Today we visited Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire. The morning was cold and frosty as we walked from the car park to the hall.
The trees look wonderfully stark and sculptural against the sky and the light frost on the grass
Sudbury is a very elegant red brick hall built in the 17th Century
We walked around the outside first, the lake was frozen over in places
I love this view of the back of the hall
Let's go inside to warm up our fingers and toes. A Regency Christmas of 1802 was the theme inside. Now I was wondering about that as I'd always been taught that the Regency period was from 1810 to 1820 when George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, became Regent during the illness of his father George III, but another school of academic thought would say that it ran from 1790 to 1820 and others that it runs through to 1837. I've put a link at the end of this post for those who are interested in following this up. I have to say that when I think of the Prince Regent, which surprisingly isn't that often, I can't help but see Hugh Laurie in Blackadder III, one of my all time favourite comedy series but I digress so back to 1802!
The lovely white staircase which you may recognise from the BBC TV series of Pride and Prejudice - yes that one! Some of the interior, including the staircase, was used for Mr Darcy's home, Pemberley.
It was decorated from top to bottom and looked stunning far better than my photos show as the lighting levels were difficult to work with.
There were seasonal decorations in all the window sills, on staircases and around all the fireplaces I loved the swags and central display on this one.
The cool and elegant grandeur of the long gallery was lit by sunlight, just the right setting for an early 19th century Christmas with scenes based on the diaries of Georgiana Vernon who lived at Sudbury Hall.
What or who can we see in here? Mr Darcy? Mr Bingley? Mr Wickham? The Misses Bennet?
No, they were as yet taking shape in Miss Austen's imagination!
Dancing, of course!
When I see dancing like this I remember the books of my teenage years written by Georgette Heyer, where the spring muslin clad heroines danced the Quadrille and the Cottilion at Almacks Assembly Rooms or those at Bath perhaps.
These dancers were very entertaining and energetic and the costumes were lovely. I've made a couple of photo mosaics below so that you can see more of what was on offer in the hall.
There was also a marquee with crafts and homemade goodies but it was so crowded and the queue to see Father Christmas in the Museum of Childhood was very long, as was the queue for the cafe and the queue of cars waiting for a space in the car park. It was time to give up our space and move on, back to the 21st century.
Link to more about the Regency Period