Thursday, 19 September 2013

Eyam

When Pondside knew that H and I were travelling to Derbyshire she wondered whether we would be visiting Haddon Hall, Bakewell or Taddington, places she had enjoyed on her trip over from Canada last year.
On our way to Eyam we did pass along the perimeter wall of Haddon Hall, and went through Bakewell. Bakewell is always a stopping point for us, it is where we buy the famous Bakewell Pudding to take home and put in our freezer.
The origins of the pudding are not clear; three bakers in Bakewell claim to have the original recipe.  The accepted story is that in 1820 Mrs. Greaves, who was the landlady of the Rutland Arms, left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart. The cook instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. By whatever means the pudding came about, I can guarantee that it is delicious. A Bakewell PUDDING is nothing like a Bakewell TART.
There are several treasures for the visitor to Eyam to see and visit.
On the exterior of St. Lawrence church is this wonderful sundial dated 1775 which is thought to have been designed and made by John Whitehurst, member of the Lunar Society and clockmaker extraordinaire.
Inside the church is a rare Saxon font dating from 800AD. The arcading would have been painted and decorated. The font is not original to the church, but was given about 100 years ago.
There is a stained glass window by the distinguished Victoria stained glass artist Geoffrey Webb. How do I know that it is by Webb? 
His cobweb signature is clearly visible in the bottom righthand corner.
In the churchyard sits a rare and special item which I shall do a post about in the future.
I have stood on these portal entrance steps to Eyam Hall so many times, and wondered what it was like inside the house and garden. Joy of joys we discovered that it has just been leased for 10 years to the National Trust with effect from March of this year, so armed with our membership cards, free entrance was permitted. This is the very first time that any property has been leased to the NT rather than being given.
Eyam Hall began life as a generous wedding present in 1671, just five years after the plague. It has been in continuous use by the Wright family and is now owned by the ninth generation.
It is a remarkably unspoilt example of a Jacobean manor house. The entrance hall has a beautiful stone-flagged floor and the walls are covered with portraits showing the watchful gaze of many Wrights from down the generations. The house has a surprisingly bright, comfortable, and very pleasant feel to it. 
The original kitchen was discovered hidden beneath layers of plaster, linoleum, and built in cupboards. It has now been painstakingly restored to how it would have looked in the 17th century.
When Eyam Hall was built, it ushered in a new era of life, hope and prosperity for the villagers, following on from the communities previous grief.

59 comments:

  1. What a great opportunity to look inside the Hall. Do the present owners still live in it?
    The old kitchen looks so cosy! Gorgeous gardens too.

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    1. The owners have moved out into a house in Eyam village. I think they are going to assess the current situation during the next 10 years, and it will give their children breathing space to consider how they all wish to move forward regarding Eyam Hall.

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  2. The kitchen is always one of my favourite rooms in any NT property and this one looks very interesting, once again The National Trust have done a great job.

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    1. The kitchen is gorgeous - I love the stone sink with its copper and brass taps. The kitchen was, however, actually restored by the owners before they handed the 10 lease of the property to the NT. Over the coming 10 lease I am sure that the NT will do restoration work, and they also hope to research all the Wright connections to the property. I asked whether Wright of Derby, the famous painter, had any connections with them, and this they are hoping to do research into.

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  3. So interesting! I always learn such a lot when I visit your blog :-) I will now be searching for cobwebs in churches.
    There has been such an about turn in country houses open to the public, from emphasising the grand rooms to opening up the kitchens and 'below stairs' areas - and aren't they fascinating!?

    I also love that Saxon font.
    Celia x

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    1. Thank you Celia - that is one of the joys about blogging that I enjoy - coming across bits of information that are new to me too.
      The kitchen in this house is particularly lovely especially with the September sun streaming through its windows and making all the brass and copper shine.

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  4. Wonderful thins, wonderful places....

    Marina

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  5. Another beautiful 'stately home of England', Rosemary, and quite lovely to see. I really enjoy these. The silver serving dishes are quite wonderful, and the kitchen is gorgeous. Love the old Saxon font, and I too will be looking for cobwebs in stained glass in future. Thank you for all the little details you teach us!

