Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Historic buildings and Victorian gowns

Today we have more of my Wales adventure, although actually all of these holiday images were taken in England. Never mind.


On my trip, I made time to meet up with two friends, and we found fun interesting places partway between our locations. First, I met my friend Zoe, who I went to primary school with in England, some *mumble mumble* years ago. We met at the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, in Worcestershire. It was only a bit over an hour from my base in North Wales, and it is a delightful place.


Basically it is a large plot of land full of relocated historic buildings (and bits of them, like a collection of chimneys and a church spire) that could only be saved from demolition by moving them, mostly out of the path of motorways. Along with the windmill and toll house you see here, were an Elizabethan cottage, a dovecote, a counting house, and an Edwardian building that was now the tea rooms. It was St. George's Day, so we also got to encounter the knight himself, and a dragon on stilts. Teacup wasn't quite sure at first, but then all she wanted to do was find the dragon and stare at him. Oh and pick daisies, of course.


The museum also houses a collection of telephone kiosks. Some of them are connected by their own little exchange, so for 2p you could call your friends in the other phone boxes, which is pretty cute. And sadly this was the least stupid face I made in the Police box, but I had to include it anyway.


The second meet up was with an online friend who you may be familiar with. I got a bit brave for my shy self and contacted Kate-Em to ask if she wanted to hang out, and we spent the day at Dunham Massey, a lovely National Trust Estate in Cheshire. The current exhibition related to the scandal surrounding the marriage of the 7th Earl to a circus performer in the Victorian Era, so there were some pretty clothes. In fact, most of the photos I took were of the pretty clothes. I'm sure you won't object.


It was the details I was obsessed with, like these fabric roses along the shoulder here. Aren't they so charming? And lace. Lots of lace. The Victorian ladies knew what they were doing. Which was mostly shunning circus performers who had the audacity to marry wealthy single earls. The reception from the locals was so chilly that the Earl and his wife left Dunham Massey, and it was down to a later Earl to bring it back into order. Which the 10th (or 9th? I'm not sure) Earl did in the 1920s, including buying back at auction as much of the artwork, silverware and so on that had been sold off in the meantime. I wish I could buy back all the family treasures that have been gotten rid of by my ancestors! Where is that hat pin collection...?


I had a super time with Kate-Em, who is not only incredibly lovely but has some almost-eerily similar experiences in life, and career in particular, which led to us talking on and on until they started to pack up the cafe around us and Teacup fell asleep in my arms. We didn't even get to the gift shop! And you can tell we are neither of us fashion bloggers because even though we were both wearing things we had made ourselves, we didn't get any photos of either of us.


But I got a photo of this outfit, which is actually a 1920s fancy dress costume based on the painting shown. That's probably better.

I can only think of one important question to close on here. Those shoulder roses, right? Right? Who wants shoulder roses?

14 comments:

  1. Ooooh, those dresses are beautiful! The shoulder roses are indeed wonderful!

    I shall have to venture further back on your blog to see your Welsh adventures, as although I live in England I am a quarter Welsh and we're heading there at the start of July and taking our little Welsh built car with us for her 'family reunion' x

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    1. I'm maybe...a sixteenth Welsh? A long way back! I hope you have a great time on your Wales trip with the car.

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  2. Those roses on the shoulders of that dusty blue hued Victorian gown are slaying me. Such a stunning touch - and one that shows how very unlikely it was a woman would have sported her handbag on a shoulder strap back then.

    It's awesome that you and Kate-Em were able to meetup and spend the day delighting in vintage fashions and shared experiences together.

    Thank you for highlighting more of your awesome trip for us to see and enjoy. I'll be daydreaming about those stunning Victorian frocks for a long time to come.


    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Haha I didn't even think about bags! Maybe not convenient for modern life!

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  3. Oh those dresses are gorgeous and I love the scandal story. Who doesn't love a good historical scandal? It's great that you met up with Kate-Em, I'm hoping to do the same later in the year. It's always nerve racking meeting someone you've only ever spoken to online so it's lovely to hear how well you got on.

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    1. Oh I hope you do get to meet up, how exciting! I was definitely nervous about it but I'm glad it happened!

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  4. I had to laugh out loud there at our failure to take any pictures of our self made outfits. Blogger fail!! I'm thinking that was because we were having too much fun, enjoying historical scandal and admiring the shoulder roses!

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    1. Yes! What a fail! But definitely because we were having so much fun :)

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  5. ohhh scandal from a time when the outfits were outstanding..love it! What a fun exhibit and so great you got to meet up with Kate-Em.

    I also like that historical buildings were saved and sent to a place where people would appreciate them. Great idea. Wish Toronto knew how to save buildings. I would happy with going somewhere else to see them. Okay grumbling over lol!

    Glad this part of your trip was another success.

    liz :)

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    1. I agree and will grumble too - nothing gets saved here either, although not many things are that old!

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  6. We would never object to photos of pretty dresses! And these are very pretty indeed. I love the rosy pink one with the lace at the cuffs - everything was so beautifully detailed then. Not that I would trade my modern (relatively speaking) wardrobe for anything, but I'd love to spend a day in Victorian attire.

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    1. The few times I have dressed in Victorian costume, with varying degrees of accuracy, it has been very fun. I'd like to do it again, but as you say, certainly not every day!

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  7. I think if I ever end up in England again, I shall have to plan my holidays around historical clothing displays.

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    1. That is an awesome way to travel!

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