Wollaton - The Hall
w/e 28 January 2018
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
The saying goes "If it's January, it's Wollaton"
or conversely "If it's Wollaton, it must be January"
or that's the way it seems as we regularly go to the Deer Park
around this time of year.
In the past we've walked around the lake, through the park and
the gardens, enjoyed a coffee and a look in the souvenir shop
but I was surprised when I realised it's about eleven years sine
we actually entered the Hall.
After entering the Hall and wandered around some of the ground
floor rooms we climbed the stairs to the first floor admiring
the painted walls and ceiling in doing so.
Even though it is eleven years since last being here many of
the exhibits in the Natural History Museum which is housed in
the Hall, are still the same and we again saw the Indian Lion
in a display cabinet at the foot of the stairs and found the
large giraffe and George the Gorilla for which the museum is
famous on the first floor.
There are many smaller displays on the ground floor with glass
fronted tableaux showing various creatures like this Great Crested
Grebe in their natural settings.
In the same room a selection of horned animals line the walls
above the tableaux whilst upstairs are more rooms containing
fossils like a large ammonite, a variety of animals including
an eagle owl, orang-utan skeleton and a kangaroo in a single
display cabinet and the African sunset is just as impressive
as on our previous visit.
The Hall recently hosted an exhibition of Chinese dinosaurs in
this room and the end walls still have painted decorations of
these extinct monsters. The fossil of the large ammonite mentioned
above can be seen in the cabinet below the painting. A label
informs that it is from the Late Jurassic period, 150 million
years ago and the fossil was possibly found in Dorset.
Back downstairs we explored another wing of the Hall and entered
the Cassandra Room. The Hall was completed in 1588 and Cassandra
Willoughby came to live at the Hall in 1687 aged just 17. She
undertook the running of the house and organising her father's
Natural History collection also writing a book about the history
of the Willoughby family.
As we left the Hall we passed a scale model in what is now the
main entrance hall. This was originally the "tradesmen's
entrance" or back of the Hall. This view of the model show
the front entrance.
And this is how it looks today - little has changed in over 400
years. The tree to the left of the picture behind the steps is
labelled "Prehistoric Dove Tree". Native to China it
is also known as a handkerchief or ghost tree and fossil records
of dove trees show it extending back to the age of dinosaurs
making it a "living fossil".
Speaking of dinosaurs we passed this model of Roary the Tyrannosaurus
Rex on our way from the back to the front of the Hall.
On our way back to the car park we walked through the Stable
Block and although it's not unusual to see deer in the park,
we were surprised by this giant stag.
Arriving back at the car we were also surprised to see we had
acquired a passenger but it disembarked before we set off.