Victorian Calling Cards and their place in society

Samantha PillingHistory

Butlers hand with tray and note

Social interaction was a very formal affair for Victorian England. Calling Cards played an important role in the social etiquette of the time. There were strict etiquette rules, not just around how you socialised but also how you used calling cards too! The idea of using calling cards wasn’t just reserved for the upper-class Victorians. Early examples go back as … Read More

Pressing flowers – a quintessential Victorian pastime

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Flower Pressing

The Victorians loved flowers! Not only did fresh flowers adorn their homes, flowers were also depicted in paintings, carvings, embroidery and clothing. Pressed flowers were a simple art form that can easily be traced back to ancient Egypt. In the 1500’s Oshibana (the art of pressing flowers in a way to create a whole picture) was meticulous and skilled – … Read More

Brantinghame Hall

Samantha PillingHistory

Newspaper pages with antique advertising

  Brantinghame Hall was a four-act serious drama, written by W.S. Gilbert for his friend Rutland Barrington. Barrington was leasing St. James’s Theatre and need to increase audience figures, so Gilbert resurrected an old play that hadn’t previously been produced. Brantinghame Hall was sentimental and had a few good comedy scenes, so Gilbert modified it for Barrington, so he could place it at … Read More

Victorian Composer Frederic Clay

Samantha PillingHistory

Composer

English composer Frederic Clay, was a great friend of Arthur Sullivan, who he subsequently introduced to W.S. Gilbert at the Gallery. Together, Clay and Gilbert produced four comic operas, before a stroke paralysed Clay at the age of 44 and cut short his productive life. Cay died in 1889, aged 51 when he was found drowned in the bath at … Read More

Top 5 tips for event organisation

Samantha PillingEntertainment, Food and Drink, Weddings

Event Organising

Organising an event can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many different elements to consider, from the choice of venue, through to overall theme and costs. Regardless of whether you’re looking to organise a wedding, a corporate event or private party, here are our top tips to help make your event organisation a little easier! #1: Plan your event … Read More

Doctor Who, Daleks and The Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Daleks

The Evil of the Daleks was the ninth and final serial of the fourth season the popular science fiction television series Doctor Who. The Doctor had regenerated for the first time during this fourth season, with Patrick Troughton taking over from William Hartnell. For the first time, the entire cast changed over the course of this fourth season – something … 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

Top 7 tips for planning your wedding

Samantha PillingWeddings

feb-slider-update-07

There’s so much to organise when you’re looking to get married. Initially, your dress will be the number one task, as it’s going to be centre stage on your big day. However, the day itself also needs organising – and that’s where the overwhelm tends to kick in. If you’re looking to ease that overwhelm and get a clear plan … Read More

Top 10 Victorian flowers

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Bouquet of spring flowers in basket

The Victorians loved flowers. Not only did they use them to adorn their homes, they were also used to scent their toiletries and clothes, flowers also had hidden symbolism too. Many a Victorian sweetheart could send unwritten wording through their choice of floral bouquet. Here’s the top flowers of choice for the Victorians, along with what message they portrayed. #1: The … Read More

The etiquette for Victorian dining

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian dining was a complex affair. Not only was there the formality or writing to ask guests to attend, there was the complexity of organising who sat where, what dishes to serve (along with how many!) and ensuring that all guests would have an enjoyable evening. When it come to the actual evening, the table needed to be set right, … Read More