind us. The water isn’t safe to drink, but we have connected a pump and use the water to fill the estate’s basins and for gardening purposes. There’s still a lot of restoration to be done and our challenge is to not overdo it and spoil the site. I want to leave it with an air of otherworldly mystery, so that we can keep feeling that we’re discovering it for the first time. And of course to have nymphs and their consorts feel right at home and thrive.