Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ryedale Folk Museum

The Ryedale Folk Museum was another spot we took our friends BJ, Amy, and Colin to. It's an open air museum with many buildings from many different periods of British history. The museum hosted a "Multi-Period History" weekend, which meant re-enactors would be there. When we were there, the re-enactors were from the Roman Britain period. The museum itself represents an impressive range of Britain's history.

We started in the gift shop/ticket office, to which was appended a small art gallery with the museum's representatives of the modern period.

We didn't spend much time in here, mostly because Jacob had to go potty

Outside, the first thing we saw, ominously enough, was a sarcophagus. More ominous things would be found later.

Looks like a trough to me, good thing the sign was there

Another interesting yet deceptive item was this stone in the nearby wall, which at first struck me as some sort of Egyptian heiroglyph.

Wedjat eye?

It turned out to be a "bench mark" made by the Ordnance Survey to mark the high water mark on a flooded building. The building was torn down and the stone wound up in this wall. Pretty soon we discovered some more child-friendly items.

A book bigger than all three children put together!

The book talks about a magical elf named Elphi the Hob who has little residences around the museum that the children can look for. The kids enjoyed the story but didn't do any hunting for his houses.

We proceeded to the Blacksmith shop, circa 19th century.

No one was here to show us the ropes, or hammers as the case may be

Further on was a row of businesses from the Victorian era, with a shoemakers, a cooper (barrelmaker, which was a very important trade back in the day), and the village post office and shop.

Lots of shoes to choose from, just like the mall today

Barrel making was important for shipping purposes

The village shop with various sundries

Note the "VR" on the box, for "Victoria Regina," i.e. Queen Victoria

Lucy found a fun cart that was supposed to be pulled by an animal. She wanted me to pull her around but I just took her picture instead.

Lucy in the Cart with Smiles on!

Another row of shops culminated in the undertaker's, which had quite a few interesting items. One was the "grave form" which was used to mark the size of a grave. They also had the Farndale Hearse, purchased by the residents of Farndale so that they would have proper transport for their last journey. It is quite an elegant vehicle. They also displayed a much simpler hearse.

Undertaker's office

Grave form, so you don't dig too much

Farnsdale Hearse

Low-budget hearse

Next on our journey through time was the Stang End Cruck House. Dating from the 17th century, it was the home of some simple farmers.

Cruck houses were the precursors of "A-frame" houses

Spinning the wheel

Jacob doesn't know which pot to take to the table

Ready for lunch?

On the way to the next house, the Witch's Hut, I discovered another interesting house. I tried to point it out to others, but no one seemed interested.

Elphi the Hob was not at home

Witch's Hut, circa who knows when?

Inside the witch's hut

The next house was also a Cruck house, but from the late 19th century featuring fine Victorian accoutrements, including a "rag rug" made from bits of discarded clothing. The rugs were a popular way to recycle old clothing and make the floor less cold in the winter.

The latest thing, cast iron hearth with oven and other cooking apparati

Jacob tries on a hat

A well stocked parlor, including...

...a piano for entertainment!

Rag rug

Further on was the Manor House, made up as a town hall that contained some interesting exhibits.

The main room in the Manor Home, with a view into the upstairs

Fancy a game of Merrills?

Snakes and Ladders with Sea Serpents and Rigging

The manor bedroom

Out front of the Manor House was a stocks; out back was a labyrinth. We couldn't quite decided which was trickier to escape from.

Lucy only seemed like a captive

Lucy more captivated than before

Jacob walks the labyrinth

We finally discovered the Roman encampment next to the manor house. We talked for a bit about weaving and swords and bowl making and other things quite ancient. And we got to wear some helmets, too!

Camping out like in the good old days

Shield with wolf design

Jacob loves brandishing a sword, a bit too much

"Who has my sword?!?"

Lucy loves hats, any hat at all will do!

Wooden bowls, not for sale, alas

The crofter's cottage provided a glimpse into 14th and 15th century life in England.

Simple yet functional, though the dirt floor was hard to keep clean

Beyond these was a model village, which I thought was quite impressive if quite diminutive.

The bird's eye view of the village

The town square with the town water pump

The fort that guards the town

We also saw the remains of a 16th century glass furnace, probably brought by Frenchmen fleeing the Hugenot persecutions.

Not much to see of the glass works nowadays

Where the furnace was

We returned to the encampment to hear a delightful story by the guy from whom Jacob borrowed the sword. It was very entertaining and took us to lunchtime. We said our farewells and headed off to Thirsk for some lunch. More on that next!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent pictures, glad you enjoyed the visit and we hope you have been again. Have you seen the museum blog?