Tredegar House and Gardens

Tredegar House near Newport in Wales was originally built a very long time ago on the remains of an older house. The Morgan family used to live there.

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I don’t speak Welsh so was very pleased that the signs were all also in English.

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Inside the house I discovered some interesting facts. Fans used to be used by ladies to send discrete messages. For instance waving it a certain way could tell someone to go away.

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I wanted to play Fox and Geese but no one would play with me….

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There was a range of hats to try on with an invitation to wear them while walking round the house.   They weren’t really my style so I put them back in the dressing up box.

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At the other end of the room I tried out the shadow theatre with a willing parrot.

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Upstairs in the bathroom someone had recently had a party.

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On glancing in the mirror I felt that perhaps my face was looking a bit squashed – the result perhaps of spending too long in the bear carrier bag.

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Bears and humans aren’t allowed in all the rooms. There was hole in the door of one closed room so I peeped in. It looked as though it needed decorating.

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The last Mr Morgan that lived in the house used to keep a crocodile as a pet.IMG_1546

The food on display in the kitchen looked very tasty but didn’t smell of food.  On further inspection I found it all to be plastic!

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This is a very old steam generating boiler that was used to steam vegetables and steam clean pots and pans from the kitchen.  I think it is rather splendid.

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This is a charcoal stove; the black pots were put over the hole to be heated.

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I think the Morgan family must have been very fond of jelly.

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A food mixer with wooden blades!  I have never seen one of those before.

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The Game larder was visible at the end of a tunnel.  I think the birds on the table were probably plastic like the food in the kitchen.

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Outside again I explored the gardens.  This is a very interesting sign.  Apparently the wren is the most common bird in Britain, though I don’t think I have ever seen one!

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There was a very smart insect house in the garden for solitary bees (the ones that don’t live in big hives with lots of other bees).

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The tent was a wonderful find as I was very much in need of a quiet nap.

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Very comfy

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I wasn’t alone for long though as was joined by a gang of creepy crawlies.

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I found the creepy crawlies a bit tickly so left the tent to take a walk around the lake.

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The tea shop had shut when I got there so I was unable to have the customary cake that I usually end National Trust property visits with.  However, I was delighted to find the shop still open and selling delicious Welsh ice cream.  Yum yum yum.

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If you would like more information about Tredegar House and Gardens see:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tredegar-house

