GB took Jo and I out to Erddig Hall near Wrexham in North Wales on Saturday. Erddig Hall was built in 1684–1687 for Joshua Edisbury, the high sheriff of Denbighshire and was designed by Thomas Webb. Erddig is one of the country's finest stately homes - in September 2007 it was voted the UK's "favourite Historic House" and the "8th most popular historic site" in the UK by Britain's Best . In 2003 it was voted by readers of the Radio Times and viewers of the Channel 5 television series "Britain's Finest Stately Homes" as "Britain's second finest".
Entrance to the house is no longer through the grand entrance but via the courtyard with its stabling, carriages, bicycles, motorcycles, and old cars.
A Penny Farthing
A 1907 Rover
A 1927 Austin
A tour of the house, which starts "below stairs", tells of the Yorke family's unusually high regard for their servants and, through a collection of portraits, photographs and verses (a family tradition started by Philip Yorke (1743-1804), who published The Royal Tribes of Wales in 1799), provides a record of the people who lived and worked on the estate.
The mangle, copper and other implements for washing the clothes.
There's washing up to be done.
One of the kitchen ranges.
The dining room.
In the staterooms "above stairs" there is a fine collection of 18th century furniture and other treasures (many of which originally belonged to John Meller, including a portrait in the Music Room of Judge Jeffreys, the "Hanging Judge").
Exquisite Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom.
The Yorke family seemingly never threw anything away and the house now has a unique collection ranging from the rare and magnificent to the ordinary and everyday.
The view from upstairs.
One of the conditions that the last Squire, Philip S. Yorke (1905-1978) imposed on handing over the house and estate to the National Trust in 1973 was that nothing was to be removed from the house. He is quoted as saying: "My only interest for many years has been that this unique establishment for which my family have foregone many luxuries and comforts over seven generations should now be dedicated to the enjoyment of all those who may come here and see a part of our national heritage preserved for all foreseeable time."
In the gardens.