My last visit to Snowshill took place in February when the ground was covered in snow and all the snowdrops were in bloom. The garden had been opened just for two days for humans to see the beautiful display of snowdrops, and the house, which is full of interesting things, wasn’t open. My humans decided to visit again in summer, and I was jolly pleased to go along with them. I was very hungry when we arrived so before exploring tucked into a tasty bowl of vegetable curry.We then set off along the path to explore the estate and the manor house. The house used to belong to Charles Wade, who started collecting things when he was seven years old. In 1951 Mr Wade gave the house and its contents to the National Trust. The first interesting item that I spotted was a windmill with lots of little wooden men that moved around as the sails turned.The windmill is a replica of the original one which is kept inside to protect it from the weather. The windmill was on a tall post, not on top of my head as in this photo!Further along I was delighted to find a special area for bears, though the humans said it was for children really.I spent a while exploring; the humans couldn’t see where I was until I popped up over the fence.I was very pleased to find a little bear shelter in the woods too.In the orchard I climbed up into one of the trees to get a closer look at the shiny red apples.After walking up through the cottage gardens I clambered up onto a wall to have a look at all the doves sat on top of the dove cote.I forgot to ‘mind my head’ in a couple of places but as my head is quite soft luckily it didn’t hurt much.There was a bear sized typewriter of the sort that would have been used during the first world war. I like being able to see the type hammers going up and down hitting the paper on old-fashioned typewriters. Here I am outside the main Manor House. Mr Wade didn’t live inside the Manor House, he had lived in a much smaller building in the garden called The Priest’s House. Over 400 years ago the house and gardens were part of an Abbey.This is the bathroom in the Priest’s house. The bath looked very deep; Mr Wade must have been able to sit in it with the water right up to his neck.In this photo Mr Wade’s box bed is just behind me. We went outside again and I had a little rest as my legs were starting to feel a bit tired.The model village next the ‘harbour’ was full of tiny houses too small for bears. They were replicas as the ones that Mr Wade made are kept inside nowadays to stop them being damaged by the weather.When we went into the manor house I found the original houses stored high up on some shelves.There were several trunks inside the house with very complex locking mechanisms. This one is over 400 years old. I think it must have been very difficult to open without the key.There weren’t any bears on display anywhere though I did find some other ancient animals and dolls locked up in a glass case. They all looked a bit worried.Upstairs we found an amazing display of very old bicycles. I rather like this one, the seat looks just the right size for me. Unfortunately as everything is so very old I wasn’t able to try it out.Here I am in front of a huge clock that was telling the wrong time!I don’t know whether Mr Wade was able to play any musical instruments but he certainly collected many. I wondered whether all the buckets were there in case of fire or whether Mr Wade just liked buckets! I tried to have a conversation with chap but I don’t think anyone was inside!This is not a bear sized helmet!After being inside the helmet I needed some fresh air so went outside to explore in the kitchen garden. The yellow courgettes were growing well.There were some courgettes being sold on the produce table but my humans forgot to buy them; I think they got distracted by the lovely sweet peas in the bucket.Sheep live in the field outside. They had all recently been shorn and so were looking quite thin.I’m not sure what this plant is, but the bees certainly like it. Wandering back up to the entrance I managed to get caught up in a burdock plant. The humans managed to free me; then I carried a few seeds along with me a for while before brushing them off my fur. This was a good visit food wise. Before leaving it was necessary to have afternoon tea. Yum, yum, yum.
Snowshill is a very interesting place to visit for humans and bears (there are many fascinating objects in the house that I haven’t mentioned here). Well worth visiting.
To see my post about Snowshill in the Snow see:
For more information about Snowshill see:
I enjoy all the seasons but I think spring is probably my favourite time. There are some plants that let us know that although it is still winter, Spring isn’t far away. The dear little snowdrop is one such plant, and lots of them can be found at Snowshill Manor at this time of year. The gardens aren’t usually open in winter but those nice people at The National Trust open them up especially for people (and bears) to see the snowdrops.
I was glad Paddington agreed to lend me his red wellingtons for the visit, as it was snowing as we walked around and although having fur I am quite hardy, my feet are not fond of getting cold and wet. The snowdrops were beautiful and created a very peaceful scene.We walked around the rest of the gardens, though at this time of the year most plants are still asleep for winter. Here is a selfie of me with the Dove Cote behind me; you might be able to spot a dove peeping out of the window.
There were lots of interesting things around, such as this bell post…The former owner of Snowshill Manor used to collect things, such as penny farthing bicycles. The Manor House was shut though (as the estate was only open for snowdrop viewing), so I will have to make sure the humans return in the summer in order to fully explore. All the benches that people sit on in summer were stored inside this barn. On the way back I climbed up onto a dry stone wall for a photo shoot. I am quite fascinated by the way snow sticks to some things and not to others. The snow seemed to like the wall.
One of the joys of visiting National Trust properties is the trip to the tearoom; especially welcome when paws are feeling a tad frozen. Yum yum yum…. Another feature I enjoy are National Trust produce tables where plants and vegetables grown on the premises are offered for sale by a donation. I chose several pots of snowdrops to take home; I do hope they grow in my city garden.