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/9/2018

Cotehele Daffodil Day

The humans often stop at National Trust properties to break journeys when travelling.  On this very cold March day the car pulled into Cotehele.  IMG_1205 - CopyWe had no idea that it was a special day but were quite delighted to find that it was Daffodil Day.  There was an exhibition displaying the many different varieties.IMG_1291 Daffodils were strung up in a garland outside the old packing shed.IMG_1210Years ago sheds like this were used to pack up flowers and fruit to be taken to markets to be sold.IMG_1207 - CopyThere were lots of old fruit trees in the Old Orchard.IMG_1213The trees in the Mother Orchard were younger (planted only ten years ago) and had little pots around the bottoms of them for small bears to sit in.   It started snowing while I was having my little rest; hence the white specks on the photograph.IMG_1217Amongst the apple trees that was a huge hand as though there might be a giant underneath the ground.  I think a manicure was needed as one the nails was broken.IMG_1218 - CopyAt the edge of the field a large building housed a cider press.  I like cider but as I am only quite small I only have a few sips to taste it now and then.IMG_1222 - CopyI was pleased to find a glasshouse as although snow can be fun it also makes fur wet and cold.  Glasshouses are usually warm.IMG_1225 - CopyThere were lots of seedlings growing in pots.  Some of the pots were empty; the gardener told us that a mouse had been nibbling them.IMG_1223 - CopyThe snow continued to fall as we walked on around the gardens. IMG_1228 - CopyThe Prospect Tower was closed for maintenance.  Maybe we will see it next time we visit.IMG_1229 - CopyThe  beautiful blooms of the camellia didn’t seem to be troubled by the snow that was still falling.IMG_1231Here I am with the Cotehele House behind me.  It is about 500 years old.IMG_1235We went into the house and found arts and crafts for sale.  I had a chat with one of the grey knitted bears.  IMG_1236 - CopyThere was a splendid bear sized chair for sale too.IMG_1243 - CopyOn our way to the rest of the house I walked through an archway lined with daffodils.  IMG_1244 - CopyOnce inside again I warmed my fur for a while by the fireplace.IMG_1247 - CopyThere was a little chapel just inside the door with a posh fence half way across.  Apparently in the old days the rich people that lived in the house would sit one side and the other side was for the poor people who had to stand and came in through a different entrance.IMG_1250 - CopyI sat at the organ but decided not to play it as I thought ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ might not be appropriate.IMG_1248After going up some stairs I arrived at a little hidey hole that had a tiny window. IMG_1256 - CopyI peered through and could see the room downstairs.  It was a spy hole!IMG_1254.JPGMy legs always get very tired climbing the steep stairs of stately homes.IMG_1261 - CopyOutside it was still snowing so I was glad to be indoors.IMG_1263 - CopyIn the kitchen there was another fire keeping visitors and the National Trust volunteer guide warm.IMG_1267 - CopyI thought it was probably time these vegetables were made into a stew.IMG_1268The sink was very interesting indeed.IMG_1273 - CopyUnfortunately I fell in.  It was just as well that there was no water in the bottom.IMG_1272 - CopyThe humans helped me out and pointed out to me that there was a little fireplace underneath which would have been lit to heat the water in the sink.IMG_1276 - CopyNext to the sink there was an enormous stone oven where many loaves of bread must have been baked.IMG_1278 - CopyUp above on the wall was a big shovel that reminded me of the ‘pizza peel’ that we have at home.IMG_1280The kitchen had buckets (made of leather) which would have been jolly useful had there been a fire.  IMG_1283I had a last look at the house before we set off to walk down the valley to the Quay.IMG_1293On the way I sat for a while in a little thatched shelter and watched the snow falling.IMG_1295A little stream ran down the valley.  I think lots of the plants were still asleep for winter but there were a few primroses braving the cold.IMG_1298At  Cotehele Quay I was hoping to see a very old barge build in 1899 called the Shamrock.  However, it has been put in a tent to protect it.IMG_1301I persuaded one of the humans to lift me up and I had a quick peek through one of the holes in the tent.  The Shamrock did indeed look very old.  IMG_1300Further along the quay I was pleased to find a seaworthy boat.  The Little Charley.IMG_1304We walked on to see the waterwheel which was being driven round and round by the water dropping on top of it.  This is still used to grind wheat into flour.IMG_1312I wasn’t in luck for a freshly baked bun though as the baker wasn’t there.  IMG_1307There was a very interesting little outdoor cupboard near the mill where many years ago people used to keep butter in order to keep it cool.IMG_1316The thought of flour, butter and baking made me feel extremely hungry.   The Edgecombe Tearoom is an excellent place for hungry bears. 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Another very interesting place for bears and their humans to visit.

Horace the Alresford Bear 27/03/2018

For more information about Cotehele see:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele

