Memorial to W.S. Gilbert

Samantha PillingHistory

Sweethearts_-_W._S._Gilbert

If you cross the road from Victoria Embankment, on the retaining river wall, the northern side of Hungerford Bridge, you’ll find the memorial to Sir William Schwenck Gilbert. Showing a bronze side profile of the dramatist, it has two wreaths above, a shield below and two women depicting tragedy and comedy. Tragedy has a book on her lap and is … Read More

Choosing the right wedding car for your big day

Samantha PillingWeddings

Grims Dyke Blog Wedding Car

There’s such a vast array of wedding car hire venues available to soon-to-be brides. With so much choice, it can be difficult knowing what you want, let alone what option works best for you. However, picking your wedding day transport doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult, if you follow these simple tips. Location Before you decide what type of … Read More

The Victorian art of Curio collecting

Samantha PillingHistory

Crockery

Curios, otherwise known as knick-knacks, trinkets and ornaments are one of those household things that you either love or hate – and it seems, that the Victorian had rather a passion for them! The Victorian love of Curios The Victorians loved to collect curios and display them around the house – many even had a curio cabinet, full of the … Read More

The importance of an observatory at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingHistory

Grims Dyke Blog Astronomy

W.S. Gilbert bought Grim’s Dyke in August 1890 and, by May 1910, he’d had an observatory built at Grim’s Dyke, complete with the latest telescope. Like many affluent Victorians of that time, he wanted to indulge in his latest passion for star gazing. However, the Victorian’s passion for astronomy also played an important part in the progression of this area … Read More

Frank Holl: English painter and Royal portraitist

Samantha PillingHistory

Potrait of gilbert

W.S. Gilbert had a love of paintings. Not only did he have a collection that included the likes of Duncan, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Maes, Van der Kappelle, C. Van Everdingen and an early Tenniel, but he also liked to set up an easel in the Drawing Room and paint sunsets himself. One of the most impressive paintings in this room though, … Read More

Caesar van Everdingen – one of W.S. Gilbert’s favoured painters

Samantha PillingHistory

Caesar van Everdingen

Caesar van Everdingen (1617-1678), also known as Caesar Pietersz was a 17th Century Dutch painter. He was a Baroque artist, focusing primarily on portrait and history, and was also known to be one of the painters from the period known as the Dutch Golden Age. W.S. Gilbert the Art Collector W.S. Gilbert loved collecting curios and art – one of … Read More

Victorian Orchards

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

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Fruit growing rose in popularity during the 1870s and became an important pastime of the Victorians. No longer was fruit growing limited to farmers, looking to produce Perry and cider, as a form of payment to their labourers, the wealthier Victorians created orchards on their estates too. These comprises of not just apples and pears, but also stone fruits too, … Read More

How to organise a Christening

Samantha PillingFood and Drink

Baptism Christening

Christening events can be as simple or complex as you’d like them to be. For many, the church service and picking the right godparents, are the only essentials they need to sort out. For others, they’d rather totally celebrate the occasion, holding a reception and having professional photographs etc. taken. Regardless of the type of Christening, you’re looking to hold, … Read More

Flowers and plants that attract bees

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

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If you want to attract bees into your garden, you don’t have to turn the whole garden into a mass of pollen-producing flowers (although that would look amazing!). You can easily help the bees in your area, by ensuring you have pollen and nectar rich plants for the different seasons. If you have plenty of room, you could also section … Read More

British Bees

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

British Bees

There are approximately 250 species of bee in the UK and they can be broken down into two groups – the social bee and the solitary bee. Here’s an overview of each. Social bees There are only 24 species of social bee in the UK. The most talked about are the honey and bumble bee, but the most common is … Read More