Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gawthorpe Hall, Burley

Neatly hidden in the town of Burley is Gawthorpe Hall. The 14th century defense tower had a house built around it in the 1500s by the Shuttleworth family. The Elizabethan house saw interior renovations in the 1700s. In the 1800s, James Kay married the last inheritor of the Hall, Janet. Since he was not from nobility he joined his wife in name as well as in flesh and they were the Kay-Shuttleworths. Friend of the family Charlotte Bronte visited at this time as well. The house continued in the family's possession until 1970 when it was gifted to the National Trust. The estate has nice wooded grounds perfect for walking the dogs. We stopped there on a trip and enjoyed both the interior and exterior. Naturally, we enjoyed the exterior first.

Gawthorpe Hall

The car park is not very close to the hall. A short walk past the stables and other outlying buildings brings visitors to the house. The outlying buildings have changed over to a tea shop, a gift shop, and storage areas for the groundskeepers. A nice picnic lawn is also available for those who bring their own food.

Random staircase, probably used for mounting your horse back in the day

Stable courtyard

Walled off picnic area

The immediate vicinity of the house has finely cared for gardens and a small stream that was an object of fascination for J and L. We almost couldn't convince them to go inside the house!

A bridge!!

A river runs through it

We eventually coaxed them into the house, where photography is not allowed. I found that out after I took this shot in the entrance. I think I was still standing outside the door, so I suppose it doesn't count. I'm posting it anyway.

Arms and crest

The house is quite impressive. The downstairs is dominated by the dining room. It features a large table in the center with a small raised platform by a large bay window with another table. This is where the head of the house and honored guests would dine. The room also has a small balcony for musicians and other entertainers to perform. Going up the main staircase leads to the bedrooms, many of which now house the large collection of textiles, laces, embroideries, and outfits from various centuries. The collection was quite impressive, including full ladies' outfits from the Victorian era and the 1920s. Up further is an art gallery and an area for children to do crafts. This was distracting enough to allow one parent to go peruse items while the children colored.

After we were done touring the house, we went out to the back garden which features a small maze and a view of the River Calder.

Back of the house

View of the River Calder

The children enjoyed running through the maze. Even more when another family came outside and joined in the racing around the various paths. The day was a little cold and very overcast, but the rain held off and we had a pleasant visit to this fine home.

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