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    1. Dear Patricia - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing Eyam Hall, I was delighted to be able to cross the threshold at long last.

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  6. Hi Rosemary, this was so very interesting again. The house is sublime, I LOVE those floors! And it's such a good thing the kitchen has been brought back to how it must have looked in the 17th century.
    I did have a question though, I wondered about that cobweb signature. I think it must be from Geoffrey Webb, Christopher Webb's older brother. Here's a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30120216@N07/6300231516/
    Christopher Webb had a different signature: a Saint Christopher with his initials.
    As in this link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/47859152@N05/5134832691/in/set-72157625218083619
    Marian

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    1. Quite right Marian - thanks for spotting the error. I had both names in my mind whilst writing and accidentally put down the wrong brother - thank you very much, I have now changed it.

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  7. I've never heard of the Bakewell pudding until now. It sounds delicious! And the shop window is so pretty. Fascinating photos and commentary, as always. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. The shop window is very unusual, but I do not know whether it is obvious from the photo. It actually concaves in towards the shop which I have never seen before.

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  8. Hello Rosemary,
    I can see that you had a lovely trip back to where you grew up in Derbyshire.
    Loving Bakewell tart.. I read over your post again.. As the photo's and your recipe info didn't have almonds there. Then reading it again.. Its bakewell pudding.. I have never eaten that...it looks so delicious. My mouth was watering, just looking at the lovely cake shop.
    The stained glass window in the church is so beautiful.
    How exciting that you could visit and see inside Eyam Hall. I so love to see those gracious homes of England.. the gardens are so lovely ..a true English garden. Do the family still live there Rosemary.. or is it totally rented to the trust. lovely post
    Happy Thursday Val.x

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    1. Dear Val - the family have moved into another house in the village whilst the NT have it on a 10 year lease. During this time they are going to be giving thought as to whether or not to keep the house or hand it to the trust. I think it all depends on how their children feel about taking it on, and whether they want the responsibility of looking after the upkeep and expense of a very old house.

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  9. Shop windows so very different from ours, though there are a few windows like that one in a couple of older towns here.
    Wonderful the house is still in the family.
    The National Trust do an excellent job over your way. We have that organization here, but so many rules and red tape.

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    1. Some people are rather disparaging about the National Trust, but I think that they do a fantastic job in preserving our heritage of gardens and buildings. If it wasn't for them so many of these wonderful properties would be neglected and fall into ruins, and the gardens would become overgrown and lost forever.

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  10. Interesting and beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Marie - I am pleased that you found the post interesting.

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  11. Ooh that Bakewell pudding is absolutely oozing with scrumptiousness and my mouth is watering as I read. Lovely post Rosemary and how lovely that you were able to go inside Eyam Hall.
    Patricia x

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    1. Ever since I have been a child I have gazed through those gates, so I was so happy to be able to go inside at long last.
      The Bakewell puddings are made fresh everyday - they must sell thousands of them each week.

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  12. Such an interesting post Rosemary. Seeing the pudding I wish I could taste it. Eyam Hall is beautiful.
    Have a great evening Rosemary.

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    1. You will have to visit Bakewell Marijke, and then you can try out their pudding.

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  13. Hi Rosemary,

    I like the tall sun flower. :)

    From: Bea Cupcake

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    1. That sunflower was taken especially for you Bea.

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  14. I never hurt about the bakewell pudding, I think it is delicious.
    Again a interesting post Rosemary...thanks.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. It is delicious Inge, that is why we always buy a few puddings as we pass through Bakewell.

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  15. Your bakewell pudding looks delicious, you can't go to Bakewell without buying some bakewell pudding! Have you ever tried making it? Last weekend I came across a recipe for a bakewell cake that I must try sometime. It must have been wonderful to walk through those gates of Eyam Hall. The wait over all these years look worthwhile.
    Sarah x

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    1. I only have the tart recipe, but could make a pretty good guess at how to make the pudding. Must give it a try sometime - they charge rather a lot for them in Bakewell. You must let us know what the Bakewell cake is like.

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  16. The window of the shop looks great.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. The contents in the window are great too.

