Friday, August 30, 2013

The Old House Museum

In my last post I promised to tell you  about The Old House Museum in Bakewell.  We last visited a few years ago and we noticed quite a few changes and much more areas open with the inclusion of a courtyard and outside displays, places to sit and a drinks machine as well as a ramp to enable visitors to see the back of the house.  It is all very visitor friendly both inside and out.

According to the information boards the first part of the house was built in the 1530s by the Ralph Gell  for his steward Christopher Plant who collected the tithes for the parish of Bakewell.  Later in the 16th century the Gell family extended the house and it became a gentleman's residence.  Another wing was added in the early 17th century.  In the 1770s the house was bought by Sir Richard Arkwright and turned into five cottages for the use of workers at  the Lumsden cotton mill, he later added a 6th cottage.  Lumsden Mill was Arkwright's third cotton mill.  Evidence has been found in the cottages that some of the workers may have cleaned the raw cotton in their homes rather than at the factory premises.  The Bakewell and District Historical Society took over the buildings in 1954.

Throughout the museum the displays reflect the different eras that the house was in occupation and the differing work and lifestyles of its inhabitants. 

It is a very 'hand on' museum with lots of dressing up boxes, toys for the children to play with and when we visited a find the 'ratty' rat trail.  There are outdoor games for children in the courtyard too.  The volunteers who help keep the museum open are  friendly and helpful and make you feel very welcome.

I'll let the pictures show you what it is like inside.

Here is a link to the museum website if you want to find out more about it

I've just spotted one of the rats in the photo below!

I've just got home from a few days away so I'll be back with tales of our adventures later and I'll try to catch up with your posts and comments over the next few days. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Visiting the View

This was the view of Bakewell we saw in the slightly sun-gilded mist of a warm early afternoon  as we walked along a public footpath just off the Monsal Trail close to Hassop Station.  We weren't looking down on where we were going though - we were looking down on where we had spent the morning just mooching around - as you do.

We'd parked in the usual place over the river near the cattle market and instead of setting off into the town centre as we usually do we wandered up the hill towards the church and museum with the intention of visiting them both.

We'd been up here before and walked through the churchyard to the museum but had never been inside the church.  I have to say it was fascinating!

In the entrance are loads of wonderful carved stones.  The stones above are the Norse/Anglian stones some with the Northumbrian vine scroll pattern.  The stones below are from the later medieval period dating from the 12th and 13th centuries.  Many are coffin tops but with no inscriptions some having symbols of their profession carved on them.

Inside there are several items of interest including a 14th century font declared 'The finest of its kind in the county' by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.

Below is the Pre-Raphaelite window of the 'Adoration of the Lamb' designed in 1893 by Henry Holiday.

What interested me most were the tombs and monuments of the Vernon and Manners family from nearby Haddon Hall.  We almost missed them as they are in what is known as the Newark or 'new work' an area which was added to the church during the 13th and 14th centuries.  It now houses a small shop and cafe but beyond the tables and behind a 14th century oak screen we found them.

Above is the monument to Sir George Manners and his wife Grace who was founder of the Lady Manners School in the town.  Below is a detail of one of the carvings from the monument above.

The tombs are of members of the Vernon family.  The nearest to the front of the photo is the tomb of  John Vernon who died in 1477 and behind are the tombs of Sir George Vernon who was known as 'King of the Peak' and his two wives.

On the far wall is the monument to Sir John Manners (d. 1611) and his wife Lady Dorothy Vernon (d. 1584).  Of course the name of  Dorothy Vernon is always linked with her alleged elopement with Sir John Manners and the bridge at Haddon Hall over which she escaped is known as Dorothy's bridge. 

Apparently, according to the information leaflet,  two of the figures of their four children were stolen, I don't know when.

 Below some graffiti from the Vernon tombs - they were covered with initials and dates

 I was fascinated by the details in the carvings showing the patterns on headdresses and ruffs.

 Also in the colour still to be seen in the garments and furnishings.

 Further details from the Vernon tombs - a little pet dog amongst the folds of the skirts of one of the wives

Outside leaning on the west wall are five sarcophagi found inside the church, some in the walls and some under the floor.

 Below is a view of the church from the road up to the Old House Museum which I'll tell you about in my next post.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Four Happy Things - Week 34 of 52

Four things that have made me smile this week............

Coffee in the 'Secret Garden' (more a little continental style decking courtyard with fig, bay and box trees in containers) at the back of the Thornton's Coffee Shop in Bakewell.  They gave us each a little smiley chocolate button with our coffee as well as one of those little biscuits. Sitting in the sunshine sipping coffee and  looking at the bright colour of the geraniums certainly made me smile.

A little further along the street at the 'Gift and Bear Shop' a room full of bears - how could you not smile at these?

A visit to the 'Old House Museum' in Bakewell.  I love museums, having spent over two thirds of my working life employed in them in either a salaried or a voluntary capacity I now enjoy just visiting them.  I'll write more on 'The Old House Museum' in a later post.

It's been a week of glorious sunsets and gorgeous moonlit nights.  I managed to get a photo of the moon on Thursday, not really a great one, and it soon disappeared behind the clouds.  Apparently it was a waning gibbous in the zodiac sign of Pisces.

Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Light, Shade and Reflections plus Happiness

This will also have to be my week thirty three of fifty two weeks of happy post as well mainly because this week has been fairly empty of things to photograph and report on.  So here are some things I've noticed this week and things that have made me smile.

