It was such a gorgeous sunny day yesterday that we decided to head out for one of our favourite activities: visiting a historic house. Our destination was Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley which has been on my 'must visit' list for a while because of its textile collections.
The house was built between 1600 and 1605 for the Shuttleworth family who owned it until 1972 when it was given to the National Trust. It's our kind of house as we prefer the older properties and this still has a lot of Jacobean decoration and furnishings. We particularly liked the plaster ceilings and tiled fireplaces and floors. And, of course, I loved the textiles which are on the first floor. There were some beautiful examples of embroidery and lace but my favourites were a couple of christening gowns and an exquisite cot quilt with the neatest and tiniest stitching.
As always though, because of National Trust rules, I can't show you any of this. However, if you go to National Trust Images and search for Gawthorpe Hall, you can see a selection of interior shots. There are also some photos of the textile collection on a dedicated blog.
I can, however, show you some of the exterior. There was this lovely knot garden at the rear overlooking the valley, and a large lawned area to the front of the house. I really liked how tiles had been embedded into the stone pillars.
There are no formal gardens as such but there are some woodland paths so we set off to explore.
Of course you can't go anywhere in an English woodland at the moment without seeing carpets of bluebells.
Our walk took us along this little path through the trees.
On our right was this sun-filled meadow covered in buttercups.
And the inevitable dandelions. One of my aims this summer is to get a photo of the seeds blowing off into the wind - still trying yet.
Further along was this pond with a few clumps of lily pads.
The path then took us along the edge of the wood and a field and, to our delight, we came across a couple of apple trees in full blossom. I wondered if this was originally part of the gardens for the Hall or whether the birds had carried the seeds to this corner?
Finally, at the end of the path, the view opened out down the valley to the River Calder and Pendle Hill (of Pendle Witches fame) beyond. Such a lovely view and the perfect weather to appreciate it.
Hope you enjoyed your weekend and especially if you had a long one like we did here in England. As Saturday was also a beautiful sunny day I caught up on some gardening but I'm going to post those photos next time as a record for myself of progress. Today has been mostly rainy so it's been a day of housework, knitting, sewing and quilting - all of which you'll get to see at some point - well, not the housework!
Back soon. x