Wednesday, 19 December 2018

1940’s Christmas Mansion

Dark English winters are meant for elaborate Christmases - lights, candles, baubles just shimmer in a way that they don’t in the Southern hemisphere of my birth where Christmas is mid Summer, often spent around a swimming pool - no huge roasts & trimmings. I have had to adjust to doing things very differently since moving north more than 20 years ago.

However, I am in awe of how well it is done with trees, lights, decorations & villages decorated like something out of a previous century. 

Our local National Trust property is hugely popular so I opted to visit on a Monday when a house ticket was available. All the weekend spaces had been taken but I prefer to visit when it is less busy. 

My regular visitors are already familiar with it from these previous visits - 

and a special visit when I needed quiet A-splash-of-colour-amongst-greyness

The stunning old coach house / courtyard had the most divine smells from the cafe, but I headed to the stables to see how they were decorated - drat, I forgot to get some freshly grown celeriac from their walled garden before I headed home. 

A short walk to the front of the gorgeous mansion for our timed entrance - life just relaxes as you walk up those impressive stairs & enter the home .. 

This years theme is 1940’s Christmas, coming so soon after the start of WW11, times were so different, make do & mend, dig for victory times when families were encouraged to dig up flower beds in favour of planting vegetables & edible things - times were tough & everyone had to do their bit ...

The stunning art gallery room with its glass roof had extensive repairs with a secondary glass roof above the original that leaked from the time it was installed - this protects the most stunning room that I really love ... 

Each room & floor in the mansion had a different tree, all glowing beautifully ... 

Do you have a favourite?

The mansion comes alive at Christmas ...

 I love the extensive use of greenery from the estate with traditional decorations. It is a time honoured tradition of the midwinter traditions of the Holly & the Ivy (as per the Christmas carol of old)

The was the Dig for Victory tree & room, complete with a watering can topper ...

The mansion has played many roles & hosted many different people over time - this tree reflects some of that history ...

Huge windows, elegant drapes, glistening trees - what is there not to love. What do you think of the flower Christmas cake decoration on the right? It was totally stunning ...

The galleried art room with its beautiful glass roof (now protected by the secondary glass roof). The tree in this room was titled- PEACE

That staircase that rises to the upper floors - so elegant, I can only imagine the stories it could tell.

Downstairs, probably where most of our ancestors would have worked in days gone by - the servants hall near the kitchen - all decked out with the long table & much more basic food. The knitted bunting on the tree would have been made by very able sewers who could turn their hand to anything.

Wow, gleaming copper pots, pans & moulds of all kinds to make elaborate dishes to serve to discerning guests above stairs. This was one of Shropshire's wealthiest mansions so the guests expected to be impressed ...

The walled garden is a beautifully protected area with vast planting areas - all beautifully done. The stunning greenhouses are used extensively to supply the various tearooms & eateries there. The bothy was an important part of supplying the home in times gone by with all the food that was needed. It was hard work, not well paid & with long hours in all weather ...

The groundsmen have been busy making it look festive. The park has vast managed woods, deer herds & staff who put on activities throughout the year.

 Do you have a favourite tree?

I hope you have enjoyed the visit with me. Each of us bring our own traditions (however muddled they are) to the season - upstairs or downstairs, modest or elaborate, they make us special - enjoy your preparation.

Thank you for stopping by amid all your festive plans, I appreciate it
Dee ~💕~

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♥ Hi - thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy your visit♥.