Erddig Hall


 

We had the pleasure of visiting the  National Trust property Erddig Hall near Wrexham. Wrexham is the largest town in North Wales, nestled in the Dee Valley between the Welsh mountains and the English border.

Erddig Hall

Erddig (roughly pronounced air-thig) was built between 1684–1687 for Josiah Edisbury, the then High Sheriff of Denbighshire, to a design by Thomas Webb.

More recently the property has been passed down through generations of the Yorke family until March 1973, when it was given to the National Trust.

Fancy Vase – Erddig

The property was in a severe state of disrepair and structurally unsound. Due in part to subsidence caused by the collapse of old coal mine workings. The National Trust managed to get some compensation from The National Coal Board which, coupled with funds raised by the sale some park land has enabled the preservation of Erddig and its contents.

Weapons Display – Erddig

And, it’s the contents that make Erddig such an interesting place. The Yorke family never threw anything away, or indeed never repaired anything. The house is undoubtedly a treasure trove of antique furniture and furnishings. Added to the physical items are the social historical records for both the family and specifically the staff, who were especially well treated.

Polyphon Music Box – Erddig
Ready to play Der Mikado

It should be noted that one of the conditions that Philip S. Yorke (1905–1978) imposed on handing over the house and estate to the National Trust in 1973 was that nothing was to be removed from the house. He is quoted as saying: “My only interest for many years has been that this unique establishment for which my family have foregone many luxuries and comforts over seven generations should now be dedicated to the enjoyment of all those who may come here and see a part of our national heritage preserved for all foreseeable time.”

 

Carpenters Shop – Erddig

This is the carpenter’s shop, apparently the tools were found exactly as you see in these photos.

Thomas Rogers c1830 – Erddig

Thomas Rogers was carpenter at Erddig. From the info board by his photo ….

During the Napoleonic Wars, he only escaped being press-ganged into the Navy because Simon Yorke paid his ransom. He was granted a pension by the Yorkes when he retired in 1871 at the age of ninety.

Carpenters Shop – Erddig

Some of the tools on display belonged to Thomas Rogers.

Alternative examples of wood craftsmanship are to be found in the yard outside of the Carpenters Shop.

Simon O’Rourke is the “artist in residence” at Erddig.

Erddig had its own Lime Works ….

Amongst all the various artworks around the Hall, we stumbled across this psychedelic Sheep ….

Psychedelic Sheep – Erddig

Must be the Beatles influence but on a previous visit “oop north”, north of the Mersey, we were surrounded by numerous psychedelic pigs.

 

General view of Outbuildings – Erddig

Just off this courtyard, there are stables housing a number of shire horses. Unusually, they were all asleep, and it was quite humorous watching one of them, his head slowly drooping, then suddenly jerking up, his eyes opening briefly before repeating the cycle. I get that feeling most evenings, when the soaps are on the TV.

Among the various outbuildings, numerous forms of wheeled vehicles may be found. Including bicycles, motor cars and motorcycles. These are just a few  ….

On, into the interior of the house, starting with the laundry …..

….. and then on into the kitchen …..

With all the cooking going on in this house they needed some decent silverware to serve it in ….

Silverware – Erddig

And somewhere decent to eat the food prepared below stairs ….

Interesting to note that most of the Yorke family were vegetarians, though their menus did include meat and fish. Presumably, to cater for the tastes of their guests when entertaining. Once a meal was over, perhaps the Yorke family would retire to the Saloon for a drop of Port, a cigar, and some polite conversation.

Saloon -Erddig

The ceiling in the Saloon, and in one of the bedrooms, is notable for the fact that it is clad in sheet steel. This was applied as a form of fire retardant. The metal was then painted over.

And so, body and soul satisfied, the Yorkes would take themselves off to bed ….

Bedroom – Erddig

This room is known as the White Bedroom. It has a Chippendale period mahogany four-poster bed and is named after the white-painted seventeenth-century panelling.

After a good nights sleep, what could be more refreshing than an invigorating shower ….

Shower – Erddig

Although this “Heath-Robinson” affair looks as if it would be more at home on a jungle campsite.

After touring the house we ventured outside. Due to other commitments we were not able to do justice to the grounds. These are a few of the pictures I took close to the house.

And so it was time to call it a day and head back to the Wirral. One last photo before we leave this beautiful house …

Dovecote – Erddig

And There You Have It


Over the last few weeks the UK has been snowed with sound bites, lectures, debates etc. etc. etc. Yes we were in the run up to a General Election.

Today we have awoken to a new political era. Where once we had a majority government we now have a hung parliament. Theresa May, still the PM, but in a much weaker position, visiting the Queen with a view to forming a minority/coalition government with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) of Norther Ireland.

Theresa May called this election, unnecessarily in my book. But having called the snap election she failed to perform, failed to consolidate her party’s position, failed to show herself as the strong and stable leader that this country needs.

A new Maggie Thatcher she isn’t.

But I don’t believe that the Tory strategy is totally to blame for where we now find ourselves. Certainly certain elements of the Tory manifesto became the sole focus of both the media and May’s opponents. She did not seem able to  defend herself when put under pressure over the Tories history with, and future plans for the NHS, Social Care etc.

But then, neither did Corbyn, on occasion. His performance on BBC’s Womans Hour was awful. Diane Abbott also did not exactly shine. Not what you would expect from senior, experience, campaigners. Admittedly, Abbott’s performance is now being written off as due to health issues. But, credit where credit is due, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party out played the Tories.

Over and above the individual party performances I believe we have, in part, ended up with a hung parliament due to the frantic and, sometimes, seemingly hysterical entreaties of the anti Tory activists. I personally have been inundated with “vote anybody but tory” messages via emails and social media. I think that message may have seriously affected how some folks have voted and the perpetrators should shoulder some of the blame.

I’m pretty sure that there has always  been, throughout history, tactical voting but this time round it seems to have been more ferocious. To my mind though, there can be nothing so unproductive, as randomly voting for any party, as long as it isn’t tory. For those that followed that mantra it is tantamount to either not voting or damaging your voting slip.

And there you have it, a hung parliament. To all you activists out there …. I hope you are truly satisfied.

 

Mudeford


Took a midweek trip, down to Mudeford, for lunch with some friends. The weather was brilliant, blue skies and sunshine. Needless to say, for this time of year, it was crisp and the wind was brisk

mudeford5

Cottages – Mudeford

mudeford8

Mudeford Quay

Fishing boats still land their catch on Mudeford Quay. Their pots and markers are stacked ready for use.

mudeford6

Fisherman’s Pots – Mudeford

mudeford1

Fisherman’s Pots and Markers – Mudeford

mudeford2

Fisherman’s Pots – Mudeford

After a warming lunch and a very smooth pint, courtesy of the Haven House Inn, we took a stroll around the quay enjoying the low winter sun as it illuminated the Black House and beach huts over towards Hengistbury Head. A couple of swans were enjoying the sunshine too.

mudefordswans

Swans – Mudeford

From the quay there are fine views all around …..

mudeford7

View From Mudeford Quay

mudeford

The Black House – Mudeford

…… and further along the shore towards Avon Beach you can get fine views across to the Isle of  Wight and The Needles.

mudeford3

Isle of Wight & The Needles – Viewed from Mudeford

After a gentle stroll along the prom it was time for a nice hot chocolate at the cafe on Avon Beach before returning to the car and heading for home.

mudeford4

To Avon Beach – From Mudeford

A glorious afternoon spent with good food and good company.