A Travellerspoint blog

Chatsworth House

Duke of Devonshire's Home, Derbyshire

One must see in the Peak District is Chatsworth House. Chatsworth is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and the house has been in the Cavendish family since 1549. Something to note, the Devonshire name is not necessarily the last name of the Duke and his family. For instance, the Duke of Devonshire's family's last name is Cavendish and the Duke of Rutland's last name is Manners. There is a Kennedy connection to Chatsworth. The sister of John F. Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy, married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, the elder son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire in May 1944. He unfortunately died in action in Belgium in 1944 and Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1948. Currently, the family is on the 12th Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish.

Elizabeth Cavendish, later Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury also known as Bess of Hardwick, was cunning lady who married strategically (she had four husbands) and is often associated with Chatsworth House. Sir William Cavendish (her second husband) and Bess of Hardwick originally started construction of Elizabethan Chatsworth in 1552; however, little evidence remains of the original house. Elizabeth I found Mary, Queen of Scots, to be a threat to the throne and held her captive under the watchful eye of the 6th Earl of Shrewsberry, Bess's fourth husband. Bess teamed up with Mary during part of her captivity at Chatsworth and the two created the Oxburgh Hangings, which are on display in Oxburgh Hall.

Chatsworth House: https://www.chatsworth.org

Side of Chatsworth:
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Our tour started just outside of the North Entrance Hall, where we received a brief talk on the history of the house. We then passed through the North Entrance Hall into the North Sub-Corridor and into the Painted Hall.

Painted Hall:
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Grotto:
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Chapel Corridor:
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The Chapel was constructed between 1688 and 1693:
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The Oak Room apparently used to be called the Summer Breakfast Room by the 6th Duke.
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Great Stairs:
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Great Chamber:
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State Drawing Room:
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This chair was apparently the Coronation Chair of King George III.
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The State Music Room was one of the most interesting rooms to see. For starters, the violin on the door is actually a painting using the "Trompe l'oeil " method which uses realistic images to create an optical illusion. The 6th Duke was apparently very wealthy and very vain. He installed gilded leather walls...yes gilded leather walls... and had his portrait carved into the wooden busts at the top of the walls all around the room. When talking with the docent in the room, he mentioned a story that the Duke purportedly wrote in his diary perhaps he had gone too far with that...you think?
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Gilded Leather Walls:
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The bed in State Bedchamber was originally made for Kensington Palace. George II supposedly died in the bed. The bed was given to the 4th Duke as a gift for serving as the Lord Chamberlain.
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State Closet:
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The Cabinet Room isn't an official room in the house. It was created in 2012 to display some of the many works of art and furniture in the house. The family was hit hard by the inheritance tax in the 1950s. In all, the family owned at least five homes and they all had to be sold off to pay the tax and all of the items in the houses were consolidated in Chatsworth. Many items go on loan to various places for exhibitions. For example, currently Sotheby's New York galleries has "Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition" on view from from 28 June through 18 September 2019.
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Sotheby's link: https://www.sothebys.com/en/series/treasures-from-chatsworth-the-exhibition

Guest Bedrooms:
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Oak Stairs:
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The Library was my favorite room in the house.
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Ante Library:
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Great Dining Room:
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Vestibule:
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Sculpture Gallery:
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The House puts on different exhibitions every year (as well as spectacular Christmas display, I'm told) and this year's theme was The Dog. I really enjoyed how The Dog theme was worked into every room we went into and not just set off at the end with everything in the exhibition in one room. There were paintings, statues, modern works of art, etc. So, here is one of the pieces. Meet Bashaw, The Faithful Friend of Man...he was created by Matthew Cotes Wyatt, 1831-1834. Bashaw is made of marble and headstone. His eyes are topaz, sardonyx and black lava. The snake is made of bronze and has ruby eyes, the mount is made of gilt bronze. The piece was on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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Capability Brown left his mark on the Gardens at Chatsworth:
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I enjoyed Chatsworth and I would absolutely return. The weather wasn't very cooperative and the house was crowded. There was also construction happening on the grounds and it appeared there was some sort of event being set up, so all of that kind of took away from the grandeur of the house in some regard. The land surrounding the house was all farm land with lots of grazing sheep all over the hills. I hope we do get back to the Peak District and to Chatsworth at some point. That concludes our trip to the Peak District!

