Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bells, fountains and courtyards

Before I was reminded about my 3rd blogging anniversary I was telling you about some of the connections I made with Loughborough whilst I was on holiday: I know I didn't get very far, and the moment has now passed, but last week we visited Chatsworth House. I admit I was a little disappointed that I saw no more of the artefacts and the building than I did the last time I visited, which was one Christmas when the Alice in Wonderland display was on. 

I hadn't realised that Chatsworth also hosts a regular exhibition for most of the year, and this year it was called House Style. The exhibition covered five centuries of fashion focussed on events and visitors to Chatsworth. It was all quite imaginative, but I found it very dark and hard to see the displays properly, and read the associated information.

That said, we had a great time, and spent about six hours there altogether. There were a number of things that struck me on this visit: 

The last time we came there was a very poignant exhibition about WW1 in a couple of rooms on the side: in those rooms this year, to chime with the fashion exhibition, there was an opportunity for children and adults alike to try on a variety of different hats, and take photos to post on social media under the #hatsworth hook!

As we walked around I couldn't help noticing the courtyard. This reminded me so much of a recent visit I made to the Ramada Loughborough, on High Street, when I discovered the beautiful little courtyard area, which was open to the public for afternoon tea. I was so enchanted at the book launch I went to, that I took the other half there for a chillaxed drink and an attempt at doing the crossword! There was a very helpful guide at Chatsworth who told us about the annual sculpture auctions they have and he pointed out the one in the courtyard which will be leaving soon. It was a bell in a stone fountain with a hare leaping over the top!
The courtyard and fountain at Chatsworth

The courtyard at Chatsworth

The courtyard and fountain at the Ramada Loughborough

The courtyard at the Ramada Loughborough

I also spotted some lace -albeit Venetian - in one of the display cabinets, and this reminded me of Heathcoat and Boden's lace factory on what was Mill Street, and is now Market Street.

Another thing that reminded me of Loughborough was the huge fountain in the huge pond!!! Rather like the ones in Queen's Park, although ours are naturally somewhat smaller! At Chatsworth the sun was shining, and we were lucky enough to spot a rainbow around the fountain. If you see me in Queen's Park one day, just sitting staring at the sky and the fountain, you'll know I'm waiting to see a rainbow!

One of the main features of the exhibition were the costumes worn to the fancy dress ball of the century in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Guests included Col. and Mrs Arthur Paget: not our Arthur Paget, engineer, inventor and maker of hosiery, who lived with his wife Rose, their eight children and five servants, in Radmoor House! Of course, the Duchess of Devonshire attended her own ball, and she was dressed in an elaborate costume representing Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, which reminded me of the Loughborough perfume!

Radmoor House, the home of Loughborough's Arthur Paget and family

Duchess of Devonshire's Zenobia costume

Artefacts at the Old Rectory Museum

Then there was the helmet for the Derbyshire Yeomanry, which reminded me of the Leicestershire Yeomanry museum in the Carillon Tower.

And finally the conservatory, probably built by Messengers, but any large conservatory could have been built by them!

Well, that's all for today! See you next week.
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Dyer, Lynne (2017). Bells, fountains and courtyards. Available from: [Accessed 13 August 2017]

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