Beautiful Textile Inspiration.
During the Summer we visited a beautiful National trust property, Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. The hall was built around 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, whose family line have lived here continuously for 500 years.
It certainly was one of the more unusual properties we have visited whilst being members of the National Trust. The one thing that will strike you about this place is the wealth of textile inspiration, both in wall paper and tapestry. Oxburgh has an amazing collection of historic Wall paper dating between 1750 and 1950.
At every turn in this house, Davinder and I were in awe of the collection of designs and prints, from beautifully embossed elaborate designs, to more simpler floral or block printed pattern.
This house is a must for any creative who wants historical inspiration, its packed with beautiful design and detail.
Although not a style for our day, you can't help but feel impressed with this elaborate decor, it speaks of wealth and grandeur like nothing I'd seen before in this setting. Gold leaf and paint work is at the heart of most of these embossed papers, with rich deep colours that have survived the years without a lot of fading. After all some of these corridors were incredibly dark.
The colours here are pretty impressive for the age.
Then there are far simpler patterns from a later era.
There is one room in the house devoted to cabinets full of paper samples like these ones. They have a fantastic archive.
Each paper reflects the styles down the various era's of this house like this pretty 1930's design and this poppy design below.
I love this simple blue and white floral.
This paper above was in one of the bedrooms known as the Boudoir.
We were also treated to a wealth of wonderful tapestry throughout the house.
This particular piece seen above and below is known as 'The Marian Hangings' It was embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, (Bess Of Hardwick) between 1569 and 1584.
Each of the panels are very large and are full of incredible detail using coloured silk the stitching has been done on linen canvas, using cross stitch and tent stitch. its fantastic to see how these colours have been preserved for over 450 years.
There is much Symbolism within the embroideries two much to explain in a blog here, but certainly visit this place and research if you are interested in the piece.
At every step throughout this house we were amazed at the paint work and patterns, you would think perhaps our kids would not be so excited by a house like this. But they absolutely were, as National trust members we always have plenty to say about them, and they never seem to fail to include kids into the activities of a house. sending them on a treasure hunt around the place, spotting interesting pieces, and engaging with them as we enter each room. We also have to remember most people at the national trust are willing volunteers, so they are always super keen to tell you what they know about each room, and because its more than a job to them, they are usually interesting to listen to .
Of course kids also need to be free to exert energy and rolling down this bank in the grounds several times did the trick.
And climbing trees.
And running past a few flower boarders.
One thing I find with kids, is they will never want to stand and look at things in an old property for as long as you do, but thats ok, they are still taking in a huge amount of history and inspiration. Those dark rooms might inspire a story writing session in school, or a game they want to play, or a painting they want to create. When they are sat in their history class, they may recall something they once saw somewhere, or a place they have visited that reminds them of a special time.
I think what I am trying to say is, don't underestimate the power of time together at these wonderful historical places. I think they really do inspire creativity in the everyday. Even if their faces don't always show it, and they utter the dreaded words "I'm bored", just persevere, you are teaching your kids to appreciate the stuff around them, and that can not be taught from looking at a screen.
If you are interested in visiting this place here is the link
Enjoy and be inspired