On to the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 11:35 Archived in England Tagged dog the of queen house i mary elizabeth devonshire duke brown hangings chatsworth capability scots oxburgh bess hardwick Comments (1)

Haddon Hall

Bakewell, Derbyshire

As part of our trip to the Peak District, our wonderful AirBnb host recommended we check out Haddon Hall. It was originally not part of our plan for the Peak District, but I can't resist a good hall, manor, house, castle, etc. Haddon Hall is an English country house on the River Wye near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Again, I'm not sure I understand "country house" as the description of the house, it is like a castle. Haddon is often referred to as a "fortified manor house." Haddon Hall is the seat of the Duke of Rutland (who also owns and lives at Belvoir Castle). The Duke's brother, Lord Manners, lives at Haddon and we were told the family was entertaining later that evening. The hall was thought to have been originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The oldest part of the Hall is King John's Wall (pictures below) thought to date back to 1195 and modified in 1370. Haddon Hall has been in the Manners family since 1567.

Haddon Hall: https://www.haddonhall.co.uk

We were on a self-guided tour of Haddon Hall. There was a brief discussion on the house in the Banqueting Hall when we arrived. We entered the Hall under the North-West Tower, and then walked through the Lower Courtyard.

River Wye:
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Lower Courtyard:
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Then, we made our way to the kitchen.
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Food preparation table worn down:
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Much loved cutting board:
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Three kitchen sinks. Live fish may have been kept in one of the basins:
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Next was the Bakery, with dual ovens:
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The Butchery:
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The Buttery:
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The Dole cupboards were in between the Bakery and the Butchery. These wooden "dole" cupboards were filled with food and leftovers from the kitchen and placed outside in the evenings so people passing by could take some of the food without having to ask. Apparently the phrase "on the dole" comes from the Dole cupboards. I've never heard the phrase before.
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We walked to the Banqueting Hall next. This one one of my favorite rooms in the house. There was also a fire going, so that may have had something to do with it ;). Fun fact about the table, apparently when the family was finished eating the table would be opened up for the dogs to clean off. There were even dog gates at the bottom of the steps, which I didn't get a picture of because I didn't realize they were dog gates.
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The Minstrel's Gallery in the background of this picture dates back to the 15th century.
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One of the windows in the Banqueting Hall:
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The tapestry on the wall is said to have been a gift from Henry VIII. The tapestry was probably made during the reign of King Edward IV in the 15th century.
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We then moved into The Parlour, or for us commoners, the Dining Room. This room had extensive intricate woodwork. I tried to get a few pictures but I am not quite sure they capture the level of detail.
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Ceiling:
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Example of the detailed woodwork:
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In the window recess of the Parlour:
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Carved figures in oak paneling, possibly Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York.
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View from the Parlour:
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Onto the Great Chamber:
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Window recess in the Great Chamber:
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The Earl's Apartment. There was a small fireplace in the corner of the room and several royals who have visited Haddon signed their names here.
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The Long Gallery is probably the most famous room in the house. The room would have been used as what us commoners would call an indoor track so one could still exercise without having to endure the elements outside. The Long Gallery was also used for less strenuous activities such as gaming and needlework and probably also for balls. The windows are really unique in this room. The diamond shaped panes are set at different angles giving it a wavey appearance which maximizes the use of daylight.
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Ceiling:
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Window pane:
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We walked through a few Ante-rooms with beautiful tapestries on the walls. Tapestries were a sign of wealth.
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Our final room was the State Bedroom. There is no bed in the State Bedroom, but there is a billiards table. The state bed was moved to Belvoir Castle and sits in the Picture Gallery there. Also, I took a picture of what the room would have looked like back in the day.
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Oldest Part of Haddon Hall, King John's Wall:
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The Chapel was really interesting. The frescoes on the wall are thought to have been commissioned in the 15th century.
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The gardens at Haddon were beautiful. The weather wasn't very cooperative, but I managed to get out during breaks in the rain to take a few pictures. I really enjoyed the different levels of gardens.
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Haddon Hall is definitely one of my absolute favorite Halls that we have visited in England. The gardens were beautiful and the hall had a somewhat "homely" feel to it. On to Chatsworth House...