Dyrham Park in Winter

Dyrham Park is quieter in winter as some humans don’t go out in the cold.  I am fortunate to have fur to keep me warm.IMG_0990The herd of deer certainly aren’t bothered by cold weather; they were enjoying the winter sunshine.IMG_0992After exploring the deer park I strolled down through the woods towards the big house.IMG_0996There was no chance of getting lost as there was a very big sign post.IMG_0998I didn’t see many birds but it might be that birds are afraid of bears.  IMG_0999After my walk my legs were feeling a tad tired so I stopped for a rest and enjoyed the warmth of the winter sunshine on my fur.IMG_1001In the formal gardens behind the big house a group of volunteers were busy working.IMG_1010Being a very helpful bear I decided to assist the gardeners for a while. IMG_1011It wasn’t long before my wheelbarrow was full up.IMG_1006The gardens still have some colour even in January.  The dogwood was very colourful.IMG_1015I would have liked to get a bit closer to the waterfall but there was a little fence along the lawn to remind people not to walk on it.  Walking on grass that is wet can make it all muddy. IMG_1020A hazel bush that must be in a slighty sunnier place that the other hazel bushes had lots of wiggly catkins dangling from it.IMG_1026I went into the stables but the horses weren’t at home.  The bale of hay was rather prickly to sit on for very long.IMG_1028In the shop I wondered about buying myself a hat.  My human often wears a cap; this one was rather large though and not quite me.IMG_1033The brimmed hat restricted my vision too much.IMG_1039Locally produced honey is always good.  IMG_1043I decided to buy the honey; much better for a bear than a hat.IMG_1047After so much exploring it was time for lunch.  The venison pasty was very good for bears.  Yum yum yum.IMG_1052National Trust properties always seem to have a 2nd hand book shop.  At Dyrham they keep the thin books in the sink. I hope no one turns on the tap.IMG_1055I found a very useful book to read while the humans browsed all the other books.IMG_1058In the cold store there was some food that looked quite appetising until further inspection revealed that it was made of plastic.IMG_1062The large bowls were all empty but when the house was lived in long ago they would have been used to keep things cool.IMG_1066Before going on our winter tour of the house I put my honey in a locker to keep it safe, and to prevent me from accidently swinging it into an antique vase.IMG_1069Inside the house there was work going on.  Some beetles had been nibbling away at the floor in The Great Hall, so some boards had been taken up for repairs and restoration.IMG_1073Another room was very odd.  The walls were covered in 300 year old gilt leather. IMG_1076I had a closer look at the leather.  Someone must have worked very hard decorating it, but I didn’t like it. IMG_1077After emerging from the house I was delighted to find snowdrops.  I like snowdrops; they make me feel that spring is coming soon.IMG_1082Here is a selfie of me in front of the house. IMG_1087When it was time to leave, there was a bit of a challenge for me.  Cattle grids (or perhaps deer grids) are not very bear friendly.IMG_1092Karen rescued me as the bus that takes visitors from the car park down to the house and back was approaching and needed to cross the grid. IMG_1091We didn’t get on the bus.  My humans like to walk, but my little legs were tired after such a lot of exploring so I had a lift back up to the carpark in the bear carrier.IMG_1095Dyrham Park is an interesting place for humans and bears to visit even in winter.

For more info. about Dyrham Park:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park

Montacute House in winter

Not so many humans visit National Trust houses and gardens in winter, but although there aren’t any flowers, they are still very interesting.  Montacute  House has lots to see and  do .20171223_132531.jpgThe Wibbly Wobbly hedge was fascinating.  I could see all sorts of faces in the wibbly wobbly bits, with noses poking out here and there .20171223_200340.jpgBehind  the wibbly wobbly hedge there was a fence that had been designed to deter bears from getting too fat .20171223_113033178453238.jpgThe entrance to the ice house was a bit creepy.  Years ago servants from the big house had to visit the ice house to get ice to keep food cold  as fridges had not been invented .20171223_1129072109123391.jpgI peered into the deep hole where the ice collected from ponds was stored .  I was glad that there were railings as the hole looked like it went on forever .20171223_200135497296256.jpgOn the top of the house there were lots of stone animals.  Humans that live in Somerset call them ‘hunky punks’.  You can just about see them in this photo .20171223_1145101725357244.jpgI sat by the fountain for a while and watched the fish swimming around .20171223_113407I leaned over to get a closer look which got the humans rather worried that I might fall in.  Within seconds my feet were being held just in case a gust of wind blew me into the pond .20171223_1959231763560868.jpgThere were a couple of lovely little houses at each end of the garden .20171223_195807348555698.jpgSomeone had thoughtfully set up a special place for bears to rest in this one .20171223_113840Inside the other little house I made a paper lantern .20171223_114955481662944.jpgOne of the humans lifted me up to hang my creation on the lantern tree.  It was covered in fairy lights to be lit up once dark.  I would have liked to have seen Montacute in the dark with all the lights twinkling but we weren’t able to stay that long .20171223_195504136289537.jpgThis is a banqueting house where the household would sometimes have meals.  It must have been very hard work for the servants carrying everything from the big house to the garden for them .20171223_121236777374869.jpgI think I look quite important sat at the banqueting table.20171223_195147Montacute House and garden is surrounded by parkland.  In the park area I discovered a tree just right for bears to climb .20171223_1204071739976832.jpgI climbed very carefully as a fall would have resulted in me having to go in the washing machine, not one of my favourite pastimes.20171223_1952552028193646.jpg

