Great visit to Waddesdon manor a national trust house and home to the Rothschild family. We always plan a visit near Christmas especially after dark as they always put on a great light show for the visitors. It only cost a few pound if your are a member of the NT, however plan your trip carefully it can get very crowded and there was a large crowd waiting for the bus back to the car parks. Please have a look at the entry in Wikipedia for more info I have also included a few links for your interest
It was nice weather so we set off into the peak district and the lovely Dove Dale. This walk was a 8.5 mile route following the river Dove, this river is about 45 miles in length and runs from Buxton to Newton Solney. Dovedale is one of the top attractions on the Peak District owned by the National Trust and its estimated over a Million people walk it a year. If you just wish to walk the ravine its a fairly flat route with a short climb up towards Lovers Leap however this is on good paths. If you venture out of the ravine you will find some sharp climbs but again the paths are in good condition. The stepping stones run across the River Dove and its good fun walking across the water but it can get busy in the summertime. Our walk took us down to the lovely village of Milldale where you will find a public house if you fancy a pint. This is a great walk.
The limestone rock that forms the geology of Dovedale is the fossilised remains of sea creatures that lived in a shallow sea over the area during the Carboniferous period, about 350 million years ago. During the two ice ages, the limestone rock (known as reef limestone) was cut into craggy shapes by glacial meltwater, and dry caves such as Dove Holes and Reynard’s Kitchen Cave were eventually formed. The caves were used as shelters by hunters around 13,000 BCE, and Dovedale has seen continuous human activity since. Around 4,500 years ago Neolithic farmers used the caves as tomb. For more info please click this link.
A cheap train ticket to Birmingham on a wet saturday led us to the National trust back to back houses, the restored 19th century courtyard is one of the best NT attractions we have visited and well worth the trip alone. If visiting make sure you book your tickets in advance as you cannot gain entry simply by just turning up . After that we looked around the centre of Birmingham and well not a lot I can say about that really, anyway a bit from Wiki about the back to back houses below for you to read before you plan your visit.
The Birmingham Back to Backs (also known as Court 15) are the city’s last surviving court of back-to-back houses. They are preserved as examples of the thousands of similar houses that were built around shared courtyards, for the rapidly increasing population of Britain’s expanding industrial towns. They are a very particular sort of British terraced housing. This sort of housing was deemed unsatisfactory, and the passage of the Public Health Act 1875 meant that no more were built; instead byelaw terraced houses took their place. This court, at 50–54 Inge Street and 55–63 Hurst Street, is now operated as a historic house museum by the National Trust.
Numerous back-to-back houses, two or three storeys high, were built in Birmingham during the 19th century. Most of these houses were concentrated in inner-city areas such as Ladywood, Handsworth, Aston, Small Heath and Highgate. Most were still in quite good condition in the early 20th century and also prior to their demolition. By the early 1970s, almost all of Birmingham’s back-to-back houses had been demolished. The occupants were rehoused in new council houses and flats, some in redeveloped inner-city areas, while the majority moved to new housing estates such as Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood.
Due to a trip into the lake district we decided to stop off in Cheshire and visit Tatton Park Mansion and Estate. The Estate belongs to the National Trust and the whole site covers 2000 acres that inclues Gardens, a large Farm, and Manor House. You will have to pay £7 to get into the grounds even if you are a member of the NT, also to visit the farm will cost you a further £3.50 each but is well worth the visit. The Farm included an historic old mill complete with old mill grinders and old cattle feed mills, they will happily demonstrate with working demonstarshions if you ask. Next door is an old steam engine and boiler that once powered the mill its a shame it is still not working it would make a great demonstration. The kids will enjoy the old farm with loads of chickens, pigs and lambs about to birth whilst we were there.
The huge country house dates from 1770’s and is in good state of repair, there are no timed visit just enter when you want. the following article about the history of the man is from Wikipedia so please visit the page to learn about Tatton Park.
A good visit and well worth stopping off along the route.
