The house is on the main street of a small farming village with views and glorious countryside around. It is quiet, there are no street lights and few pavements. There is a community shop, a primary school, pub, church and village hall. Nothing else except walks across fields, down lanes and into the Quantock hills, with long views and skies that change with the weather and time of day.
The house had been the village shop, and since closing 35 years ago, its successive owners pushed and pulled it to be many different things. When I first saw it, it was decked out like an advertisement in a magazine and not at all as I wanted it to be. So, I stripped away the designer clap trap – except the bathrooms for which I am grateful – and made the house much more relaxing and less dressy. The energy of it has changed and it is feels peaceful, light and calm now. I hope you will find that too. For me it is a home that is a joy to live in.
I didn’t choose the name Gramarye. The word appears in Rudyard Kipling and in the Sword in the Stone. Gramarye was Merlin’s land – the place where Merlin taught Arthur and a place of magical transformation. I love that.
The main retreat room is a large light room. It has doors that open onto the south facing front garden with views across the fields There is a large fireplace for log fires on chilly days and comfy sofas and plenty of cushions and blankets so you can relax easily.
The dining room is also a reading room with a comfy sofa and lots of books for you to browse. Another fireplace and another view mean that this room is also a pleasure to be in .
Bedrooms are very comfortable, ensuite and sole occupancy in either double, king or super king sized beds. Each room has toiletries, towels, hospitality trays with a range of herbal teas. Spiritual does not have to be spartan.
Here is a bit about me
I'm Melanie and for twenty five years I’ve been facilitating spiritual exploration – my own and others’ – teaching and preaching, running groups and leading retreats. All my life, I’ve been questioning and challenging myself and asking what is meant by the divine/ God/ the universe – call it whatever you want – and what it means to be human.
Nine years ago, I came to Gramarye having brought up my daughter single handed, been an inner city community worker, and ordained C of E priest, now long retired.
I studied Theology at the University of Oxford and also have a degree in politics and a PGC in planning. I am a perpetual student. Fifty years ago I learned to meditate and have been refining my way ever since. I love the overlaps between belief systems and dismantling false narratives.
Not only through my formal training and much academic study, but also through my curiosity, exploration and a life lived often at the limits, I have gained a measure of perception and insight into our human condition and hope to offer some wisdom and useful reflection.
I host and run groups and retreats here, offer guidance and support and write the blog and other reflections. I provide a safe and calm environment where people can come and be more of themselves, and where I might facilitate and support their rest or exploration in whatever way works for them.
Please read the blog if you would like to find out more about my story, what I believe and advocate.