From a walk at Consall Country Park.............

 Reflections in the fishing lake above and the canal below.....

These ducks made me smile!   It took them three attempts to cross the railway line - one led the way the others followed.

From a walk in the woods on the Trentham estate - Light and shade

 Light over the city and the cloud above

 Sun and shade on the fronds of fern and rhododendron leaves

Also making me smile were.......

A row of VW Beetles at Trentham and..............

Late summer flowers in our garden

 Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week Thirty Two

Quite a few things to smile about this week.  Firstly a visit to Leek just to have a wander around as we usually just pass through on our way elsewhere.  I've always liked Leek as a town it has a lot of interesting, historic buildings and seems to have a good community spirit.  We enjoyed coffee at the Foxlowe Arts centre and looking at the exhibitions upstairs which were linked to the embroidery exhibition in the Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery and also at various churches around the district.  Both town exhibitions were well worth a visit, I'd now like to visit some of the churches involved,  and we learnt quite a bit about the local silk dyeing industries and the amazing ability of the women members of the Leek Embroidery Society and the links their founder had with the Arts and Crafts movement.  More information here

Above are random photos taken around Leek including an olive tree in Getliffes Yard, a wooden carved fox at the rear of the Foxloe Arts Centre, the Nicholson War Memorial, the Market Square and an exhibit in the Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery.

On Saturday we we lucky to have almost our own fly past by the 'City of Lincoln' Lancaster Bomber which was apparently on its way to Blackpool as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.  It seemed to circle around the houses before it went off on its way.  Paul got far better photos than I did and he posted about it on his blog

Why is it that cats love to choose strange places to snooze.  Chloe has a bit of a shoe fetish (she can often be found with her head in a shoe or slipper) she also loves rolling on and 'stropping' the door mats which by their very nature are usually dusty and dirty - the two combined were absolute bliss for her over the weekend.  Still, if the cats are happy then so am I.

It was lovely surprise to receive a huge bouquet of flowers from my neighbour as a thank you for looking after her cat and watering her garden whilst she was on holiday.  I now have to decide whether to keep them together or to split them up into two or three vases.  I think I may separate them as there are a couple of roses in there plus some lilies and alstroemeria which may not open properly as they are squashed against the other flowers.  

Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share. 

Friday, August 09, 2013

Mass Observation

There have been masses of birds and butterflies in the garden this week.  We always have loads of sparrows living in the hedges around the garden and also quite a few of these.................

Starlings!  They are so funny to watch as they swoop down in gangs and take over the feeders usually heading for the fat balls first but they'll take anything and everything.

The young starlings all seem to keep together and you can see the difference between the first brood and second brood youngsters as the first brooders begin to take on their darker, spotty and more adult plumage which doesn't yet have that glossy almost iridescent purply-black tone that a fully grown adult starling's plumage has.

We were watching one of the second brood starlings trying to teach itself to feed from the hanging bird feeders
It sat on a branch for ages watching the sparrows feed by hanging from the feeders and then saw how the blackbirds got to the food by standing on a lower branch and reaching up to the feeder.  It decided to try that way first and then took the plunge and launched itself at the feeder and clung on, sparrow like, to take its reward.

The noise that a group of young starlings makes is quite loud and raucous a constant twitter and cackle as they attack the bird feeders taking it in turns but not always agreeing on who is next and then the squabbling starts.  No matter how much they bicker amongst themselves they still stick together and fly around in large groups and it is very rare to see a lone starling.  I've seen them wheeling around in the sky in quite large numbers in the late evening but have never yet seen one of those mass displays of flight known as a murmuration.  Now that would really be something!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week Thirty One

I know I've missed a couple of weeks of 'happies' due to feeling tired and run down with what seems to be some sort of neuralgia in my head and face but hey-ho I'm trying to carry on regardless but with much less vim and vigour so here are my four 'happies' for this week...

1.  Harvesting Blackcurrants - a third of the blackcurrants are now jam, a third are frozen and the rest are left for the birds to eat.

2.  Nature's glory - a gatekeeper (or perhaps a meadow brown) butterfly photographed at Bridgemere,  a late brood of starlings also photographed at Bridgemere, the return of the thrush to our garden perhaps it never left but we hadn't seen him (or her) for ages.  Waterlily flower in our pond, we've been here 16 years and this is only the second time the lilies have flowered.

3.  A new 'Stephen Booth' - a new Cooper and Fry novel is always awaited in eager anticipation.  I was number twenty-seven on the list when I first reserved a copy from my local library the week before the book was published.  Last Friday it was available for me to collect and as usual, even though I tried to eke it out for as long as possible it is now, just under a week later, read.  I love the fact that Stephen Booth uses the county of Derbyshire for his settings usually in the Peak District and he always distinguishes between the areas of the Dark and White Peaks.  One of the settings in this novel sent us off exploring last Tuesday.  I'd seen the place on Louise's blog last year and had thought to visit one day but had sort of forgotten about it until reminded by Mr Booth so my number four is........

4. The StarDisc - which is in Stoney Wood park in Wirksworth.  Stoney Wood park is a millennium wood set in an old quarry site.  The StarDisc was placed here in 2011and designed by local artist Aidan Shingler to 'inspire, entertain, engage and educate'  I think it does all of those.  I would love to go back at night and see it illuminated.

Linking up with  Little Birdie  where  '52 weeks of Happy' started. Each week you find just four things that have made you happy to share.