1st - 5th June 2015
Led by Prof Marilyn Palmer
|Below are just a few images of some of the curiosities of the tour and some snippets from the extensive notes provided for every tour member.|
Audley End House is well-known as one of the greatest Jacobean houses in England, built, like many others, on the remains of a monastic house suppressed in the 1530s. Granted by Henry VIII to his chancellor, Thomas, Lord Audley, it was remodelled on a grand scale by the Howards, Earls of Suffolk, partly in anticipation of royal visits by James I in 1614. The house is one of the best we visit for the number of early technology 'things to see'. The image is of a coal bunker on the 3rd floor of the building. The coal was taken up to this level via pulley system and a false window and from there the coal, and water heated by a coal fire, could more easily be distributed to the bedrooms.
The house was held by the Chicheley family for over 250 years, but passed into the hands of Charles Robartes, Earl of Radnor, in 1693. His improvements to the estate beggared him and he moved back to the family seat of Lanhydrock in Cornwall in 1710 (which is included in our South West tour).
The image shows another way to solve the age-old problem of how to call the servants. This is one end of a speaking tube system, presumably installed before telephones arrived.
Anglesey Abbey originally dates from the 12th century and belonged to the Austin canons but can now be seen as an example of how American money could transform a country retreat. During a number of ups and downs in its fortunes both US oil and US railroad money was invested here (but see also the Bucks, Oxon and Surrey tour for how Blenheim Palace was rescued by Vanderbilt money)
Pictured here are perhaps the most magnificent urinals we have encountered anywhere in our Country House travels!
Holkham has been the home of the Coke family since 1612. The present hall owes it origins to Thomas Coke, who inherited the estate in 1707. He developed a knowledgeable interest in various art forms and met the Palladian architect William Kent. However, he lost a huge sum of money in the South Sea Bubble crisis of 1720 and did not begin on this new house until 1734 with his chief architrect Matthew Brettingham - a local man. The image shows just a few of the magnificent array of mechanical bells, there are also electric bells and early telephones to be seen amongst many other early technological advances.
Felbrigg Hall was the home of the Windham family from the mid-15th century. The present south front dates from the early 17th century while a later Windham married an heiress and built the west wing in the 1680s. James Paine was employed to make further improvements in the 1750s. William Frederick 'Mad' Windham wasted the family fortunes and the estate passed into the hands of his bankers before his death in 1866. Before the visit it was said to be a house with little technological interest but on a specially arranged tour of the lofts and cellars we discovered remains of bell systems and early fire equipment.
|All images Copyright (c) 2016 Heritage of Industry Ltd|