For the first time since our arrival in Yorkshire on the Friday before, we woke up on Wednesday (4th of June) to the sound of rain. We didn't mind too much, since we had an indoor activity planned for the day: a visit at Nunnington Hall.
Nunnington Hall in its present shape is largely the result of extensive work in the 1680s on what had been a manor house already since the 13th century.
Until 1978, the Hall was a family home - and to me, it still has much of that atmosphere; the well-worn floorboards and slightly shabby furniture tell the stories of many days of family life inside those old walls.
It was still raining when we arrived, and so we quickly went inside.
I so love it when you are allowed to walk around in such places on your own, instead of being stuck in a group with a guided tour! There are informative leaflets in every room, and a host of friendly ladies and gentlemen from the National Trust will answer your questions any time.
See the painting of the girl above the fireplace? The painter had her pose in a dress that reached only knee-length, nothing too unusual at the time. But when her mother saw the finished painting, she was scandalized and ordered the painter to paint over her daughter's knees!
Whereever I am, I always make sure to look out of the windows, no matter how fascinating the interior may be. The view from here was certainly worth it:
My sister spotted this drawing of a lady high up on the wall; it wasn't easy to get a good picture of her. But don't you agree that she looks very REAL, not as statuesque or doll-like as is so often the case with old portraits? There is something about her that made us believe she must have had a very bright mind, and been great company, fun to be with.
More views from the windows:
In the attic. The maids lived up here, but the information leaflet told us that the furniture (especially the chest of drawers) would have actually been a bit too grand for servants' quarters.
Please visit Nunnington Hall's official website and read the bit about the Carlisle Collection. Those miniature rooms are fascinating examples of excellent craftmanship - and their owner's excentricity and wealth. Every miniature musical instrument in this room works! The guitar in the front is smaller than my hand.
Still up in the attic, we came across the book room - there for the visitors to rest on the squashy settees for as long as they like, browse the book shevles, read, and buy any of the used books they like. I think my niece actually bought one, and we all had fun looking at Linda Evans beauty book from the 1980s.
We had lunch downstairs in the National-Trust-run café. I discovered my new favourite drink: Rose Lemonade.
After lunch, we went outside to stroll around the gardens; the sky looked a little less gloomy now and the rain wasn't quite so heavy anymore. But those beautiful gardens are worth their own post.