Posted by LCP 01:58 Archived in England Tagged of district peak hall duke manners vernon bakewell haddon belvoir rutland Comments (2)

Peak District

Matlock

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to the Peak District. We had heard many wonderful things about the Peak District and we were looking for something local to do for a few days, so this worked out quite well. The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines which are a range of mountains and hills in England. The area has been inhabited since the Mesolithic era, and evidence exists from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, as well. The Peak District was settled by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons and remained largely agricultural until mining grew in importance in the medieval era. The Peak District National Park became the first national park in the United Kingdom in 1951.

Peak District: https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/home

We stayed in Matlock which is a town in Derbyshire, England. It is situated at the southeastern part of the Peak District, with the National Park directly to the west. The town is "twinned" with the French town Eaubonne, which means the two cities are sister cities and promote understanding of different cultures. The "twinned" concept started following following World War II. We stayed in an AirBnb that was dog friendly and our room had an amazing view. Our host was absolutely wonderful. She baked breakfast for us each morning, breads and muffins, and they were delicious. She was extremely thoughtful and gave us some wonderful recommendations. We could walk right outside and start a good walk. Although the weather was terrible leading up to our trip and during a lot of our trip, there were lots of things to do.

AirBnb in Matlock: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/23242661

While we were in Matlock we went to Haddon Hall, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Early Grey Tower, and Chatsworth House. Since that is quite a lot of ground to cover and quite a few pictures :), I am going to do separate posts on Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. Nine Ladies Stone Circle and Earl Grey Tower were a short walk from our AirBnb, so we grabbed Penny one morning and started off.

Views from room:
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Haddon Hall in the background:
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Penny enjoying her morning view:
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Penny trying to find the squirrels:
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A few pictures from the hike up:
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Nine Ladies Stone Circle is an English Heritage Site located in Staton Moor which is a small upland area in the Derbyshire Peak District, lying between Matlock and Bakewell near the villages of Birchover and Stanton-in-Peak. The site is free to the public. The stone circle reportedly dates back to the early Bronze Age and depicts nine ladies that were turned to stone as punishment for dancing on Sunday (I am guessing there would be a lot more stones these days, ha!).
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Earl Grey Tower is also located in Staton Moor as well. Earl Grey Tower was constructed in 1832 and dedicated to the Reform Act 1832, which gave every man the right to vote (sorry ladies) and I am guessing before the act was passed only the wealthy could have their say.
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Views on the way down:
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Penny returning from her hike:
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If birdwatching is your thing, my better half enjoys it and found at least 19 different types of birds just outside of our window!

The Peak District is stunning and we definitely have plans to come back. We hope to get to the Mam tor Circular Walk next time. It is a National Trust Site that has stunning view of the Peak District. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and the rain was relentless. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate a bit more on our next visit. We will also stay in the same AirBnb, if it is available. You cannot beat the location. Matlock is a cute village and we enjoyed the amenities and all of the things to do. It is near anything and everything you could want to do in the Peak District.

Onto Haddon Hall...

Posted by LCP 01:46 Archived in England Tagged tower walk national stone sisters district tor peak grey circle early trust mam nine matlock Comments (0)

Woolsthorpe Manor

Childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton - Lincolnshire

Greetings! Today's adventure took us to Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. Woolsthorpe Manor was the childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton. It is a National Trust Property these days and described as a seventeenth century yeoman's farmstead with a focus on sheep rearing. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day 1642 to recently widowed Hannah Ayscough. Newton was born very small and Hannah reportedly said he could fit into a quart pot. He was not expected to survive the night. Newton was a curious lad who had no interest in farm work and reportedly drove his mother crazy with all of his experimentation. Newton attended college in Cambridge, but returned home in 1666 during the plague which closed Cambridge University. He conducted many of his famous experiments at Woolsthorpe and it is the place where he reportedly saw the apple fall from the tree. Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author who is widely respected as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was first published in 1687, was the foundation of classical mechanics. Newton also made several contributions to study of optics. Newton never married. He died 1727 in London and is buried at Westminster Abbey.

