Pre-Raphaelites, Dragons and a Cabinet of Curiosity: A Visit to Wallington

Wallington is a beautiful William and Mary period country house in the Northumberland countryside – the house as seen today, including the beautiful big clock tower you walk underneath as you enter the grounds, was largely remodelled by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, who had inherited the house from his party-loving and debt-ridden uncle, Sir William…

Belton House: A Celebration of Creative Women

2018 is a special year in British Women’s History: it marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, when, for the first time, some women were eligible to vote. This moment in history has provided the opportunity for many heritage sites and organisations to reflect on the stories of women and their achievements:…

Dynastic Strategist, Architectural Patroness and Businesswoman: Bess of Hardwick

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury by Unknown Artist, probably 17th century based on a work c.1590, oil on canvas (on display Montacute House, NPG 203) Elizabeth Talbot, or, as she is more commonly known, Bess of Hardwick, was born into a Derbyshire gentry family that became increasingly impoverished and subjected her childhood to hardships, but…

Portraits, carvings and Pemberley: Sudbury Hall

Sudbury Hall will always be one of my favourite country houses to visit as it is so close to home (it is another lovely Derbyshire country house), so I have very vivid memories of visiting (including a school trip when I was five in which I fell in love with this 1920 portrait of Violet,…