Thursday, July 12, 2012

On a Rare Sunny Day - Part two

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my last post I'm glad you enjoyed it. In the post I promised to show you more of the Island Arboretum, Servants' Quarters and Farm at Shugborough so this is more or less a continuation of our visit.  We walked up towards the Mansion House and Gardens and then down the Lady Walk towards the pretty, flower covered boathouse which featured in my last post and over the blue bridge to the Arboretum.  

It was very quiet and peaceful on the walk and shaded under the trees many of which are oaks grown from acorns collected by Lord Lichfield from all over Europe, North America and Asia.  Damsel flies were flitting around the grasses and rushes by the water's edge their blue bodies shining in the sunlight.  We saw lots of butterflies too.  

The oak tree above, according to the label,  is Qercus Dentata 'Cal Ferris Miller' collected in Asia in 2000.

The cones on this fir tree looked quite unreal in their pale green state, just as if they had been painted by hand.  There were lovely views of the mansion house across the water and some more sculptures which were part of the sculpture trail but if we are to visit the servants' quarters and farm we must move on.  We left the island by the red bridge which is part of the Chinese section of the gardens.

After we'd taken refreshment in the Lady Walk tea room we set off to view the servants' quarters.We had to dodge around the school parties who were being taught how food was cooked and clothes were washed and how hard servants worked, how much they were paid and how little free time they had.  Their little faces were rapt in attention as they listened to the costumed characters of the cook, laundry maid, footman and brewer.  Here are some photos of the rooms we saw, some were closed off for the visits.

 Above and below are parts of the main kitchen

Below the servants' dining room and the laundry

 The laundry floor was still wet from the demonstration so we couldn't walk on it.

There was so much to see in the museum which is upstairs over the kitchens and laundry that it was a while before we caught the little train down to the farm.

 I loved the farm house with its inviting entrance hall,

 front parlour

 and warm kitchen

In the kitchen the cook was making bread and scones with flour ground at  the farm  mill.  Down the passage in the photos above is  a dairy where the dairymaid had been demonstrating the making of cheese.  Here is a link to Paul's Bread pages where he has added a page on the mill at Shugborough farm.  I've made a collage of some of the animals at the farm as this post is getting a bit photo heavy.

After we'd said hello to all the animals it was time to go back to the car park and make our way home with a bag of flour to test later.  It was so lovely to have a day out without any rain.  I've still to tell you about the week before when we had a day out in Birmingham most of my memories of which were of being wet through to the bone and steaming dry in the museum cafe, of sheltering from the torrential rain under the council house portico near the 'floozie in the jacuzzi' whilst watching Wimbledon on the big screen, of finding travelling on the train with lightening flashing by the windows quite scary.   I'll be back with that!  Meanwhile here is a photo of an even wetter than normal 'floozie'.....

'bye for now.


  1. I would love to live in a house like that! There are plenty of rooms for all my hobbies! Thank you for sharing Rosie. I am going to go back and look at all of the pictures in detail now. By the way, I have never seen cones like that before! They look like wax don't they? x

  2. Love the photos of the old kitchen and laundry room. How our lives have changed. I also love the blue bridge in your first photo. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Always like the servants quarters, I figure that's where y family would have worked.

  4. What an interesting place to visit - I love to see where the real people work and live rather than the grand upstairs rooms.

  5. How did I miss your last post? We visited there a couple of years ago, but it was late in the day and we didnt get chance to go below stairs - which is the bit I would really love to do. Perfect excuse to return though! xxxx

  6. Thank you for sharing your visit with me. I enjoyed the it immensely. I love those red bridges in an oriental garden too.

  7. Thanks for another wonderful virtual tour, please tell me the figure looking through the archway in the scullery is a model....

  8. Lilac in May - not a model although there were one or two cardboard ones around - it is one of the costumed members of staff who were doing demonstrations for the school children - she popped her head around the door just as I took the photo:)

  9. It's great to see a bit more of Shugborough.I really must make an effort to visit - I went once on a school trip when I was about 11 but haven't been since!

  10. As always, a fanastic post about a part of the UK I'm fairly unfamiliar with. Wonderful pictures of the old kitchens Rosie and the collage of farm animals is great.

    We've hd a bumper crop of strawberries too - large, deepest red and very sweet. They obviously love the rain!


  11. Hi Rosie,

    I've just read both posts and Shugborough looks like a fascinating place to visit.

    I love reading posts of your visits and seeing your photographs....I get quite homesick for England at times and it is always a treat to stop by and share your adventures.

    Have a lovely weekend and I hope that the sun shines!

    Marie x

  12. This looks like a lovely place. We've just come back from a trip to the Peaks and saw this advertised but didn't manage to get there. Maybe next time!