We have been away this weekend to Staffordshire. It blew a gale. It poured with rain. Then the sun came out! Yeah! Then the sun went in and it hailed! Boo!! But then, wait for it……. we woke up to a very sharp frost and snow!!!! So you may ask where are all the photos to entice us into reading more? I forgot my camera!!!!! I ask you therefore to imagine green hills rolling away in the distance; grey clouds scudding across the sky; trees with rime frost on their branches; and the car, covered in beads of hail and collecting as snow. Got it? Scene set.
Saturday we trundled off to Stafford the county town, to the Ancient High House. We like old houses and castles, but we like their history too. We hate it when the history is frozen at a time. When a house is taken back to a certain era and often hundreds of years of the house’s history is wiped away. A house is a record of all the people who have lived there. To take it back to an era is to say that the people who lived in it after that time did not matter. They cease to exist. Who has the right to wipe it all away? Yes you have gathered by now, I am on my soap box!!! For this reason we do not belong to the National Trust. Some of the things, they look after in an understanding way, like the Workhouse in Southwell, or Mr. Straw’s House in Worksop, or even the canal side at Guildford, and I thank them for the care of a lot of the coastal walks and countryside. For these things I am quite happy to pay. But some of their historic houses leave me cold. So much history has vanished. Well the Ancient High House has managed to reclaim some of its history. It is a Tudor house, the largest remaining timber framed house in England. It has been used mainly as a private residence, but also as shops and the rooms tell that story. You can see the Civil war room where Charles 1st stayed; visit the Stuart room with its magnificent four poster bed; admire the elegant Georgian room with the fragments of wallpaper discovered under layers of other paper (a history in itself); and then visit the shop of Edwardian Mr. Marson. The Victorian parlour is bedecked with crazy patchwork and samplers. Then there is the display gallery which this weekend looked at Pugin, so over the top in his designs but fascinating!
Many things caught my eye, but I think it was the embroidery that won the day. The four poster bed has curtains around it and on the bed, cushions with doodle stitching! I now have an image of the way my own doodle stitching could work. The crewel work was very rich and impressive, far beyond my capabilities but I will try. One day! This weekend I had to be content with my hooking.
My ripple came with me and it grew..
And when we got back I made headway with this month’s tea cosy.
Traditional and very purple!!!