Another tree had horses made from old tyres hanging from it.  I would have liked to have swung as high as the children using the swings but the mud below and more thoughts of the dreaded washing machine put me off. 20171223_234734.jpgOn entering the  House I had to put on some special blue shoes that looked rather like shower caps.  They were to prevent people and bears bringing dirt  into the house via their shoes .20171223_122648383691909.jpgSomeone was in the middle of a game of patience but had gone off to get a cup of tea or something .20171223_122345857168362.jpgThere were  prickly teasels on lots of the chairs in order to stop humans and bears from sitting on them.  A good deterrent; I wouldn’t want one of those stuck to my bottom !20171223_194923In one of the bedrooms there was a bath inside a cupboard .20171223_122941I was drawn to the room at the top of the house by the lovely smell coming from it.  The floor covering in the Tudor hall was made of plaited rush and for some reason smelt of honey.  20171223_1244320.jpgI spent a couple of hours exploring Montacute and ended up very hungry.  At the end of the visit I was able to tuck into a big bowl of cauliflower curry in the café .   Yum Yum Yum…….20171223_1306051773797821.jpg

 

For more information see:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacute-house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allan Bank (Grasmere)

Before reaching Allan Bank I had the opportunity to sit and watch the Herdwick sheep for a while.  They fascinate me;  some of them look just like my human’s grand dog, Buster, who is a Bedlington Terrier.2017-09-05 14.44.17At the entrance to the gardens I posed for a photo with a willow squirrel, and hoped that I would see some of the real red squirrels that live in the garden.21559083_10156593917664112_1467079706145136111_nThere is a splendid view from the garden of the hills surrounding Grassmere.21617718_10156593919164112_6279813793134488086_nHere I am just before going into the house.  I could see the lake from here but forgot to get a photograph.21743303_10156593919119112_6055135191512495958_nNational Trust properties often have a room containing books for sale.  I read Rupert and the Magic Seeds while the humans browsed.  I think Rupert wears rather silly trousers.21617723_10156593918159112_1193428318581948777_nThe next room was set up as an art room, with tables suitable for full grown humans and small humans and bears to have a go at painting.  I did a quick self portrait.21743251_10156593918264112_8188677610596476755_nAfter going upstairs a guide suggested that I might like the play room.   The inhabitants were certainly very pleased to see me.21616348_10156593919349112_8375959351855927551_nI had a little ride on a wooden horse that rocked but didn’t go anywhere.21743027_10156593918374112_6039467563541670217_nThere were lots of hats to try on.   I don’t think I would make a very good police bear.21557760_10156593918609112_5503919330935027852_nTwo of the resident bears put on a special afternoon tea for me.  21751398_10156593918549112_738024538769168282_nBefore saying my farewells I tried out the blackboard.21616204_10156593918504112_5703185503387161730_nAllan Bank has a special room for knitting.  I did a few more rows of someone else’s knitting and would have continued but the humans said we needed to get some cake before the cafe closed.  I like cake.21616130_10156593918664112_1757181676148201231_nThere was also a great selection of games in the knitting room that visitors can play.  The croquet set was just the right size for me; I struggle somewhat with full size croquet mallets.21762192_10156593918844112_3815827628223995753_nNext to the games table there were lots of knitted animals from the Beatrix Potter stories.  They all seemed very busy but Jemima Puddleduck  quacked a few times to me.21617585_10156593918759112_5909433856682224540_nCuddly squirrels were for sale in the next room.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see a wild red squirrel (though the humans have promised to take me to Brownsea Island oneday where red squirrels also live).   I started reading ‘Squirrel Nutkin’  but didn’t finish as didn’t want to miss cake. 21557510_10156593918904112_3960484443673277051_nWe made our own cups of tea and put some money in the donation box, then bought some cake at the cafe counter.21762170_10156593917909112_8964648287786139318_nIt was a huge piece of very yummy carrot cake.  21617616_10156593917769112_5706970000453997021_nOn the way out I posed for another photo.2017-09-05 14.41.03

