A couple of weeks ago we visited Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. The hall is an Elizabethan mansion, completed in 1588 - the same year the Spanish Armada was defeated. Following a fire, the building stood empty for 40 years in the late 1600s; it was then restored and became the home of a naturalist. Much later in its history (1926), the hall was reopened as a Natural History Museum before being used as a base by the US Army 508th Parachute Regiment in 1944, prior to them leaving for the D-Day landings. Today the hall is open to the public as a historic house and Natural History museum , and includes galleries of animals, birds, insects and minerals, as well as rooms furnished in Regency and Tudor styles.
Obviously I took a lot of photos, historic houses and Natural History museums being two of my favourite things in the whole wide world ever, so I hope you enjoy my photos and maybe learn a little or at least get a little insight into how much I love this kind of thing (um, just in case you're new here and haven't experienced that before!)
Wollaton Hall was also used as the filming location for Wayne Manor in the film The Dark Knight Rises, so of course I had a bit of fun with that too.
The stunning jellyfish above is a Blaschka model. Blaschka models are anatomically correct glass models of marine invertebrates or flowers created by father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka in the late 19th to early 20th century. Originally they were scientific models sold to universities and museums, created because the organisms depicted are difficult or impossible to successfully preserve. Some of their models were also popular as ornaments in private residences. The Blaschkas kept their techniques a closely guarded secret and never took on an apprentice, so sadly on Rudolf's death in 1939, the method was lost. If you want to read more about Blaschka models, I recommend Wikipedia or the website of the National Museum of Scotland, but if you do nothing else then I would urge you to look on Google images where you can see the diversity of organisms that were modelled - but also how incredibly delicate a lot of the models are. I don't envy the museum conservators who get the job of moving the models without breaking them!
I will take any excuse to dress up of course, and I was a huge Batman fan when I was younger so that's an added bonus. What do you think, would I make a good superhero? Not sure about the wisdom of doing any Dark Knight-style crime fighting in a pencil skirt.
I AM THE HERO GOTHAM DESERVES.
This little fellow was pretty tame and I got several photos. Look at his little furry butt!
The skirt I'm wearing is one of the most-worn items I own, but as far as I can remember it's only made its way onto the blog once. It's one of my staples for work and although I used to wear it a lot in my own time as well, it's somehow something I think of more as workwear now and I don't reach for it when I'm not working as often as I might. Looking at these photos I'm reminded how much I want to increase my hat collection. I've promised myself I won't buy anything like that for a while though (essentials only!) but gosh, I feel like my head looks kinda bare. I love how much a hat can bring an outfit together; such a shame they've fallen a bit by the wayside over the years. I'll be on the lookout for some new headgear when I have some money to spend though.