Travelling Through Regency England

It wasn't all grand houses, you know.  So as I travel I take pictures of places my heroes and heroines might pass or visit on their way through the English countryside.

Here are a couple from around Lulworth.

 This Church abuts the castle and would have served the protestant congregation in counterpoint the to Roman Catholic Church inside the grounds.

A view I could not resist as we departed Lulworth

One cannot go far without finding a village in.  This is the Weld Arms, Weld being the family name of those who owned Lulworth Castle you will recall from earlier posts.  I though I would mention it just in case you did not.

This in dates from the 17th century and with a bit of imagination it can be used as a stopping place along the road of any Regency journey

Part of the back of the inn in case it might be needed for a quick escape.

Here we have a shot of the interior. Something tells me this is a combining of two floors.  I would re-imagine that upper window as looking out over the road from a private parlour.

 This interior with its low ceiling looks far more how I would imaging the lower floor of this inn.  But of course it to has been updated.

Below we have the sign with the Weld family Arms.

And so we leave Dorset and move on to Hampshire.  More next time

Marnhull, Dorset

There has been a village in Marnhull since Saxon times. It is located in the Blackmore Vale an area often called Hardy country.The village has around 2,000 residents

The church, St Gregorys, is very old and well worth a visit. The first church was built on this site in the twelfth (isn't that such an odd looking word) century. 

There is evidence of that church in the current building and one of the original pillars holds up part of the roof. 

As you can see, whoever carved those original capitals had a sense of humour. The faces likely represent the men who worked on that first church.  If so, it is nice that they have been captured this way, since rarely do we see the workers in portraits etc.

The church was enlarged on and off throughout the medieval period.The west part of the nave is coffered work from 1520 and there is a sixteenth century wagon roof in the north aisle. 

There is also a squint, or a hagioscope which permitted the congregation in the north transcept to see the high point in the mass when the consecrated host was elevated by the priest.

The altar is from the 17th century and here you see it decorated by the local ladies for the Jubilee celebrations.

The original 16th century paintings of the ten commandments, of which only scraps remain, are  mostly covered over by18th century paintings of the creed and the Lords prayer.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to an ancient English country church, until next time, Happy Rambles.

Kingston Lacy

There are any number of amazing pieced of furniture at Kingston Lacy. Here are a few pieces from the rooms we visited..

A great many renovations took place in the house after the Regency era and so as I pick and choose through my photographs I try to find things which come either during or before that era.  However, the house is full of charm and interest so I err of including some things which come later.

This ceiling in the upstairs hallway which leads to several bedrooms does date from the first renovation of the house in the 17 eighties.  It is a barrel vault and coffered ceiling. The architect also made very clever use of natural light with his fan lights and cupola.
The bedrooms set aside for bachelor bedrooms on the south and east sides, the servants being on the north side, are dated from 1834-41, but continue the fashion of Empress Josephine's Malmaison near Paris and the Charlotenhof at Potsdam, in that they are Tent Rooms.  They are fascinatingly whimsical.

One of my pictures of a portrait which was Regency also reflects back the room behind me giving a good idea of the style and design. I honestly think anyone staying in these rooms must have felt quite suffocated.

I do apologize for the darkness of these pictures, but flash is a no no, and who am I to disobey the rule.

Once more I find myself frustrated at the slowness of blogger's picture loading and while I do so hate to whine, I just can't take it anymore today.   I have stories to write and heaven help me, some laundry awaiting my attention too.

Hah, glad to get that off my chest.   lol    Before we leave Kingston Lacy entirely, we have the ever fascinating servants' quarters to visit.  Much more fascinating to me, I might add, since I have taken on and Upstairs Downstairs themed novel about which you will be hearing more in due course.  And I did want to talk a bit about William Banke's adventures during the Regency era.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy was originally built in 1660, and remained in the Bankes family until 1981.  Henry Bankes the Younger was the first of the Bankes's to transform the house. This was in the 1780s, so of interest to us.  All that remains from that renovation are the Library and the saloon, with the chimney piece by Flaxman and the coved ceiling painted by Cornelius Dixon.  He was the owner of the house during the Regency, but much of the changes he wrought were swept away by his second son William when he came into the title in 1834.
Here you have pictures of the library.  Isn't that
a magnificent ceiling.  I like the way the
portraits hang above the book shelves.

