Saturday 16 January 2010

Clifton Park Museum

I have confessed before to being guilty of not visiting "attractions " that are on my doorstep, and one thing that bad weather makes you do is stick around home a bit more. Between Christmas and New Year, Hubby, the young man and myself found ourselves with a couple of hours spare, and not wanting to hit the shops, decided to visit Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham. Rotherham does not have a lot going for it at the moment which is a great shame as it has a very pretty little town centre, but the building of 2 huge shopping malls/out of town retails parks very close by has resulted in the town centre being left for dead. The museum had always looked a bit uninspiring, but we decided to give it a try and I was very pleasantly surprised.

Firstly, I loved the house and the history surrounding it. It was built in 1783 for the Walker family who were industrialists - iron and steel. When they built the house and landscaped the surrounding parkland, it was well away from the town centre, but the town centre rapidly grew - leaving the house and park like a goldfish bowl.

I am currently finding "The Industrial Revolution" is one of my favorite bits in history. I think it is amazing to see and read about the grandeur that these industrialists lived in, whilst the working classes who made them their wealth struggled to survive.
As well as the story of the house and the history of the town, there are lots of interesting relics to see. I think Mr Bear is loved by visiting kids.

There are also lots of pieces from the very famous Rockingham Pottery. The kiln at the pottery in nearby Swinton still exists - I'll have to have a walk and take some photos for you. This is called "The Rhinoceros Vase". The only other one is in the V& A in London - I was quite amazed by this!

More gorgeous Rockingham Pottery
If you are local, I would say that Clifton Park Museum is well worth a visit of a wet weekend afternoon - and it is also very child friendly.
I am still continuing with my walking "from" work - I'm not going to walk to work until the mornings get a bit lighter. I managed twice again this week - in very unfavourable conditions and still enjoyed it! I think I will love it once the weather is nicer and conditions under foot improve.
Ive had a morning at "Hobby Craft", so I am off to create now - I'll show you what Ive been getting up to later.



Good girl with the walking, it will pay dividends! Can't wait to see what you are creating! Have a lovely weekend Diane xx

menopausalmusing said...

Loving that china! Thanks for the comment re the film over at mine. I only found it via someone else, but it's a hoot, isn't it?

elsy said...

love that china....and well done with the walking diane, and no unfortunately i am not married to donald so its work for me on monday!

Anonymous said...

ThankYou so much for this Beautiful and interesting tour :o)
ThankYou also for Your kind words on my blog xx
I shall definitely be back very soon to see what You have been getting up too ;o)



Karen said...

Very interesting post. You're right about not seeing interesting attractions that are right on our doorstep!

BadPenny said...

I just can't get my family to come round these grand houses with me - maybe we should have some Bloggers' excurtions !

Poor bear has seen better days hasn't he ?

I loved doing the industrial revolution at school & try to catch any TV programmes about it - what a time for incredible invention & progress

Jennyff said...

Good for you. I did tell myself that once I retired I'd visit more local galleries and museums but I get into town so rarely that the shops always attract. I'll make a bigger effort this year, thanks for the reminder.

Rosie said...

As you know I love Museums and town musuems with all sorts of objects and diplays fascinate me. The Rockingham china is lovely. Look forward to seeing what you make after your visit to Hobbycraft:)

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Very Impressed that you chose culture over shopping! Good work!
I agree with you the Industrial Revolution is a fascinating period in our history.
I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed Michael Portillo's trip around Britain by train.(BBC2 week nights 6.30pm)Loved the piece about building of the epic viaduct at Ribble (I think it was Ribble?)

Sarah x

Sue said...

I always enjoy your history/geography lessons! Everso interesting as usual :-)

love those cupcakes said...

Thanks for the tour. I'm aiming to get to know or revisit attractions more local to us. Oh yes, and thanks for popping in and leaving a comment on my blog.

lesley said...

Thanks for sharing Diane. When I was at school I hated The Industrial Revolution it always seemed so grey & boring....but when I grew up I loved it!!! I still history teacher told me 95% of students felt the same...makes me wish I was back at school now.