I very much enjoyed Allan Bank as there was so much there to do.  It is a great place for bears and human children.

For more information about Allan Bank see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

Great Chalfield Manor Garden

I had some difficulty seeing the Manor House due to the splendid bulrushes  growing outside.  I paused to take a ‘selfie’ in front of them.20170813_161104After showing our National Trust cards I had a conversation with a resident horse.IMG_0794People live in the Manor House so some of the gardens are ‘private’.  They have one of the excellent topiary houses all to themselves.IMG_0802From a distance I thought that there were some strange creatures in the meadow; however on getting closer discovered that they were piles of grass drying in the sunshine to make hay.IMG_0804A dog lives in the garden though he didn’t say much.IMG_0810The Manor House looks very pretty with roses growing against it.  IMG_0814I had a look in the well but was very cautious not to get too close.  I think it might be very deep and not a good place for bears.IMG_0818Some people were picnicking next to this topiary house; we have cut them off the photo.  Topiary houses are good places for bears and I think human children probably like them too.IMG_0821It was quite warm during our visit so I thought about cooling my paws in the little stream,  then remembered that getting soggy isn’t a good idea for stuffed bears like me.IMG_0823There is a special little house for storing apples.  I spent a few minutes in the rocking chair and had a good look around.IMG_0826High up in the middle of the ceiling was a very big wasps nest.  Fortunately the wasps had all moved out and it was empty.  I don’t like wasps;  I do however likes bees, as they make honey.IMG_0830There were lots of very big vintage cars parked in the front court yard.IMG_0831They were all Alvis cars; the Alvis owners club were having a picnic.20170813_221128A few of the Alvis cars had ornaments on the bonnets.  I really liked the rabbit and asked the humans if we could put one on our Skoda Fabia.IMG_0839My favourite Alvis car was the TC100 Grey Lady.  The owner very kindly let me sit in for a while.  IMG_0834Any visit to a National Trust property would not be complete without a visit to the tea room for cake.  Unfortunately the tea room at Chalfield had closed when we got there but tea and biscuits were still available self service.  We put some money in the honesty box.20170813_221024There were loads of packets of biscuits.  I opted for the oat cookies.20170813_160047Karen made some tea and I sat in the sunshine to eat my biscuits.  They were nearly as good as cake.20170813_155646

After returning home my humans found out that Chalfield Manor was used in the filming of the BBC series Poldark as Killewarren, the home of the Penvenens.

For more information about Great Chalfield Manor & Gardens see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/great-chalfield-manor-and-garden

For information about the Alvis Owner’s club: http://alvisoc.org/

 

 

The Needles (New Battery & Old Battery)