The furnishings are also beautiful and deserve a closer look.

 And here is that deliciously coved Venetian Ceiling.   There is much more to come about the house, but there is a person I wanted to tell you about also.

William Bankes (1786-1855) was fascinating to me, not because of what he did at the house, but because of what he was doing during the Regency.  A friend of Byron and a disappointed suitor of Annabella Milbanke, this young man began traveling when he was 26 in 1812, remember the Peninsular war was still going on then. He traveled to Portugal and Spain where he spent his time acquiring paintings and visiting with gypsies. Though he did also visit Wellington's headquarters after the battle of Salamanca in July 1812.

He travelled in the east for eight years. We will talk about his travels there next time. And also continue our stroll around Kingston Lacy.

Until then Happy Rambles.

Regency Transportation

Ok, did you guess what the above picture had to do with transportation? When we were in England in the summer we took a drive from Hampshire to the coast. We meandered across country through Dorset and found ourselves in Dorset. Hardy country to be exact, the area around Sturminster also known as the Vale of Blackmoor. It is a beautiful spot and is of course where Thomas Hardy lived and set many of his novels. Interestingly enough, he used different names for all the towns and villages in his novels, but apparently never minded identifying them. Anyway, we found the above building quite by chance and pulled over to take a look.

If you were to look more closely at what the notice board says, it is a list of prices.

Coaches 4 1/2 D

Horse, mule, waggon, wain, frame cart, dray 4D

Droves of oxen, cows, calves per score 10D

Swine per score 5D

Every Ass 1D

It goes on to talk about wheel sizes as "at the soles"

Translation: D refers to pence, 12 in one shilling. Droves would be a herd on the hoof

If you guess that this is a tollgate, you were correct. it is the Horsington Turnpike Gate now on the side of A357. I never imagined them quite like the hexagonal building you see here. And this is how it would look in the Regency. Did you read Georgette Heyer’s novel The Tollgate the hero discovers an unattended gate and stops to man it for a while. He uncovers all kinds of secrets and a future wife. It is a charming book.

As you can see from above a tollgate was a significant structure and everything using the road had to pay a toll according to wheel size for a vehicle or according to the type of animal (if it was on the hoof) in order to pay for the upkeep of the road. It had to be manned day and night, and so the gatekeeper lived in the gate.

Here are some pictures of other tollgates. These are in London. The first is Hyde Park and the Second Tyburn. Look at the Tyburn Tollgate, it is very similar to my picture of the gate from Dorset.

The mail coaches traveled the toll roads free of charge so the post horn call was sounded to alert tollgate keepers to immediately open the gate under the pain of a 40 shilling fine should they fail. Members of the Royal Family, soldiers in uniform, parsons on parish duties, funeral processions and prison carts were also exempt from tolls. Had to be some advantage to being carted off to prison I suppose. I doubt that any prisoner would be willing to pay to open the gate.

Here are some of the vehicles which you will read about in my novels and I have provided some pictures of some of them. As always there is not enough room.

Barouche--a four-wheel fancy carriage with a fold-up hood at the back and with two inside seats facing each other. It was the fancy carriage of the first half of the 19th century.

Berlin--A big four-wheel carriage with a hood.

Curricle--A two-wheel carriage that was fashionable in the early 1800s. It was pulled by two horses and deemed sporty by the younger set.

Gig--A two-wheel vehicle intended for single-horse driving by an owner.

Landau--Open, fancy carriage with four wheels with a hood at each end and two seats opposite each other. It was popular in the first half of the 19th century. Two horses pulled the landau.

Phaeton--A light four-wheel carriage with open sides and drawn by one or two horses.

There was also a high perch phaeton, a very dashing vehicle as shown below. Now that is my kind of carriage!!!

Post-chaise — A chaise used with rented horses (see "post"). The postchaise was always yellow and was sometimes referred to as "a yellow bounder." It was controlled by a postillion riding one of the horses.

Well, that is all from me tonight. I hope you enjoy this little peek into Regency travel. Of course we did not talk about public transportation. I will save that for Thursday.
We have a little snow at the moment, but even though the weather may not be the best wherever you are, I still wish you, as always, Happy Rambles.