During the Second World War, children flocked to the country from cities across Britain as evacuees. Many of the large country houses became nurseries for children below school age; Dyrham Park Manor in Gloucestershire was one of these homes. In this article, Hyla Holden uncovers the story of the Dyram Park nursery for evacuees which was run by Lady Islington.
Outside of their contemporary depictions, few of the Baroque gardens that were typical of the seventeenth century survive today. The Georgians preferred a more naturalistic style, and so the anachronistic gardens of the Stuart era faded away into the past. Such is the case with William Blathwayt’s spectacular gardens at Durham Park; but these gardens were home to an impressive piece of engineering which has long been puzzling historians. The jewel of the gardens was an ostentatious water feature which, from an engineering perspective, was ahead of its time. The mechanics that powered the feature remain a mystery. Based on a report by Hyla Holden, Steve Poole addresses the question of how the cascade was powered, and whether changing fashion was the sole cause for such a spectacle to fall into disuse.
The country house, centrepiece of the heritage industry, is something which is sold to us as being quintessentially British. In the South-West and throughout England, these sites have welcomed visitors for decades to come and enjoy the elegance and grandeur of this heritage. In this article, Madge Dresser highlights the sanitisation of the histories that are presented by these stately homes. Drawing our attention to the complex web of links between aristocratic wealth and the Atlantic slave economy, Dresser seeks to persuade readers that unearthing these links is a worthwhile historical enterprise.
"When I was asked to take part in a television programme on the Blathwayt family of Batheaston and their involvement in the suffragette movement I had no idea how much work this would entail. First of all I had to think differently about how to get their story across in a visual medium, in a way that would capture the attention of non history specialists but at the same time make some valid points about researching suffrage history".