Had tickets for the Bowes Museum this morning. Quite a spectacular building designed by a French architect. It was originally built as a museum by John Bowes (of the Bowes Lyon family) and his French wife Josephine. It is full of paintings by famous artists, ceramics, glass, furniture and an 18th century silver swan automaton (which was unfortunately not working today but there was a video which was pretty amazing). There was a weaving loom operated by punchcard which fascinated me and also a costume and textile exhibition plus a display of quilts which were very intricate and, of course, all stitched by hand.
From there I went to look at Egglestone Abbey. Though in ruins there was quite a lot so see and the surrounding countryside was lovely with a river running alongside.
Visited the High Force waterfall this morning, spectacular! Lovely walk to get to it through woods on the side of the ravine with the river Tees at the bottom.
Passed the turning to a reservoir on the way back so thought I would take a look. Unfortunately there was work going on to the dam so the water level was very low. Some guys were fishing though and with some success.
In the afternoon I had tickets to visit Barnard Castle which is a massive ruin. The original castle must have housed a small town. It was founded in the 12th century and at one time was owned by Richard III.
Had a walk around the town afterwards which was a traditional market town and a fair size with some nice shops. Treated myself to a highland coo.
Came back and sat outside in the sunshine and finished my book, did some work for an hour and some knitting. Working on a sweater in Stylecraft Linen Drape.
Moved on to destination number 2 of my trip today, Barnard Castle. Site is much better than the last one, spread out, peaceful and in the countryside. I have an open grassed area at the front and trees at the back. I had a little walk along a path at the back of the van and took a few photographs. Really pretty.
Worked all day yesterday so nothing to report. Weather was cloudy anyway.
Today was lovely and sunny and I had pre-booked tickets for Hardwick Hall which is literally just up the road. I have been before but wanted to return as I love it and the history fascinates me. Bess of Hardwick was married four times, each marriage more fortuitous than the last. She amassed great land and wealth and was the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I. Her son William Cavendish became Duke of Devonshire (Chatsworth House and Bolton Abbey) and her last husband, George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, was jailor to Mary Queen of Scots for 15 years.
If you want to find out more about her history Bess of Hardwick by Mary S Lovell is a good read and she also features in Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy.
The house has beautiful paintings and tapestries, including the famous Gideon Tapestries which have hung there since Bess acquired them in 1592. The one in the photograph has only just been re-hung following conservation work.
Excuse all the photographs of the staircase but I have never seen one quite like it inside a house. It must be 12 foot wide, made of stone and curves round at the top.
Today I visited the Workhouse at Southwell. No. I haven't fallen on hard times, it now belongs the the National Trust and I like visiting places with a difference. It was really interesting and not like the ones described by Dickens. They did separate families though and able bodied people had to work but they were well fed and they were governed by local trustees. The building was in use till the 70s as a place where families made homeless could stay while they were awaiting rehousing. Then it remained empty till the Trust took it over in 1997 and returned to how it was when it was built in the 1830s.
First day of my long awaited trip to Northumberland. This trip was planned and booked in February 2020 but because of lock down was moved to this year. Four weeks and seven destinations. First stop Teversal Camping and Caravanning Club site Nr Nottingham.
Didn't get off to a good start as the last time I used the van I managed to break the electric socket on the back of the car so had to go and get a new one from the caravan dealers. Luckily Mark was with me as they are spending the weekend at Studley and he very kindly fitted the new one for me. Not an easy task.
The journey on the M42 and M1 was no problem but I was a couple of hours later than intended. Weather lovely and sunny but the site is not to my taste. No character, just lots of vans as close together as possible. Will have a better look around the area tomorrow.
Breakfast outside and then a trip to Cheddar with Mark, Michelle, Anais and Roman this time. Weather warm and sunny.
Back for lunch and then tidied the 'van ready to leave tomorrow. Two swans with 5 cygnets were paddling along the drainage channel at the back of Mark's 'van so that's my wildlife spotted for day 5 of #30DaysWild.
Back for tea and then a walk round the farm to see the calves and the donkeys, who are now out in the field with the sheep, and to the new fishing lake.
Went to visit 2 smallholders today for one of my work projects. The first one was Emborough Farm just north of Shepton Mallet. They keep highland cattle, sheep and alpacas as well as assorted chickens, ducks and geese. They produce their own yarn which is a mix of sheep and alpaca so I couldn't resist buying some. It is all hand dyed using natural ingredients such as rose petals (which produces a soft lime green), onion skins (which gives a pale mustard), rowan berries (which gives a peachy brown and oak leaves (which gives a light brown. I bought a selection of toning colours.
The second smallholding was River House nr Bath. This smallholding is used quite differently, focussing mainly on offering accommodation and rural skills training. They do keep pigs, ducks and 2 shetland ponies. Set beside the river it was very peaceful.
On the way there and back I had to go through Cheddar. Although I have been to Cheddar many times I don't remember travelling right the way through the gorge. Well worth doing. Stopped to take a few photos but difficult to capture the sheer height of the rock faces. I think Cheddar Gorge and all the beautiful countryside I have been through today counts as day 3 of #30DaysWild.
Had a conference call on Teams at 3.00pm with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Didn't quite manage to get back in time so had to pull into a layby. It worked OK though.
Went to see the donkeys and the calves after tea. Beautiful sunset.
Went for a walk round Burham after lunch when the weather had cleared up and then went to see the animals after tea. The donkeys were in the barn and so were lots of very sweet little calves.
I am Jenny (when I was little my dad always called me Jenny Wren) and I enjoy making hand crafted things. Watch this space to see what I am working on.