The original manor house in Tatton Park was Tatton Old Hall. Around 1716 a new hall was built in a more elevated position on the site of the present mansion some 0.75 miles (1 km) to the west. This house was a rectangular block of seven bays with three storeys. From 1758 the owner Samuel Egerton began to make improvements to the house, in particular a rococo interior to his drawing room (now the dining room), designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard. During the 1770s Samuel Egerton commissioned Samuel Wyatt to design a house in Neoclassical style. Both Samuel Egerton and Samuel Wyatt died before the house was finished, and it was completed (1807–16), on a reduced scale, by Wilbraham Egerton and Lewis William Wyatt, Samuel Wyatt’s nephew. Samuel Wyatt had planned a house of eleven bays, but Lewis reduced this to seven. Wilbraham bought a number of fine paintings, and many items of furniture made by Gillows of Lancaster. In 1861–62 an upper floor was added to the family wing to a design by G. H. Stokes. In 1884 a family entrance hall was added to the north face and a smoking room to the extreme west of the family wing. Also in 1884 electricity was installed in the hall.
After a deluge of rain over the bank holiday weekend we had to get out, so we braved the constant rain and headed for Staffordshire and the national Trust Shugborough Hall and estate. In the 1960’s the estate was handed over to the national Trust by Lord Lichfield following massive Death Duties by the Government . You can obtain timed Tickets to view his private apartments and see a collection of Famous photos of the Royal family and pictures from major fashion houses around the world. He died in 2005 and his apartments are well worth a look.
Entry to the grand house is not on a timed ticket and just go in when you want, its full of works of art and various objects from the Anson family. They purchased the house in 1642 and the 2 brothers made loads of improvements and extensions to the stately home. One of the brothers was an explorer and he visited all four corners of the globe. He was involved in fighting with the Spanish Amarda and they took loads of gold and silver from them as spoils of war. A goood visit this one and well worth a visit if you are around this area.
with a Friday off work and some decent January weather at last we decided to go for a drive into Suffolk to the village of Lavenham. Its a long drive from South Northants but worth the visit. The village is noted for its 15th Century timbered medieval cottages and luckily on the day we visited it was not to busy. There are a large number of gift shops to take your cash and some nice pubs also dotted around the village. The villages wealth come mainly from the Wool trade and it was in the 20 most wealthiest settlements in england you will note the huge church of St Peter & St Paul thats stands in the village it is known as a wool church financed by wealthy wool merchants . The decline of the village come from immigrants coming from Holland producing cloth much cheaper than they could produce.
The Guild Hall.
This grand old house now belonging to the National Trust sits in the heart of the village. This late 15th century Guildhall has a checkered history , it was built in the late 15th Century. Four guilds were setup in the village by local merchants with the main one being the Wool Guild the building become the main and most important property in the village. After the decline of the wool trade it become a Bridewell where the prisoners were treated very poorly and forced into hard labour whilst there. They explained a story how a young girl of Eleven was finally transported to Australia for Petty crimes., After that it become the local Workhouse.
Without a doubt the best national trust property we have visited. I have wanted to visit this mill for a number of years, and with a nice drive up to Cumbria for a trail race it made a good idea to stop off. On the way to Quarry bank we drove through Jodrel Bank home to the famous radio telescope and I noticed it had a visitor centre so we will have to have a look there in the years to come. Quarry bank is an old mill that was famous for the cloth and textiles it made and played a big part in the industrial revolution.
Samuel Greg leased land at Quarrell Hole on Pownall Fee from Lord Stamford, who imposed a condition that ‘none of the surrounding trees should be pruned, felled or lopped´; maintaining the woodland character of the area. The factory was built in 1784 by Greg to spin cotton. When Greg retired in 1832 it was the largest such business in the United Kingdom. The water-powered Georgian mill still produces cotton calico. The Gregs were careful and pragmatic, paternalistic millowners, and the mill was expanded and changed throughout its history. When Greg’s son, Robert Hyde Greg, took over the business, he introduced weaving. Samuel Greg died in 1834.
The Mill was attacked during the Plug Plot riots on 10 August 1842.
The mill’s iron water wheel, the fourth to be installed, was designed by Thomas Hewes and built between 1816 and 1820. Overhead shafts above the machines were attached to the water wheel by a belt. When the wheel turned, the motion moved the belt and powered the machinery. A beam engine and a horizontal steam engine were subsequently installed to supplement the power. The Hewes wheel broke in 1904 but the River Bollin continued to power the mill through two water turbines. The mill owners bought a Boulton and Watt steam engine in 1810 and a few years later purchased another because the river’s water level was low in summer and could interrupt production of cloth during some years. Steam engines could produce power all year round. Today the mill houses the most powerful working waterwheel in Europe, an iron wheel moved from Glasshouses Mill at Pateley Bridge designed by Sir William Fairbairn who had been Hewes’ apprentice.