Friday, 24 November 2017

East Riddlesden Hall

East Riddlesden Hall

Take a walk around East Riddlesden Hall with me. Although it was a bleak November day, but there were still some good shots to be had, both outside and in.

W.S Gilbert (one half of the famous composers Gilbert and Sullivan), is supposed to have been a frequent guest at the hall; and it is reputed that the hall, and its rather notorious family, were the inspiration for the comic opera "Ruddigore".

On the day I visited, I could only go inside the hall by a guided tour, as the rooms were closed off for winter conservation projects. Initially I thought it would be a waste going around the rooms, but I still found it interesting and the guides were most informative.

This is the original Great Hall and if you look above the main fireplace you can see a smaller fireplace - this was at a time when there was a ceiling there - and there were more rooms above.

The manor house was originally built in 1642, when it was owned by a wealthy clothier from nearby Halifax - called James Murgatroyd. Over the centuries extra sections have been added on - some not built very well and eventually collapsed (when they were only built on foundations of about 6 inches)

These are Yorkshire Rose windows, in the passageway that connects a new section to the original house.

There are some fabulous wooden carvings on the Four Poster beds - they really were like their own "Room within a Room".

This is a fine piece of Blackwork embroidery - on a hat that would have been worn to bed.

We had to be extra careful in this Green Room, as the ceiling below was giving cause for concern.

This is the room below the Green Room, where scaffolding is ready to try and assess the damage to the fantastic plaster ceiling.

I do hope this original plaster ceiling can be saved - the cracks do look rather serious.

Back outside..................

The Hall overlooks the delightful River Aire, as it heads towards Keighley.

Communal toilet!!!

The Hall has been used in several TV programmes and films such as the 1992 Wuthering Heights, Most Haunted and Sharpe's Justice.

There is a medieval barn where weddings can be held, areas for children to play, walks along the river as well as a bird hide and several different gardens. There is a delightful tea room and shop. More information at  -

I hope you enjoyed this rather different blog!


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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Biddulph Grange

Biddulph Grange

Although I have been to Biddulph in the spring time, this time I wanted to go and see the autumn colours. As much as it wasn't a bright sunny day, I still managed to capture some awesome colours. Going around Biddulph's garden is described as travelling on a voyage around the world, it was created by James Bateman in the mid 18th century and shows what a passionate plant collector he was - bringing plants from all over the world. There are several "Garden Rooms" each with its own theme and man-made micro climate; with extraordinary plant collections from places as far away as China, the Himalayas and America.

The first part is described as an Italian Garden with a maze of hedges, parterres and colourful borders.

Past the lake with its water lilies and huge koi carp (you can buy food for them from the shop on your way in).

Then as you go through a rocky area and over some stepping stones........................

Through a dark tunnel..................................

You find yourself in China! My favourite place...................

You can ring the bells dangling from the roof of the pagoda and imagine you are in the Orient.

How colourful the oriental section was!

This tunnel is part of the area known as the Stumpery (the oldest in the country) - I have never seen so may tree stumps and such a marvellous collection of ferns. It felt very spooky - like something from the Jurassic period.

Next you arrive in Egypt with its stone statues ...........................

The views of the Dahlia walk were fabulously colourful.

This is one of my favourite views of the Dahlia Walk from up above.

If you go upstairs and out of the upper door of Cheshire house, you come to the long walk and the wood with various play features to entertain younger ones.

Back down at the garden again different views of the Dahlia Walk - the hedges were cut so precise.

The Geological Gallery has recently been completed and is described as "where Botany meets Geology and Science meets Religion",  it is full of fossils and the Seven Days that God created the Earth. This area was the original Victorian entrance to the garden and there is usually a volunteer inside to have a chat to.

Back to the where I began at the entrance/exit there are interesting displays especially about where Biddulph's plants originally came from - every corner of the world. And many of the plants were the first of their kind to be bought into this country.

As well as a delightful cafe selling home made produce, there are plants for sale and a National Trust shop selling a range of interesting items.

Just 1/3 mile away is Biddulph Grange Park (this used to be part of the estate), it is a delightful place to walk round for an hour or so.

I can highly recommend a visit to Biddulph - I will certainly be going back to visit again and to see its magnificent colour at another time of the year.

Thank you for looking,


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