Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Tudor Times

After our visit to Little Moreton Hall on Saturday we were swept back in time again on Sunday.  This time at my very favourite of all the Derbyshire stately homes - Haddon Hall

 It was an interpretation of Tudor Life weekend given by the Tudor Group.  We'd been in May to see their 'Life above Stairs' event and last weekend it was their 'Life Below Stairs' event.  In May it had been a damp and murky day with frequent outbursts of heavy rain.  On Sunday it was even hotter then the day before at Little Moreton.

The  women were doing the laundry, washing the clothes in the river, beating them on the stones or with wooden paddles, ringing out the garments and fabrics and laying them on the grass and in the hedges to dry.

 It was hot work under the noon day sun so those lovely straw hats were needed.

 Laundering the linen was a full days task but made nicer by the warm weather and camaraderie.

 Meanwhile close by the blacksmiths forge was in action and a young apprentice was learning the trade.

In the hall the servants were hard at work tailoring and mending clothing. polishing the silver and using the time the family of the house were away to preserve food and prepare medicinal herbs and ointments.

The tailors were at work in the main hall

The kitchen servants were busy preparing food

Above polishing the silver and below collecting herbs

 The gardens at Haddon were looking spectacular. 

 As usual I took far too many photos!

 I didn't notice until I looked at this photo that there is a striped snail on the poppy

 Across the river at the bottom of the garden is the narrow bridge known as Dorothy's bridge.

 Legend has it that in 1563 Dorothy Vernon, youngest daughter and co-heiress of George Vernon the owner of Haddon Hall, eloped by escaping across the bridge to meet her intended John Manners. The Hall is still owned by the Manners family.

 I loved this view from an open window in the long gallery.

Another view of the Hall from down in the terraced gardens

 It was so very hot outside

I hope you've enjoyed my little snapshot of Tudor life at Haddon.
I'm going to take a break from blogging for just a little while.
I'll see you all soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Midsummer Melodies

We had such a lovely time today at Little Moreton Hall where they were celebrating Midsummer in exuberant form.

You can see from the board below what super things were on offer.  Plenty to see and do and join in with.

One of our favourite bands - Piva - were playing in the Orchard and also leading the midsummer parade of St George and the Dragon.

Above Piva are getting ready to play

In the pretty, summery tent you could sit and make a tussie mussie. So of course I did.

 A tussie mussie is a small posy or nosegay made from fragrant wild flowers and herbs tied together and was carried in Tudor times and earlier when venturing out to ward off diseases like the plague.

I also wrote a message for the wishing tree

The parade was lead by Piva.  You can see St George at the back. 

 There was a Dragon too held up by the children.

 After the parade we went inside the Hall to look around - it was unusually quiet - I loved this view of the orchard through the window.

I was wandering around looking at the windows and I saw something I hadn't taken in before and that was the dogs and the wolf's head in the stained glass.  All the times I've visited and I hadn't noticed them before.  The wolf's head was the Moreton family crest.

We had a walk around the gardens and then it was time to go back to listen to Piva play.

We sat with our picnic - accompanied by ducks and listened to the music.

It was a lovely summer's early afternoon and there was a slight cooling breeze, the birds were singing, people were murmuring and the whole atmosphere was just delightful. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Scenes from the Last Few Days

It's been a busy week.  Tuesday saw us at the RAF Cosford Museum and David Austin Rose Gardens which I wrote about on my last post.  Wednesday we were busy in the garden and we were thrilled to be able to pick our first tomatoes and strawberries. 

Far more strawberries than tomatoes at the moment and there are loads more of each to come.

On Thursday we drove over to South Lincolnshire to visit a friend.  We stopped at a garden centre just outside Melton Mowbray for a breakfast of coffee and toast and when we came out of the cafe we found that  these old cars, all Fords I think, had arrived in the car park.

After lunch I was able to take a little walk around the market town of Spalding.  I popped into the Museum where I used to work and then crossed the bridge into the town.  We used to live on the opposite side of the river to the Museum so every morning I crossed that bridge on my way to work.  There is a new footbridge now.

On the way back we stopped off at Whissendine Mill which is between Oakham and Melton Mowbray.  It was very hot on the journey home and we were stuck in a long traffic queue in Kegworth in the full glare of the sun! 

Yesterday we had a leisurely walk around the lake at Trentham Gardens.   We saw two new families whilst we were there.

 A wicker family at the back of Cadwalader's Ice Cream Parlour in the shopping  area 

and a family of swans at the side of the lake in the gardens.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I came across........

Gertrude Jekyll

Darcy Bussell

Anne Boleyn


Jude the Obscure

and Tess of the Durbevilles
to name but a few. They were all here......

The gardens were looking so beautiful but some of my photos weren't great as it was too bright in the sun.

You can wander through the long garden and the cloister

 make your way around the Victorian Garden

 and follow your nose into the Renaissance Garden.

The man in the white shirt was whirling around like a dervish, flapping pieces of papers and talking into his phone.
 We did wonder what on earth it was all about when a camera crew arrived with a huge camera and one of those large, fuzzy microphones.

Then a woman appeared with a small, sprightly elderly gentleman with white hair.  They moved one of the benches out into the garden and soon he was being interviewed. We made our way quietly out of this part of the garden.

 We think from what was being said about him starting up the business that it was probably David Austin himself.  I wonder if this will eventually appear on the television?

Above is not a great photo but I had to take one of the Wedgwood Rose.

 The pretty rose above is called The Lady Gardener

David Austin Rose Gardens and Plant Centre are in the village of Albrighton in Shropshire.  We usually visit when we go to the RAF Cosford Museum which is close by.

After spending quite a while in the gardens we drove the short distance round the lanes to Cosford to see if we could see anything about the Dornier 17 plane that has recently been brought up out of the sea on the south coast.

I won't mix planes with roses on this post as it is over long already.  I'll just give you a - link  - to Paul's latest blog post where he has written about the Dornier 17 conservation display we saw.