Monday 29 April 2013

Sheffield Manor Lodge - part1

So with a Saturday all to myself, I decided to go back and take a look what was happening at Manor Lodge in Sheffield.  I'm so glad I did, it was really interesting and so lovely.  It was built by the Earls of Shrewsbury who lived in Sheffield Castle (who's footings are now under the Castle market) as a hunting lodge for their extensive deer park in medieval times.  In the early 16th Century, they extended it and turned it into a very grand manor house.  It must have been vast.

 The site has a fascinating history with Mary Queen of Scots being held here as a prisoner for some time.
 The site open Fridays and Saturdays 10-3pm and is free to look around.  They charge £2.00 for a tour around the gatehouse turreted building, and this is really interesting.  The guide told us that an old lady had lived in it up until the mid 60's - some of the volunteers could remember her living there.  The volunteers are all very knowledgeable and really lovely.  They have some great artifacts on display and the history of the whole site is documented really well with some fascinating photographs.
 They also run a company from here called "Green Estates" (the company that did all the wild flowers for the Olympic village last year).  They plant the meadow at the back of the site with millions of wild flowers - so I can't wait to go back and see these when the summer finally arrives!  The Apothecary garden has just been planted and adds interest.

 They hold many events here and I am going to keep my eyes open to see what is on.  There is a local history fair at the end of May which might be good, and I bet the flower festival in June is amazing.
 The interior of the gatehouse was renovated by the Duke of Norfolk (who married the Earl of Shrewsbury's daughter) in the Victorian times.  Nearly all of these renovations remain and in very good condition.

 The Manor Guild of Embroiderers showcase some of their work here and copy some of the work that would have been made by embroiderers of Mary Queen of Scots (all men apparently)

The Manor Lodge is surprisingly only a very small part of this interesting site.  I will show you what else I got up to here later.

I can't believe I have not been here before.  I am constantly amazed at what I have overlooked - right under my nose.

Sunday 28 April 2013


... our wander, we noticed some of the lovely buildings we often hurry past....

 ... we noted future dates for our diary...
 ...  we spotted the odd celebrity - in town to commentate on the snooker......
 ..we looked up and noticed the detail on some of the gorgeous older buildings....

 ..we marvelled at how spring appears to have sprung all of a sudden....

 ... I played with some of the features on my new camera...
 ..  and noticed how the random stranger took a mouth full of chips at the wrong moment!!

We enjoyed our wander - noticing things that every one else just hurried by.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Re purposing a city

On Friday night, the DQ and I enjoyed our favourite type of night out - a walk around Sheffield with our camera's.  One part of our walk took in a whole area of the city that is currently fairly derelict - urban decay.
Sheffield has literally hundreds of complete and empty cutlery, scissor, saw workshops - leftover from when we used to supply the world with every blade it required.  These workshops started in the city centre and spread out into the suburbs.  Thankfully, the council has now realised their importance and stopped pulling them down - they are quite unique and I have never visited another city that has anything similar.

 2 of the works have mercifully been rescued and retained as workshops - The Portland Works and Harland Works.  A city centre one is used as unique shops, another as a bar (Crystal Bar). The Butcher Works is a stunning apartment complex with the Academy of Makers built into in. There are a hundred and one uses for these amazing old places.  Each place has its own names - I wonder how these were named?  The Beehive works are currently being converted into office space.  They can't be easy to convert as they would have been built cheaply with little or no heating, small doors etc.

 This one is intriguingly called Eyewitness Works - Wikepedia says that they still manufacture here - I shall have to investigate.

 We sneeked into an alley and discovered the Archipelago works - now a hub for artists and printing works.
 They had a box full of art card that was free to help yourself - so we did.
 It was interesting to wander through this desolate area of the city.  It is very close to the centre, but the DQ commented on how exceptionally quiet it was.
 It is unbelievable to think that in my lifetime, up until the 1980's, these companies would have employed hundreds of men and women.

Thursday 25 April 2013

A return to Haddon Hall

I was looking for a day out to treat a pal who has recently been through the ringer, and I remembered the lovely day out at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire that I had with Rosie and Rowan, 2 of my wonderful bloggy friends.  I checked, and they had one of the Tudor re enactment days scheduled, which I think really bring this wonderful house to life - so off we went.

 We had picked a lovely day for our trip after such recent bad weather.
 My pall lives near Haddon, but had never been on one of the re enactment days and agreed that it made for a much more interesting day.
 We were able to chat to the kitchen staff and ask what they were making, what ingredients they were using and where these ingredients would have come from.  The people that dress up for these days come from all over the country and from all walks of life.

 The hall is still lived in by the family who own it and it does feel very homely.
 The gardens have a lovely romantic feel to them.

 We stumbled across the "Upper Crust" who were wandering in the garden.
 Can you tell who this young lady's mother is?  Her mother (Ruth Goodman from the Victorian/Edwardian/Wartime Farm series) was in attendance in the hall too.
 Finally all the food was prepared.  This is a salad of pickled vegtables.
 We were shown how the servants would be fed first, and shown how the servants were ranked in order of importance - and fed accordingly.
 And finally the Lord and Lady would be fed.  They served an enormous amount of food, so that thye could have a huge choice.  The leftovers were all used up - in re heated dishes the next day, servants dishes, food for the estate workers and "Dole" cupboards for the poor.  They would dole some food (usually pastry) out to poorer village inhabitants.
 Haddon Hall is very beautiful and is often used for film locations.  It has been used for countless productions of "Jane Eyre" and was also used as the Inn where Kiera Knightley stayed in the latest film version of Pride and Prejudice.
 We finished off our day with a riverside picnic and concluded that we had loved our day out and had lifted both our spirits.  I think the blue sky helped!