At the side of the house the lawn rose in a slope leading to a large Yew hedge which stretched along the side of the building up to the ha ha. In front of the hedge was a rather wild garden fenced off by short posts with other posts crossed between each one. Level with the front of the house a gap in the hedge led into the garden along a grass path interrupted by a sundial. Large square arches made of tree poles carried roses across the path. At the back a stone wall separated the flowers from the vegetable garden. The gap in the wall was made by Angela and Robert Grey after they had heard their father saying it would be nice to have an entrance there. At the back of the garden facing the Hinsons house was the rabbit wood, containing old Yews and a rockery where George Grey was reputed to have lost his gold watch while digging.

Milfield Hill House Garden and Farm

At the front of the house was the front field. Seen in the photograph on the left. Access to the front field from the lawn was by three stone steps built into the wall. A metal post with a ball at the top polished by great use helped anyone too nervous to go up or down. On the left of the field was an avenue of trees which led down to Rumble Burn at the bottom of the field. An old canon sat in the field on a wooden base with wheels. Anyone who went past was instructed to tip it up to let the rainwater out. It was supposed to have been washed ashore from a ship. Level with the garden were two willow trees and a wellingtonia. On the right and east of the front field was a metal fence and behind it near the bottom of the front drive was the curling pond wood which had an earlier pond.


Turning out of the yard at the back of the house with the harness room on your right (via lots of muscovy ducks, some too fat to fly) led through to the stackyard and the back lane. On the way on the left was the building with vented turrets for hanging game. The back lane (seen running left to right in the above photograph) led to the sheep houses. They were to the west of the curling pond. This later curling pond had a hard surface and was flooded with a tap. It was later made into a tennis court. The tennis wood lay behind the rockery and the rabbit wood and was reached through the green kissing gate in the outside garden walls. The dene was where the rumble burn ran through steep banks amongst the trees and was covered in primroses in spring. You reached it by either crossing the front field or walking up the lane from the stackyard and across to the left of the sheephouses below Fireburn. Fireburn field also contains the Greys private burial ground in a circle of trees. The hay barn in the stackyard was excellent for roller skating having sloping wooden floors. Under the arch used to be piles of rusty animal traps which caused at least one Milfield cat to have to manage on three legs. The chimney used to vent the engine which drove the machinery. There was a byre by the side of the road. Most of the stack yard buildings are now homes or holiday lets, even the open sided sheep shearing shed up by the pond is transformed for residential use. The pond is still there.

The water supply came from a well up the hill.

"Last night the water supply failed and after crawling into the roof to inspect the tank, I had to walk a mile up the hill to examine the well from which our water comes. No plumber has ever been able to master the complicated system of pipes and tanks supplying this house and it is therefore most unlikely that I ever shall. By some miracle I must have hit upon the cause of the trouble because after hanging upside down into the well and poking it with a stick, the water flowed again. Perhaps the beastly thing was intimidated by the awful inverted oaths which I muttered inside it." Robert Grey writing on 25.8.1945.