"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

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

A Tudor Christmas at Baddesley Clinton

B and I went along to Baddesley Clinton today to see the house decorated for Christmas.

Father Christmas and Reindeer were greeting visitors.

"Ecodolf competing with Rudolph to be lead reindeer. Loves: Having his belly scratched"

"Merry on a Diet"

"Rudolph - High energy food needed. Current lead reindeer. Loves: Scratches under the chin."

"Nursery - Mother: Comet Baby: Asteroid"

Baddesley Clinton on a gloomy day - the sun had been shining when we left home but it had completely clouded over by the time we got there!!

Baddesley Clinton was built by Henry Ferrers, a lawyer, diarist and antiquarian in the late 1500's and the house remained in the possession of the same family for over 500 years.

A few months ago dried flowers were brought into Baddesley by staff, volunteers and visitors. A workshop was held to decide on ideas for decorating various areas of the house for Christmas. This year NT Baddesle Clinton is focusing on the Tudors so it was decided to try and keep the decorations in the house as natural as possible using dried flowers, greenery and natural raffia. 24,428 dried flowers had been collected and it was calculated that 30 stems would be needed for each garland and 12 decorations per foot of Christmas Tree. On the 1st November volunteers, staff and visitors met at Lapworth Village Hall to begin making 100 metres of garlands and 500 tree decorations. Two thirds were made on the day and work on them then continued at Baddesley Clinton. The house was decorated week commencing 20th November when the Christmas Trees were delivered and, as you will see from the photos below, as well as the Christmas trees there are wreaths posies and swags in every room of the house.

Main door to the Gatehouse

The Courtyard

Then into the house itself

Whenever I go to Baddesley I have to take photos of the stained glass - I know I have said it before but one day I will go along and take photos of as much of the heraldry and glass as I can.

The Great Hall

Aren't these balls of helichrysum flowers on the tree beautiful? I used to grow these flowers years ago in the garden for dried flower arrangements - I really must grow some again next year.

The Drawing Room

The Dining Room

More stained glass!

Moving onto the first floor

This is the "Blue Lady" - I did once ask a room guide if her identity was known and I gather some research into her was taking place - so when I visit again I will try and find out more.

Chapel - this is the first time I have managed to get a photo of this room - it is very dark in there and the Olympus could never cope.

The Upper Landing

The Great Parlour

I am so glad we made the effort to visit as the displays were so beautiful and it is a great idea to use natural materials as much as possible. So much work must have gone into the growing and drying of flowers and then the making and display of the decorations so all those involved deserve a huge thank you.

At this stage I tried to take a few photos of Timothy but sadly the camera battery failed. In the past I have only ever had one battery per camera but I think I will make the effort this time to buy a spare for the new camera which I can keep charged and carry with me. I experimented more with the camera today - light in the rooms at Baddesley is very low so I was pleased with the way the camera coped although I did have to go up to ISO 1600 at times! I need to experiment more with aperture to try and get close up items more in focus although I did use the macro facility more today. It is never easy to take too long over photos when you are with someone who isn't taking pictures!


Midmarsh John said...

The dried flower displays are absolutely stunning.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thanks so much John. I knew they had some dried flowers there but I didn't know there were so many. It was a wonderful sight :)

CherryPie said...

I love the dried flower displays :-)

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

It is amazing how the flowers hold their colour and form. Simply stunning and awesome arrangements.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you. It is a shame dried flowers seem so hard to buy these days. I only ever see plastic/paper flowers on sale :( Las bunch of dried one's I bought was from Tewkesbury Abbey and they desperately need replacing!

Deborah RusticPumping Thank you. Yes it is. Years ago I used to grow flowers for drying - seeing those wonderful displays made me want to do so again!

Pam said...

The decorations are so pretty! It must have been beautiful to see 'in the flesh'! :)

Rosie said...

What wonderful displays of dried flowers, they must have taken a lot of planning. I love the door wreaths and decorated trees also the lavender colours against the dark carved wood on the first floor. It must have been a feast for the eyes and senses too. I wonder who the lady in blue is? Perhaps you will find out on your next visit:)

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thank you - yes it was a wonderful sight. I love dried flowers so was in my element :)

Rosie - Thank you. Yes, it was a fabulous sight - I think the best house decorated for Christmas I have ever seen. Yet a guide in one room said some visitors didn't like it!!!! I will go back probably February to look for snowdrops so will try and go in the house and see if I can find more about the lady in blue.

amanda peters said...

Been through and had a look at your photos, they are lovely especially the dried flowers.. they have been working hard.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thank you :) They must have put hours of work into creating those superb displays.

John Scurr said...

Beautiful flower displays and I don't usually like dried flowers.

I also like the picture of the Lady playing the guitar. It is earlier than I would have guessed, the NT suggest 1820.

Full details at:


"In 1996, Mr Ferrers-Walker suggested that the sitter was aunt to Beatrice Petre who married Henry Ferrers Croxon in 1879."

As I missed wishing you a Happy Christmas may I send my Best Wishes for the New Year.


Ragged Robin said...

John Scurr - Thank you so much for your comment and for taking the time to find out the information re: the portrait. I am off now to check the link out - it sounds very interesting. The painting has always appealed to me for some reason and whenever I do go inside the house I go to see it.

Thank you for your good wishes. I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and Best wishes to you too for 2018.