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  17. The sundial is wonderful - worth a trip to Eyam for that alone!

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    1. You would enjoy Eyam Nilly - lots of interesting things to see, and some good stories too.

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  18. Eyam is for sure an interesting place to visit , such a lot of history ....and a fabulous bakery, that pudding is mouthwatering !

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    1. Bakewell Pudding is very delicious, and that is why we usually bring some home to freeze.

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  19. How beautiful Eyam is. There's something about the interiors that reminds me of Burton Agnes Hall, in East Yorkshire. It is still owned, and sometimes used by the family that has been there for fifteen generations. If I could go back to one place it would be to the Bakewell area. I tasted the pudding, as well as the very best meat pie I've ever had. The butcher was making a thousand of them (he and his wife, really, just the two of them) for the Christmas season. Oh, but it was so good!
    Thank you for taking me back!

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    1. When you say meat pie, I am assuming that you are probably talking about the famous Pork Pie which is a tall round pie with a very rich crisp and brown pastry. Every family in the area has a Pork Pie for Christmas. You can buy them over much of the country now as they are made commercially, but they do not compare at all with the local butcher made ones.

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    2. Yes, that would be it - a pork pie......eaten in the kitchen of the butcher's house, overlooking hills lined with stone walls - a cup of strong tea - lovely memory.

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  20. Hello, rosemary! I can easily imagine the Eyam Hall brought hope to the people who endured terrible hardship. Webb’s signature is a cobweb….how clever and original! Thank you for this lovely walk including such delicious Bakewell pudding.

    Yoko

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    1. I wish I could give you all some Bakewell Pudding to try, it really is delicious. Everyone should go and visit Bakewell and try it for themselves!!!

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  21. Dear Rosemary, I love the way you take us along on your trips. Been thinking about painting a sun dial and affixing it onto a panel to hang on top of my Guest House. Now I have a wonderful example.

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    1. If you can replicate something like Whitehurst's sundial Gina that would be wonderful, do show if you do. Whitehurst was the creme de la creme.

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  22. There are so many interesting things in your post. I love the spider web, signature, the font, the beautiful old home and I would love to taste the Bakewell pudding! I can't wait to hear about the interesting part you are going to share later!

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    1. I am going to do some posts called British Treasures and I intend to include it in that series.

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  23. Such a lovely kitchen! You've been to so many lovely, beautiful places, Rosemary! Happy weekend!

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    1. Although the kitchen is 350 years old, it really is delightful - full of character.

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  24. Hi Rosemary, It is so nice to see a house which doesn't have that "frozen into a museum" look. They were especially lucky to uncover so much of the early kitchen--utility and service areas are usually the first to go when a house is updated, usually irremediably.

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    1. Hello Jim - I was so delighted when I turned the corner and saw the delightful kitchen full of the most wonderful bits and pieces. I especially admired the stone sink with its copper and brass taps.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,what an interesting post!!
      You had a lovely trip to Eyam !!!
      Beautiful house!!!I would love to have a piece of that fantastic pudding!!
      Thank you for sharing!!!Have a nice weekend!!!
      Dimi...

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    3. You are right Dimi we had a lovely trip to Eyam, and enjoyed great weather too. The Bakewell Pudding is, I can assure you, very delicious.

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  25. We shall defiantly visit...
    Enjoy your pudding
    Thea xx

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    1. Good, I am pleased that you will pay Eyam a visit - that one is eaten and the others are in the freezer out of temptations way.

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  26. I've been hoping to go back to Eyam all this year, but it's never happened. Glad to see photos are allowed in Eyam Hall! It has moved up my wishlist although the window of opportunity this year is getting less as the season for country house opening is nearly over.

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    1. You have still got plenty of time to visit Linda - the hall is fully open until Sun. 3rd November.

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  27. What a splendid building, Rosemary. I've never been to Eyam, but loved your tour of Eyam Hall and the church. many thanks.

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    1. Dear Perpetua - I was delighted to get my foot in the door of Eyam Hall after gazing longingly through the gateway since I was a child. The place and its atmosphere didn't let me down.

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