Still Life; more Erddig travels

My final look at Erddig sights. The displays there were so thoughtfully arranged that they cried out to be photographed. And I’m not one to ignore such pleas.

Coach ride through the country …
or strolling in the grounds
Lighting their darkness
Kneading the dough
and bread for their bellies
Soups, sauces, scalding, simmering … then the scouring
Pasties and puddings
Orchard fruit pies and citrus preserves

Everything necessary for living was provided by the hard graft of the servants: from the first hot drink in the morning and bringing warm water for washing, to warming the bed and dimming the lamp at the close of day. In between the hours of waking and sleeping, clothes were laid out, hair was dressed, meals prepared and served, errands run, offspring cared for, gardens maintained, horses tended, brass polished, floors scrubbed, linen laundered, a never-ending round of routine and expectation. No wonder the family valued them so much. The unusual gallery of portraits hanging in the corridors was evidence of this: butlers, coachmen, cooks, footmen, gamekeepers, gardeners, gentleman’s gentlemen, housekeepers, ladies’ maids, nannies, parlour maids, stable-hands, valets. There are painted portraits, early Daguerreotypes, and photographic prints from the turn of the 20th century. A whole army were employed on these vast estates providing work, food, and lodgings for many of the local peoples. Who got the better deal? That’s a no-brainer.

Visiting stately homes never makes me yearn for life in an earlier time. I am content. And that’s a good feeling. Hope you are too. Marilyn, X