Why do we throw confetti at a wedding?

Samantha PillingUncategorised

CONFETTI

There’s something special about confetti blowing in the breeze at a wedding. Confetti has long been a tradition at weddings and other celebratory occasions, but when did it start and why the tradition? Celebrating the union of a happy couple As early as the 14th Century, the most popular things thrown at celebratory events were flowers, rice, coins, seeds, fruit, … Read More

Victorian Orchards

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

apple-tree-360083_1280

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

William Gilbert – an early influence on W.S. Gilbert?

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Pen Nib

In 1861, a 26-year-old W.S. Gilbert began supplementing his income by writing illustrated stories, poems and articles of his own. During this period, his series of illustrated poems, the ‘Bab Ballads’ became increasingly popular. However, W.S. Gilbert also illustrated the poems and short stories for others during this period – including those of his father, William Gilbert. Although William Gilbert … Read More

The Gaiety Theatre

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety Theatre was built in 1864, on the former site of the Lyceum Theatre. Originally established as the Strand Musick Hall, it took four years to become known as the Gaiety Theatre. John Hollingshead Under the management of John Hollingshead, the Gaiety Theatre was known for musical burlesque, pantomime and operetta performances. It was also synonymous with being a … Read More

W.S. Gilbert, writer of Victorian burlesque?

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Lady

W.S. Gilbert’s first solo success came in 1866. It came about after his friend and mentor, Tom Robertson, was asked to write a pantomime but declined, due to the timescale – two weeks. He recommended Gilbert. The pantomime ‘Dulcamara, or the little duck and the great quack’ was the end result. The pantomime was a Victorian burlesque, based on Gaetano … Read More

D’Oyly: the man who initiated the Gilbert & Sullivan collaboration

Samantha PillingLatest News

Savoy Theatre

Richard D’Oyly Carte, English composer, talent agent, impresario and hotelier, was born in the West End of London on 3rd May 1844. He was instrumental in bringing together W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, as well funding and creating two of London’s theatres, an opera company and the incredibly successful Savoy chain of hotels. Carte was born into a family that appreciated … Read More

The Victorian Apiary

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

victorian apiary

One of the more unusual features of any well-to-do Victorian estate was an apiary, and Grim’s Dyke was no exception. W.S. and Lady Gilbert had (along with a vinery, farms and an orchard), an apiary at Grim’s Dyke – but what is an Apiary and why was it so popular? What is an Apiary? An apiary is a bee yard … Read More

Life of a Victorian writer

Samantha PillingHistory, Latest News

Victorian Writers

The Victorian era has bought us some of the most famous writers in history – Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, the Bronte sisters, W.S. Gilbert, Robert Browning and George Bernard Shaw. These playwrights, poets and authors created works that continued to delight us, long after their deaths – but what was it really like for the Victorian writers? Victorian Literature and Overnight Celebrity It was … Read More

The Victorian British Parlour – A Room with Status

Samantha PillingHistory, Latest News

victorian parlour

When it came to selecting the most ornate room in a Victorian house, chances are it was always going to be the Parlour. It was the only room in a traditional Victorian house that was created predominantly to illustrate your wealth and status in society. And this made it the ideal place to entertain your guests. The word ‘parlour’ originated from the Latin … Read More

What would a Victorian Wedding have been like?

Samantha PillingLatest News, Weddings

Victorian Wedding

A Victorian wedding was a most important celebration. The day was an important one, not only for the bride and groom, but also the bride’s mother – as she’d been preparing and planning for this day since her daughter first arrived in the world. When it came to Victorian weddings, EVERYTHING was important! The attire of the bride and groom … Read More