Saturday, 29 August 2015

Fun and Learning at the Museum...

This past week I finally got over to Derby and visited not only Pickford's House Museum of Georgian Life and Historic Costume, but also the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

I was surprised how much there was to see at Pickford's House, and even more amazing were the unexpected answers to a few research queries,. like sort of objects that might be found in the rectory kitchen in my Nottinghamshire story.

But the biggest surprise was walking into the display bedroom and seeing the four poster with curtaining.

Apart from the colour of the drapes, this was how I imagined my hero Hugh's bed. The bed in the museum is a reproduction but was made to the original 1797 design, so it would fit time-wise.
The four-poster... 

There was a lovely and restful Georgian Garden.

Though this garden was from a design plan for a formal Georgian garden in Lincolnshire. It was in the style of the 1830's, with species planted that would have been available at the time.

Sadly some plants died, and others were planted in their place, but not quite right to the time, so when the garden was refurbished in 2005-2006, they used plants around and up to 1800- as the house was built in 1769-70.

Though there were a few plants of later dates that had happily established themselves since they were originally planted, so they stayed in place.
Part of the Georgian Garden...
For fun I did the 'put your head in the cut out stand-up scene' and have your photo taken. I did take my glasses off to fit the time-period.
Fun time...

The painting that was used as the basis for the cut out scene is actually on display in the museum for a while as part of their Georgian Children exhibition.

There was also a small display of historic costume for both men and women.

mid-18th century brocade dress, hat
and pocket
The Pickford family could afford to have the house built for them, and include fashionable features.

The Hallway is a perfect example. It has neo-classical motifs on the walls and ceiling.

Though I took a picture of the ceiling, it is worth seeing in person if you get the opportunity. It was definitely intended to impress.

The hall ceiling- designed to impress...






The couple of hours I spent wandering around the displays was extremely enjoyable, and the museum staff were knowledgeable and clearly cared about the House-and being able to share its delights with visitors. But like many council funded museums their future is always under review, and it is footfall and feedback that holds sway.

You can find out more about Pickford's House in Derby on their website.

If you pop over to my other blog on my Serena Lake website you will find some alternative information on the house, and a few more photos.

Just want to say hello to the charming American lady who I met in the kitchen and gave my blog details to. Like me, she was taking lots of pictures. If you're reading this I hope the rest of your short trip to England has gone well, and you got to visit some of the other places we were able to suggest.










4 comments:

  1. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful 'resource' within visiting reach. I particularly like the look of the gardens. I'd probably still be there at the end if visiting time!

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  2. I only recently discovered this museum, and was fortunate that my OH was willing to drive me there- it takes much less time than trains/buses and walking. :-)

    The garden was lovely and I'm sure on a sunny day it would have been lovely to sit outside and absorb the atmosphere and scents, Wendy. At least it hadn't started raining when I was in the garden!

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  3. A lovely post, Carol. I'm glad it was an inspirational visit for you. I'm just not a museum person - I think that stems from having to visit them for the 15 years I was teaching :) Maybe I should try again. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Nicola.

      I remember school museum visits never giving enough time to look in detail, so for teachers it would probably be even less enjoyable, and making sure you don't leave anyone behind.

      And more museums have realised that there needs to be some interactivity for visitors rather than just looking at things through glass.Hope you find a museum to visit that you can enjoy. :-)

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