Thursday, July 07, 2016

A Georgian Jaunt - Afternoon Trip to Berrington Hall


A few days ago I had the day off work and, because I wanted to get some practice in driving my new car, I decided to head off to Berrington Hall for the afternoon.

Berrington is a neo-classical 'country house' (*cough* mansion) which was built in the late eighteenth century. It's just north of Leominster (Herefordshire, England) and I'm delighted to live so close. Herefordshire does have so much culture and history, but I think as a county we're frequently overlooked. The famous landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown designed the parkland, which is stunningly beautiful.


The National Trust owns the property - which means that any profits made can go towards conservation projects across the country, to preserve places of historical and cultural interest for the future. I believe conservation to be incredibly important, so I'm happy to pay a little extra to visit a National Trust property. Saying that, it's only £10.50 to visit both the house and garden (and cheaper if you just want to visit the gardens. If you are between 13 and 25 (like me) you can get an annual National Trust Membership for just £31.50 which means you can visit any of the National Trust properties as many times as you like for free!

After I arrived I went for a wander around the gardens as I mainly wanted to take some time to relax and enjoy, without any real rush to blog or document. For me, visiting National Trust properties is a perfect way for me to catch my breath and take some time out.



So much care and effort is put into the pristine gardens, but simultaneously it feels incredibly natural - bees buzz from one plant to another and you can stand watching birds and squirrels who don't have a care.


The gardens are magical. Your body and mind slow down and time seems to slip, slow and merge itself with the past.



As a child I always used to pretend I was a sophisticated wealthy lady as I strolled the grounds of National Trust properties, now I'm older... well, I still do that, but more quietly!


I really love National Trust properties as a perfect day out. You can take everything at your own pace - whether lesiurely and laidback or energetic and action-packed. Also, you can bring dogs to some properties!


There's lots of snippets of information and interesting facts to learn. The photo above is an 'Auricula Theatre'.

The sign in the picture reads: 'The Georgians developed a passion for Primula auricula not unlike the earlier tulip mania. The prized plants were displayed in an 'Auricula Theatre' like this.'


I love how National Trust properties aren't 'stuffy' and are friendly to exploration and enjoying the property to its full extent (respectfully of course). As you can see in the photo above, they even provide things like croquet sets so you can make the most of the gardens and your day out!


Inside Berrington Hall is just delightful. The attention to detail and the craftsmanship in the furniture is just exquisite. There are so many hidden details and embellishments you could easily spend an hour looking at just one piece of furniture if you had the time!

All of the pieces have their own stories and spark the imagination. I love how downstairs the rooms are laid out as if you are a contemporary visitor in the beautiful house.


Did you know? In the 1800s cutlery would be laid face down so diners would not catch their lacy cuffs on the cutlery.

Despite the blurriness of the above picture, I had to include it. Seeing the everyday parts of the house helps me relate to the people who lived and visited here. I might struggle to relate to a gold handcrafted clock... but I can sure relate to a nice big meal!

However, I can certainly imagine that dinner parties were a bit intimidating, if grand affairs! The amount of courses and dishes upper-class Georgians enjoyed is enviable!

Plus, there is a lot of emphasis on the contemporary fashions and style statements. For example, want to be a fashionable Georgian lady? How about some stylish fake eyebrows made of mouse fur? Full and thick eyebrows might be 'in' now... but not quite like that!


Seriously, this staircase! How grand.

Jane Fairweather- 'Tea Time For Mr. Brown'
Upstairs was an enchanting exhibition by The Embroiderer's Guild (https://embroiderersguild.com/#). I took a couple of snaps of some of my favourite pieces. It's really inspiring to see such beautiful artwork in such a fascinating location.

Judy Higginson - 'The Lake'. Mixed media hand embroidery.


I also popped into the laundry in the servants quarters. Although I like to imagine I would have been a fancy lady, the real likelihood of me and my ancestors is that I would have been a servant downstairs!

I will probably write about Berrington Hall again and in more depth, but as I only had a couple of hours today I wanted to blog about my experience but in a more casual style. There are some really exciting events coming up such as 'Boating on the Lake, 'Cider Weekend' (nom nom, I'll have to get someone else to drive!), 'Bonfire & Fireworks', AND 'Masquerade - A Georgian Christmas'. Someone hold my hat! I get to dress up fancy and have a masquerade ball in a Georgian property at Christmas time?! Hold the phone and take my money!

Berrington Hall is such an enchanting place. I can't wait to take my friends out here when they visit. I would definitely recommend having a day out here if you get a chance! Do you have a favourite place of culture where you live? Where are some underrated treasures in your local area?

I can't wait to hear from you. Speak to you soon,

Love from,

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos again....what a wonderful place to explore!

    Keep Calm and Start Writing ~
    23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked them. Berrington Hall is definitely a beautiful place to explore, I'd really recommend it. :)

      Nicky xx

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