Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall

From "Your little pocket guide to Little Moreton Hall", courtesy of the National Trust:
"The year is 1599, the 41st year of her gracious majesty Queen Elizabeth I's reign and if you had been alive at that time you would probably be relived to have survived the recent outbreak of the Black Death!
The courtyard where you can view all the ornate wood and carvings that make the house special.

This style of house has carvings on all the posts.

Richarde Dale was the name of both the father and son carpenters who built the house for the Moreton's.

Recent harvests had been poor, leading to starvation and disease, but William Moreton's estate was growing-the hiring fairs at Little Moreton Hall would be busy as more and more poor people sought work.
While an electrician was working on the walls, he uncovered this painting, which was in style from 1575 to 1600.  The Trust preserved it for us to see.

When this went out of style, the entire wall was covered with oak panelling.

England, however, was enjoying a time of peace and greater prosperity as trade grew, and in far off London people were enjoying the delights of the newly opened Globe Theatre, where William Shakespeare was showing his new work, Hamlet."

Upstairs, a platform bed was built into an alcove.

The family believed in education.  Too bad they didn't believe in engineering.
Little Moreton Hall was originally two stories, but as the family prospered, they wished to show off their wealth by adding another story, the long hall.  This space had glass on all sides, another sign of wealth.  Unfortunately, they didn't use their money to consult a good engineer.  This addition was only supported by the ceilings of the floors below instead of the walls.  So, the entire building leans as the lower walls are pushed out.


The docent in the long gallery, which is the name of the addition, put a small level on the fireplace.  The fireplace is level, the walls are not!

They added metal rods to pull to walls together.  Notice the beautiful designs on the ceiling.
In the 1700's, the owners added bars to pull the walls together.  Then after the National Trust took ownership, an additions 3/4 of a million pounds were spent to add steel beams to keep the building from collapsing!
The side of the house showing the intricate brickwork on the chimneys.

The gardens with small boxwood hedges.

One of the inhabitants of the moat.

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