Fortunately I was feeling slightly better today, even after another really bad night, and sleeping a lot in the car helped me keep going. We went to a National Trust property today, Charlecote Park, a magnificent Tudor manor house in Warwickshire. I took loads of photos but won’t include them all here!
The place houses a fine collection of carriages. Here are a couple of them.
Some of the names were very familiar from literature (Sherlock Holmes etc.!) – Barouches and Broughams. It was nice to see the difference between them, and for what purpose they were used. This was a very wealthy family who could afford different carriages for different occasions – rather like having a garage full of Porsches and Mercedes today!
I loved these black iron hay racks on the white wall.
In the stable block area, there was a number of very attractive signs with simple graphics. I particularly liked the Kitchen sign with the servants’ bell.
Beautiful iron gates.
A large mangle in the laundry. You could put a lot of embossing folders through this!
A view of the main house.
The gardens were beautiful, with a mixture of formal and landscaped.
The Great Hall ceiling.
In the centre of the Great Hall was a large and magnificent Italian marble topped table. The workmanship was truly extraordinary.
A bust of Queen Elizabeth I, who had associations with the house.
Some stunning ebony chairs in the library, inlaid with ivory.
Also in the library was this exquisitely inlaid cabinet.
At the other end of the library was this beautiful pair of globes, one a terrestrial globe and the other a celestial. Both were mounted on delicate Chippendale bases. The guide explained that they were made of papier mache, and the printed map was known as a “gore,” being a strangely shaped piece of paper with curved gussets cut out, so that the pieces would fit around the sphere. I had not come across this name before, but it tied in with my dressmaking knowledge – a “gored” skirt is made up of narrow tapering strips sewn together to form the three-dimensional shape.
A bust of William Shakespeare, who also had connections with the house.
Doing the rounds of the house, we met a group of men from a photographic club in the West Midlands and I got into conversation with one of them. He said he’d found a staircase upstairs, and someone had asked why on earth he’d want to photograph it as it was so uninteresting – but he said he could manipulate it and make it interesting, with monochrome and the addition of some grain. He was a man after my own heart, photographing unlikely things like rust and manky old rope, and we shared the experience of our families thinking we were completely mad! I made a point of looking out for this staircase, which presumably once led to the servants’ bedrooms, and photographed it, determined to see if I could follow his lead and make my own grungey version of it. Unfortunately I was unable to capture the single, unshaded light bulb at the head of the stairs which would have added atmosphere. Here is the original:
I wanted to share my “grungeyfied” version but for some obscure reason I am unable to export the picture as a jpg or png from Serif PhotoPlus without losing the noise that I added. If anyone has a solution to this problem, I’d love to hear it! (I’ll edit this post if I discover a way of doing this.)
A beautiful gilded ceiling.
A lovers’ couch made of Burmese teak. I have a screen made of this, deeply and elaborately carved, and it weighs an absolute ton!
The kitchen fireplace.
In the kitchen region there was a large, impressive cast iron boiler.
I decided to give this the grunge treatment too, but again, the gorgeous grainy “noise” was lost on export. Very mysterious… It looks nice and steampunk in the photo editor.
Just as we were leaving, I came across this elderly gentleman resting his feet in the sun, together with the resident cat, and he kindly allowed me to photograph him!
A great day out, greatly enhanced by my feeling well enough to enjoy it! I went deeply asleep in the car on the way back and don’t feel too bad now. We are returning home tomorrow, and I just wish I had felt well all through the holiday as I feel I wasted several precious days, and also spoilt my hubby’s enjoyment, too, although he denies this, bless him!