Irish Soprano Rosa D’Erina

Samantha PillingHistory

Rosa D’Erina

Rosa D’Erina, was an Irish soprano who appeared in a few of W.S. Gilbert’s pieces. Born Rose Anna O’Toole on 22nd February 1848, in Armagh, Ireland, she became known as the prima donna of Erin.  Trained in Paris, D’Erina she was known as Rose of Erin, whilst in her homeland of Ireland, she was always referred to as Rose of the Songs. By the age of 12 she had already become the … Read More

English Bluebells

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Bluebells

These beautiful woodland plants can be seen throughout any wooded area in the UK, including the woods at Grim’s Dyke. Bluebells need no introduction; they’re instantly recognisable and loved by many. Here’s why we love the Bluebell. #1: Bluebells can spread rapidly! They seed freely and can live in the garden compost easily too. It is said that the UK … Read More

10 facts about Rhododendrons

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Rhodedendron

Rhododendrons make for a splendid display in any formal garden. These evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs flower between late winter through to early summer, granting us a beautiful backdrop of large, delicate, exotic-looking flowers. Not only did Lady Gilbert love them, here’s 10 reasons why we do too! #1: Planting Rhododendrons takes some planning Lady Gilbert planted her Rhododendrons … Read More

The perennial Allium

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

The perennial Allium

Lady Lucy Gilbert loved her flowers. Having planted the formal garden at Grim’s Dyke, along with the sunken rose garden, she ensured there were always beautiful and colourful flowers to break up the seasons. Dotted amongst the roses in the sunken garden, Lady Gilbert had planted both Geraniums and Alliums. The Allium family Alliums are part of the large Amaryllidaceae … Read More

Ten simple Organic Gardening tips

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Organic Gardening

Here at Grim’s Dyke we’re big advocates of organic gardening. Not only does it help us grow produce to contribute to some of the amazing dishes in our restaurant, it’s also great for the environment. If you’re looking to go organic, here’s our top ten tips to help make your organic gardening easier. #1: Water in the morning This give … Read More

John Martin: Painter, Engraver, Illustrator

Samantha PillingHistory

Installing John Martin paintings at the Millennium Gallery 1. Photo Museums Sheffield (small)

John Martin was an English painter, engraver, and illustrator. Known for his melodramatic religious-themed paintings, he served as an important inspiration for W.S. Gilbert’s work. Martin’s art was typically fantastic and imposing. He painted imposing landscapes, with minute figures and fantastic compositions. For some, he was known as the most important painter of his day – but his work wasn’t … 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

Marie Litton – English actress and theatre manager

Samantha PillingHistory

Picture of old theatre

Born Mary Jessie Lowe in 1847, Marie Litton was an English actress who made her Haymarket debut playing Zayda, in Gilbert’s ‘The Wicked World’, in 1873. She went on to become a theatre manager who produced several of W.S. Gilbert’s plays. Marie Litton’s stage debut Marie Litton made her London stage debut playing the title character in Dion Boucicault’s play … Read More

The History of Music Hall

Samantha PillingHistory

Music Hall

Our music hall themed murder mystery dinners are incredibly popular. With many of the actors previously completing stints in the West End, the acting, murder and mayhem are always well received. But for those of you who haven’t heard of music hall, what exactly is it and why do we use that as the theme for our murder mystery evenings? … Read More

W.S. Gilbert’s fairy play: The Wicked World

Samantha PillingHistory

Wicked World

The Wicked World was W.S. Gilbert’s third fairy play. It was a dramatization of Gilbert’s own illustrated story ‘The Wicked World’, originally published in Tom Hood’s 1871 ‘Comic Annual’. This half joking dramatization took Gilbert several months to write. It centred on the action within a twenty-four-hour period, focusing on a fairyland scene floating above the world. Broken down into … Read More