Woolsthorpe Manor: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolsthorpe-manor

Woolsthorpe Manor:
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Newton's Room:
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Isaac's den:
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Room where Sir Issac Newton was born:
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Dining room:
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Newton apparently was fascinated by spires, so he drew one on the wall in the kitchen:
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He was also fascinated by windmills and attempted to draw one on the wall as well:
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Kitchen:
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Den:
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Here is the famous apple tree, or least a descendent. The original tree laid roots about 400 years ago and the tree has been shown to visitors for over 240 years (some enterprising individual even carved the year they visited into the stairwell at the house, the year was in the 1700s). The original tree blew over in a storm and the current tree that we saw grew from roots in the original trunk. What kind of apples grow on the tree you might ask? Well, the species of apples is called "Flower of Kent." These types of apples are best for baking. Also, the apple didn't really hit Isaac in the head, he was apparently reading near the tree and saw it fall from the tree. Several decendents of the tree are located all around the world. Some small grafts of the tree were taken into space for growth experiments.
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Little garden at the front of the house.
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We enjoyed learning about Sir Isaac Newton's life and his contributions to science and math. Woolsthorpe Manor was another lovely National Trust Site. The Trust does a fantastic job with all of these properties.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 08:07 Archived in England Tagged manor national apple isaac newton sir trust lincolnshire woolsthorpe Comments (2)

Oxburgh Hall

Norfolk

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Oxburgh Hall, a moated country house, entrusted to the National Trust in Oxborough, Norfolk. The house was constructed around 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and remained a home to the Bedingfeld family for over 500 years. The house has survived a fire during the Civil War, neglect, and a threat of demolition. The Bedingfeld family was devoutly Catholic, and the house is famous for its secret Priest Hole. A Catholic priest may have had to hide within the small disguised room in the event of troops raiding the house. The room was reached via a trapdoor, which when closed, blends in with the tiled floor. The house also known for the "Oxburgh Hangings,"needlework created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (aka Bess of Hardwick) between 1570 and 1585. These needleworks were created while Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England on Elizabeth I's orders.

Oxburgh Hall: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall?PlaceMapClick=254

Oxburgh Hall, A fortified manor house:
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We were on a self-guided tour which started in the South Corridor and led into the Saloon:
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Antwerp Cabinet:
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From the Saloon, we entered the West Drawing Room, followed by the West Staircase:
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Artifacts in West Drawing Room:
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Ceiling:
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Staircase:
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Lion on the staircase banister:
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Wallpaper along staircase:
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After the West Staircase, we came to my favorite room in the manor, the Library:
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Secret servant door in Library:
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View from Library:
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From the Library, we were led into the Dining Room and then the North Staircase:
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North Staircase:
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From the North Staircase we walked through the Lobby into the North Bedroom and the Boudoir.
Lobby:
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Portrait of a Carmelite nun:
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Area above North Bedroom fireplace:
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The Boudoir:
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After the Boudoir we wanted into the Marian Hangings Room, which display the Oxburgh Hangings. This is where the embroideries and needlework that were created by Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, were presumably moved after 1973. Mary, Queen of Scots, was not imprisoned at Oxburgh. She was considered a threat to the throne by Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I kept Mary, Queen of Scots, captive under the watchful eye of the Countess of Shrewsbury's husband, the Early of Shrewsbury who held Mary at several of his properties throughout England: Tutbury Castle, Sheffield Castle, Sheffield Manor Lodge, Wingfield Manor and Chatsworth House, which are all located in the interior of England halfway between Scotland and London. The embroideries arrived to Oxburgh in 1761 as a marriage present for Mary Browne, of Cowdray Park, to Sir Richard Bedingfeld and were used as bed hangings in the King's Room and remained there until 1973.
These scissors reportedly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots:
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Following the Marian Hangings Room, we went into the King's Bedroom. This room really wasn't a bedroom, it was more for show, according to the docent. The room is located right above then archway at the entrance to the hall:
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Off to the side of the King's Room was the secret Priest Hole:
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Next we took a small staircase to the Queen's Room and to the Roof:
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Views:
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The concluded the tour of the manor. We opted to find the Chapel and take a Woodlands Walk.
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and St. Margaret:
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Woodlands:
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Gardens on the side of the manor:
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Oxburgh Hall was a lovely manor. The cafe served the most delicious honey and ginger scones! We had a great time touring this property and would most definitely return.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 10:06 Archived in England Tagged of priest queen norfolk national i mary hall elizabeth trust catholicism scots oxburgh Comments (1)

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