Victorian Architects Ernest George and Harold Peto

Samantha PillingUncategorised

fig78

From September 1890 until the end of that year, Sir William S Gilbert supervised the various internal alterations he wanted to be completed at Grim’s Dyke. He employed architects Ernest George and Peto to do the work, as they had a prominent reputation in London and had also designed his London home in Harrington Gardens. Various changes were made, including … Read More

3 reasons to hire a Wedding Planner

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Choosing Bridal Bouquet

Your wedding is one of the biggest events in your life, so it’s understandable that you’ll want it a certain way. For many brides, they’ve been dreaming for years about how their ideal wedding will look but making it a reality can seem both daunting and expensive.   Hiring a wedding planner may seem to be another added expense to what … Read More

How the Victorian comic book magazine was born

Samantha PillingUncategorised

COMICCUTS Cover

Comic Cuts was the first comic to be created in Britain. It went on to inspire a host of other comic publications by rival publishing companies. Then reporter, Alfred Harmsworth, was its creator and he used the comic to grow his small publishing firm into the largest periodical publishing company in the world, Amalgamated Press. Story papers, known as Penny … Read More

How to organise a funeral

Samantha PillingUncategorised

White rose Funeral

Organising a funeral isn’t something we want to necessarily be prepared for, but it is something most of us will have to face, at some point in our lives. It can be incredibly difficult to get your head around what you need to organise, so here’s an overview of our top tips. Find out if there’s any guidance already in … Read More

Pen pals of W.S. Gilbert

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Calligraphy

W.S. Gilbert loved writing letters. From the short to long, plain to illustrated, he loved to put his thoughts and opinions down on paper to share with friends and confidants. He would always show a notable, if ironic, courtesy to the recipient of his words, regardless of whether they were friend or foe. His letters gave a glimpse into his … Read More

The Secret language of flower

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Known as floriography, the cryptic message of flowers has been used for thousands of years. The Victorians especially, loved how they could use flowers to send small bouquets (or nosegays) of coded messages to their loved ones. These flowers could be worn or carried as fashion statements, whilst the message itself could be decoded with a bit of patience and … Read More

Herbertina Compton Turner

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Herbetina Compton Turner

Herbertina Compton Turner was W.S. Gilbert’s mother-in-law. A frequent visitor to Grim’s Dyke, Herbertina got on very well with Gilbert. During her life, Herbertina witnessed her own share of heartache, something I’m sure she was able to draw upon, as she helped her daughter Lucy through the subsequent death of W.S. Gilbert. Herbertina’s early life Born on the 2nd July 1815, … Read More

The mighty English oak tree

Samantha PillingUncategorised

shutterstock_101169685

When it comes to instantly recognisable trees, the English oak has to be top of the tree. It’s one of the most common tree species in the UK and possibly one of the best-loved too. So, what makes the oak such a special tree? Here’s our compilation of the top ten facts about this wonderful tree. #1: It doesn’t produce … Read More

Squirrels at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Squirrel

If you happened to be invited by Sir W.S. Gilbert, to a party at Grim’s Dyke during the Victorian era, you’d stand a good chance of seeing a squirrel or two, running around the grounds. Red squirrels were a common sight, in the 1800’s. Today, you will still see squirrels running around the grounds – but they’ll be of the grey variety. … Read More

Bushey Heath Cottage Hospital

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Bushey heath Hospital 3

  Both Sir W.S. Gilbert and his wife Lucy, were actively involved in local affairs and Bushey Heath Cottage Hospital was one of the benefactors. Sir William was Honorary Secretary there and would hold charity performances to raise funds for it. Lady Gilbert, would arrange Christmas entertainment and parties, usually involving conjurors, magic, tea and sandwiches.   The Bushey Heath Cottage … Read More