Christmas Trees at the Mansion

The other week, before Omicron arrived, I popped into Christchurch Mansion to catch up on the latest ‘Creating Constable’ exhibition. The gallery is only a 15 minute walk from where I live and I always enjoy walking through the Mansion’s park on my visits, particularly at dusk.

A winter sun setting as seen through the old glazing.

As I said I went to see the art, but I was distracted by the fine sunset and then the Christmas Trees on display. And, as this is my last post before Christmas this year, I thought we might make a toast or two in the Servants’ Hall.

In 1923 this room was fitted with panelling and an overmantle taken from The Old House, 32 Carr St, Ipswich.

The servants’ hall was first recorded as such in the 1840s, although it was probably used in this way much earlier. The space was conveniently situated near to the kitchen, to the servants’ staircase to the attic bedrooms and to the service wing of the mansion where the work of running the house was carried out.

That’s the butler perhaps.

All the servants ate together in the hall, but it was expected that the butler and the housekeeper would retire to take wine and a dessert. These formal meals provided an opportunity for junior servants to learn how to serve by waiting on the older servants.

Yes, that is a red hat on top of the tree.

The furniture now on display is not typical of a usual servants’ hall, but represents the sort of pieces that might be found in a large farmhouse kitchen or country inn. I think the idea is to give the visitor an essence of Victorian life rather than historical accuracy. Also, I am not sure how many servants would have been offered a serving of the rather fancy apples Γ  la Parisienne!

Pommes Γ  la Parisienne

And, as for those toasts

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

15 thoughts on “Christmas Trees at the Mansion”

    1. I think it is a Goldilocks art gallery/historic house. Not too big and not too small. One can get the essence of the place in a single visit and yet I’ve found with multiple visits it’s still an interesting building. Take care and have an enjoyable festive season, Agnes. πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„

  1. I hope your Christmas celebrations were happy and festive. That look a mighty fine servants’ hall to me, not at all like the spartan basement of my time at Michael’s Nook Country House hotel in Grasmere.
    This is a good post to let you know that I recently finished reading your recommendation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. A very good read and pertinent to my family history delvings and writings.

    1. Thank you and wishing you a belated Happy New Year.
      Seems as though many of us will be catching Omicron sooner or later. My daughter (under 30) had it before Christmas in London before eligible for booster. Quite poorly, high fever with hallucinations, hives and a swollen neck. Not nice. Currently my triple vaxxed niece (under 25) has just tested positive (caught it NY Eve!) and she has symptoms including a tight chest. Fingers crossed and keep safe. Actually wishing you a Healthy New Year perhaps more appropriate.

  2. So sorry to hear about your daughter and niece but thank goodness they were vaccinated so they should avoid hospital πŸ™. I think you’re right that a lot of us will catch omicron- seems we’ll be needing masks for quite a while to come. Stay safe.

    1. Thank you. My daughter made a full recover, ill about seven days. My niece is apparently taking it easy, but not too bad so far. She has excellent genes as her 100 year old grandmother was in hospital with Delta last year and survived and two days ago celebrated her 101st birthday!!!

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