"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 14 October 2013

Packwood House

I was in Solihull on Friday afternoon (family chauffeuring duties!) and had two hours to spare so, despite the rain, I decided to visit Packwood House and Gardens and have a look round the house as I haven't been inside for years.

The House was restored and renovated in the 1920's and 1930's with the aim of recapturing its orginal 17th century style by Mr Graham Baron Ash who gave the property to the National Trust in 1941 in memory of his parents.

I know many National Trust properties are dark inside due to the necessity of drawn blinds and curtains to protect various treasures inside but this House was probably the darkest and gloomiest I've visited although the dire weather outside probably made it even darker than usual. In fact, I was having problems myself in seeing items in some of the rooms let alone trying to take any photos without flash.

So I concentrated on taking pictures mainly of some of the beautiful stained glass in the windows - most 16th and 17th century and some Flemish.

It appears Baron Ash hated disorder and untidiness!

I did manage to get a photo of the Great Hall this was originally detached from the main house and used as a cow-byre and barn. It was restored in 1924 and 1927 and connected to the House by a Long Gallery.

There are some beautiful tapestries on the walls but this was the only one where I could get enough light to even attempt a photo.

One of the rooms held a very interesting exhibition on textiles and dyes.

The Ireton Bathroom with some beautiful delft tiles.

It would be rather nice to have a bedroom with a view like this!

Having finished a tour of the house the rain had more or less stopped so I had a brief walk round the walled Carolean Garden which includes the

Sunken Garden

The gardens were looking very autumnal

I can't decide whether I like this photo or whether its total rubbish! The effect of moving flowers was created by the wind.

I had a walk round the lovely Kitchen Garden before leaving - still plenty of flowers in bloom and lots of pumpkins!

I have a feeling I'm overdoing the House and Garden posts in the course of the last week - hopefully a trip to a Nature Reserve next (if it ever stops raining and if the permit ever turns up :) )


Em Parkinson said...

What a beautiful place. I like the moving flowers incidentally!

Countryside Tales said...

Looks a fascinating place. Loved the great hall and the blue bathroom. Hope your permit turns up soon- the waiting must be driving you mad! x

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Many thanks - glad you enjoyed and liked the moving flowers :)

Countryside Tales - Many thanks. Have sent an email politely chasing permit - perhaps I am being overly optimistic in how long it takes? But was meant as joint Wedding Anniversary present which has now been and gone!! No doubt I'll get one eventually!!!!!

Dean Stables said...

You don`t half get out & about, Caroline. Nothing like these places....around where i am.

Wendy said...

The stained glass windows look very interesting and I love the Great Hall. I'd be fascinated by that ceiling.
I'm sure you're becoming increasingly frustrated by that permit - surely it is reasonable to expect something like that to turn up after just a few days?

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - lol :) Don't normally manage that many in one week :) Lucky really to have so many fairly close - although Calke Abbey was some distance but close to where my friend lives.

Tricia Ryder said...

What fabulous stained glass windows... not easy to photograph either but lovely pics!!

looks like a great way to kill time :D

Toffeeapple said...

Another lovely post. those windows are exquisite aren't they? I liked the carriage in the corner of the tapestry room, I wonder how old that might be?
I, too, liked the picture of the moving Michaelmas Daisies and the intense colour of them in the first shot.

David Turner said...

Another gorgeous looking house and I love all that stained glass :-) I actually like the gloominess of these old houses though as you say it is hardly ideal for photography! That old bed looks so inviting and what a fantastic view of the gardens :-) Lovely Pumpkins too :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thank you - glad you enjoyed :) re: Permit I had a reply today to an email I sent yesterday and apparently they only received my application few days ago!!! Anyway good news is permits are going to be posted today (hopefully not second class :) ) I thought a few days or a week maximum especially considering how expensive it is!!!!

Tricia Ryder - Many thanks. Glad you liked stained glass windows - quite a lovely feature I thought :) Certainly time better spent there than wandering round shops in Solihull :)

Toffeeapple - Many thanks - yes windows charming :) I've found the guide book now - a date for sedan chair isn't mentioned but inside is an 18th century dressed dummy figure of a lady holding a fan - French. If I go inside house again I'll ask and try and get a photo with all chair in :)

Glad you liked the Michaelmas Daisy photos - probably my favourite autumn flower. When we got married and moved into our house the back garden was full of them.

David Turner - Thank you - so glad everyone likes the stained glass :) Its a beautiful house and gardens :) Pumpkins everywhere at the moment - have several stored in garage for Hallowe'en!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI RR Well I am glad you had a couple of hours to space. That looks a very interesting place to visit. great photos to give us a good flavour of the place and its surroundings. RR as most of us are not Robots, can you not approve our comments like the majority of other bloggers? If you want to do this and don't know how, I will send you instructions. Another blogger kindly sent me them.

SeagullSuzie said...

Wonderful place to visit, and in a 2 hour slot you did all this!
Great photos of the Great Hall, and beautiful bathroom and bedroom.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love all the pumpkins and squash! And the stained glass is beautiful. I have always fancied commissioning a piece of stained glass. One day I will.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Many thanks :) Good to "escape" for a while :) I did take off the "robot" control once and immediately started to get spam comments that's why I reinstated it. I know its a pain and can only apologise. I'll have a think and may take it off for a while and see what happens but if spam returns it'll go back on :)

SeagullSuzie - Many thanks. Luckily Packwood's only about 15 minutes from Solihull Town Centre and House is near the car park!!

Elizabeth Musgrave - Many thanks for your kind comment. It was lovely to see so many pumpkins etc. I love stained glass too - one of these days I'll go to Ely Cathedral where I believe there is a stained glass museum :)

Lou Mary said...

I think the stained glass windows are very pretty. You have done well to get good photos of them as they are quite a tricky subject I think. I think I would quite like some of those bathroom tiles - they are fab!

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - Many thanks :) The cropping could have been better on stained glass but I used the software I got with camera and its very limited!! One day I'll get round to using photoshop!!

Glad you liked the tiles - they were beautiful and had stuck in my mind from visits years ago :)

Chris Rohrer said...

You sure did a lot:) I love rain but I have to admit that I was a bit frustrated doing a photo shoot recently in a downpour to get a lifebird! We were back in Wisconsin and the weather is very similar to yours. Some days it chose not cooperate:) Grrrr.....

The windows are really beautiful. I couldn't help but wonder what type of eagle that was....was it bird commonly seen in the area? Or a symbol? Beautiful grounds....as for dark and dreary....I've had enough of that:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Hope you had a good holiday but sorry to hear about the rain :( We've had a lot here too recently :(

I'm not sure about the bird. I think probably the only bird common then would have been a Red Kite (lot less common now though status is improving!!). But I would imagine its probably symbolic.