Here you are, back again to hear more about my adventures! Lots and lots has happened this week – read on to find out more!
With the press cuttings finished and a new aspect of the Rootes project opening up soon I spent the day completing some more administrative tasks for the History Centre. Although the staff warned me that some of the tasks could be quite repetitive and dull I didn’t find them to be so!
My first job was to sort out their impressive collection of old maps! They’re kept in drawers at the far end of the centre and organised by a serial number, which I didn’t really understand, and then organised chronologically. These were absolutely fascinating! I mean, I was able to spot roads and landmarks that I visit regularly in the present day on maps from 1936! I could see the construction of one of my friend’s roads from 1919 to 1936 and spot when my church first appeared on the ordinance survey.
Once that job was done I was the challenge of checking that all the Coventry pamphlets were the correct order, using the Dewey Decimal system. Man, it’s been a long time since I needed to sort anything out using that system but I got back into the flow quickly enough. It’s amazing what weird and wonderful things turn up in a local archive. I found several envelopes worth of information on public executions, a history of my secondary school from 1714 – 1989 and a ballad about Saint George (who was a native of Coventry according to this pamphlet).
After completing 4 filing cabinets worth of pamphlets I decided to take a break before getting back to work. The team asked if I could help catalogue their copies of the Coventry Telegraph before they were archived in the basement. This involved reading through the entire newspaper and recording all the articles about Coventry into their spreadsheet. There were some really interesting stories including a gun crime incident near Tile Hill and an iguana that had been abandoned in a car park in Fosehill (poor little lizard)! Whilst I was doing this, someone got stuck in the lift and the head of Volunteers asked if I would be interested in writing an article for their website for National Volunteers week. I’ll share a link to that when it gets posted!
Rachel Reviews… Baddesley Clinton
We decided that it would be great to check out another of the National Trust properties that is close to our house – Baddelsey Clinton. We were checking out the promotional images for the site and we were just blown away! A Tudor manor house set in the centre of a moat – how had we not heard about this place before?
Despite knowing the local roads we managed to get lost but we were easily able to get back on track. We received a very warm welcome when we arrived where a very knowledgeable volunteer was able to adapt his introductory talk to suit the needs and interests of each group. At his recommendation we headed down to the church on the site where he claimed the best bluebells on the site were. He wasn’t wrong!
After a lovely walk there we went for lunch at their restaurant, which I think was the best food place we’ve been to since I started the Adventures in Heritage blogs. I felt that the staff went really above and beyond to make our visit special as they were more than happy to accommodate our needs here without it being any problem at all. The food was also delicious!
We had a ticket for timed entry into the house so we spent the time leading up to this enjoying the streams, woodlands and lakes, with an added bonus of very fluffy ducklings.
It was then time to take the trip across the moat to view the house. What a gorgeous place! The garden in the centre of the complex was simply beautiful, especially with the wisteria fully in bloom. I’d never seen the appeal in living on one’s own island but suddenly everything felt peaceful and remote – it definitely appeals now!
There were two trails for children in the house – a Herb Trail (looking for jars of herbs around the house) and a Card Trail (working out which monarch wasn’t a Tudor king). The house was packed full exciting artefacts from a wide variety of historical eras, including pretty much up to the present day! Highlights included a dominoes set, some beautiful blue glasses and a narwhal tusk!
The Herb trail kept us entertained throughout the house and gave a great sensory depth to the venue, along with very interesting facts about how the Tudors lived and what they did with herbs. Our favourite rooms were the kitchen (with even more herbs and spices!), the chapel (with some beautiful religious art) and the Great Hall. It was here that a fabulous volunteer was able tell us some very intriguing stories about the property and illuminate us to some of the meanings behind the paintings.
As we reached the end of the house we realised that we missed the priest hole (somehow) so we went back round to the kitchen to find it. This time we did see it, and agreed that it would have done its job if we didn’t spot it! We took one final walk around the walled garden before getting ourselves an ice cream and heading home. We’ll definitely be coming back to check out the full extent of the grounds and to see the gardens fully in bloom.
We had a great time at Baddesley Clinton. It’s a gorgeous place to visit and there’s plenty to see and do. It’s a nice secluded spot, and great to have a chance to relax in piece. If you want to go for a hike then that options available for you as well! There’s a selection of walks through the countryside that start out at Baddesley Clinton. The house was really interesting and the sensory aspect of the Herb trail was just brilliant! 4 stars – ★★★★
Thanks for reading and see you next week for another Adventure in Heritage. Must admit that I’m very excited because we’re going to a place that’s been on my heritage hit-list for quite some time…
See more of Rachel’s Baddesley Clinton pictures on Facebook!