On arriving home I placed them where I can see them from the window. They will be planted out when the weather improves.
Horace the Alresford Bear 12/2/2017
For more information about Snowshill Manor see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden
I recently found myself strapped in to the back of the car on a cold winter’s morning (hence the blanket). The humans were heading off on another dance weekend, and they do like to take me along too.On the way they stopped at a small town called Totnes for some lunch. Here I am in Totnes High Street. There are quite a few charity shops in Totnes; Karen always has to look in charity shops just in case there might be something there that could be useful (like a new dress). I followed her into the Cancer Research UK shop.We noticed a familiar face sitting on a chair next to a heap of abandoned cuddly toys. He was sat staring into space and looked rather worried. I remembered how I felt when I spent a few days sat on a charity shop shelf. I said ‘Hello’ to him and he told me that he had been made in the Station Mill at Alresford and how sad he felt that his human had abandoned him to a charity shop. I asked if he’d like to come and live with some of his Alresford relatives.Jesse had a £12 price label attached to his Alresford Crafts label, which seemed a small price to pay to rescue him. Karen took him to the shop counter to pay for him. The shop assistant wasn’t interested in our story but stood aside for us to take a photo. Once outside the shop Karen found a suitable bear carrier for Jesse.It was then time to get something to eat. We went back down the hill to Maisie’s Cafe, a lovely little tearoom, where Karen treated us both to tea and cake.I think Jesse is going to like living with us 🙂
Horace the Alresford Bear 10/1/17
For more information about Maisie’s Cafe see their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Maisies-1608959262723707/
Here in the United Kingdom today is the Winter Solstice; the shortest day of the year. This day is of great significance to me as it means that as from tomorrow the days get longer, giving more opportunities for adventures outdoors. Bears like to be outdoors. I collected some greenery from the garden to commemorate the passing of the winter solstice.
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Wishing you all a happy festive season
Horace the Alresford Bear 21/12/16
I felt like a very special bear indeed when given the opportunity to visit Greenway, a house where a very famous Author, Agatha Christie, used to live sometimes. As we went into the house I noticed a huge painting on the wall of Agatha when she was a little girl cuddling a doll.Further on in the drawing room someone had abandoned a game of dominoes…No one was playing the piano so I clambered up and gave a rendition of ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’. Unfortunately that is the only tune I know how to play; I really should learn some more as I often seem to come across pianos.In the kitchen there was an old manual typewriter with an invitation to try it out. I managed to type my name, though it is not as easy as using a computer keyboard. Upstairs on the landing I spotted three Aspidistra plants (they take ages and ages to grow). They were sat on top of a very interesting bookcase which was made for Agatha Christie’s children, and it was full of books written by her.I am always very interested in toilets. This mahogany seated one was inhabited by a little green frog, which was something of a surprise!The toilet roll had ‘government issue’ stamped on it, and it looked more like the paper Karen uses to line cake tins.I had a peep in Agatha’s dressing room…The view out of the window was beautiful, I could see the boats going up and down the River Dart.Behind glass there was a complete collection of all the first editions of the books written by Agatha Christie. She must have been a very busy lady.The bear sat on the sofa in the library looked as though he needed some other bear company as he only had dolls to keep him company. I said ‘hello’ to him and wished him well.There is graffiti on the walls of the library painted by an American Lieutenant during the 2nd World War. In the inner hall I found a really old Motorola mobile phone. It was quite big and very heavy and was made in the mid 1980’s.After looking around the house I was a very hungry bear so had some lunch. The baked potato was extremely yummy.I made sure that the door remained closed on the peach house to make sure that no naughty squirrels came in.I like terraccota flower pots!The cucumbers were all knobbly and didn’t look like the ones that Karen buys in the greengrocers shop.We went on to explore the fernery, which is an excellent place for bearsI climbed up to have a closer look at the broken pot, but only as far as the sign that said ‘no further please’.There were also some pet graves in the fernery. I think the pets that lived at Greenway probably had very happy lives living in such a lovely place.I was delighted to come across a bear sized tractor.We walked through some woods until we arrived at an area known as ‘The Battery’. I climbed up onto the wall and could see Dartmouth in the distance.I stopped and had a little rest against the wall and then wondered about the large iron thing with a hole in that was right in front of me.I had a look inside, though the humans told me that it wasn’t a wise thing to do!I realised then that it was an old cannon. I felt safer at the other end.Just along a woodland path from The Battery we found The Boathouse.The Boathouse is a perfect place to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the view of the river.The lower floor of The Boathouse has a special plunge pool. The plunge pool is being repaired and restored at the moment so we were unable to see it. I am sure we will visit again when the work is finished.The house looked lovely in the sunshine as we walked back up the path…I stopped and had a rest for a while in one of the deckchairs……after which it was time to leave. We will be back 🙂
To find out more about Greenway go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway
Horace the Alresford Bear 17/10/2016