Another interesting place to visit on the Isle of Wight is The Needles Old Battery and New Battery.  Actually both places are old, but one is much older.  Before exploring the buildings I climbed up to the viewpoint near The New Battery to have a look at The Needles, and they do look quite sharp and spiky.IMG_0220I then noticed a sign stating that we were at a site that had been used for testing rockets.IMG_0232Here I am looking at the place where rockets were tested.  Their engines were started up but they didn’t actually take off here, they were strapped into special gantries to keep them still.  If everything worked the rockets were taken to Australia to be launched into space.IMG_0227I spotted a couple of rabbits hopping about but they didn’t wave.  I think they are quite cautious when it comes to bears.IMG_0237The rockets gathered large amounts of information about space. A Black Arrow rocket launched the first British satellite.  The  satellite is no longer used but it still orbits around the earth twice a day.IMG_0249Here I am sat on a life size scale model of the Prospero satellite.IMG_0256In another room there was some equipment which was used for gathering information during the tests.    I climbed up for a closer look but I didn’t touch!IMG_0265Here I am in the control room. It isn’t actually the original equipment, but I think it looks quite impressive.IMG_0243The Old Battery, which was built in 1861  by the Royal Engineers, and their site office was the first building constructed.  IMG_0278Before going into The Cartridge Store I had to put on special clothing made of calico to ensure that I didn’t take any gunpowder out of the building.IMG_0268I was very excited to find an entrance to a tunnel leading to an 1899 searchlight emplacement.  Here I am running back to the humans to tell them about it!IMG_0277I climbed down to the tunnel using a spiral staircase fitted by the National Trust; access used to be via a ladder.IMG_0283The tunnel was very long and quite a walk for a small bear.IMG_0284I was quite relieved to see the light at the end of the tunnel.IMG_0303There was an excellent view of The Needles from The Searchlight Emplacement.  Fortunately I didn’t get my head stuck.IMG_0288The tearoom is situated inside The Signal Station.  The hot quiche lorraine warmed me up as a cold wind had blown up outside.  IMG_0307I managed to persuade the humans to buy me some cake too 🙂IMG_0320Yum yum yum……. tea soaked fruit cakeIMG_0317Here I am in front of The Signal Station in the sheltered pathway to the position finding cell.IMG_0328There was a special instrument in the Position Finding Cell for gathering information about the whereabouts of ships and the direction in which they were travelling.IMG_0330The weather was changing and I was quite worried that my fur could get a soaking so I had one last look at rather splendid Needles before we hurried off down the hill towards the car.IMG_0322I stopped briefly to admire the coloured sands of Alum Bay, which is situated next to The Needles.IMG_0341

All in all a great adventure – especially The Tunnel 🙂

Horace the Alresford Bear 27/4/17

For further information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-needles-old-battery-and-new-battery

Bembridge Windmill (Isle of Wight)

I was very fortunate to recently visit a very old windmill, over 270 years old; the only windmill left on the Isle of Wight.IMG_0198After showing National Trust membership cards to a man in a hut  I bought a souvenir guidebook.IMG_0196I had a good look at the top of the windmill, where there is a big wheel and a wooden screw called a ‘Worm Screw’.   There used to be chains that hung down and the miller would have used the chains to turn the the top of the mill,  known as ‘The Cap’ to face the wind.IMG_0195I also had a good look at the four wooden frames (before posing for a photo by the door).  The frames would have been covered in canvas sailcloth, and a small boy known as a ‘Nipper’ had the job of climbing out onto the frames to attach the cloth.   I don’t think I would want to be a nipper.IMG_0114Once inside the windmill I set about climbing up to the top.  This took me quite a while.IMG_0139At the top there was a trap door.   I was a tad worried that it might suddenly open up so I decided not to walk over it.  Sacks of grain used to be hoisted up through the trap door.IMG_0143 Grain would have been tipped out of the sacks into this huge wooden bin.  The grain then traveled downwards through canvas chutes to the hopper above the mill stones on the floor below.IMG_0149There was an enormous wooden wheel with an iron band around the outside; known as ‘The Great Brake Wheel’.  The miller would have applied the brake by pulling on a rope (which was attached to a lever) which was passed down on the outside of the mill.  The Great Brake Wheel was used to slow down or stop ‘The Wallower’ (the horizontal wheel)  which drove the upright shaft.  IMG_0148I carefully went back down the wooden ladder to ‘The Stone Floor’ where the millstones are housed.  I got a bit distracted here as there were some windows, so I climbed up to have a closer look at the sail frames.IMG_0141One of my humans took a photo of me from the outside!IMG_0157The next floor down is ‘The Machine Floor’, with the huge upright shaft which takes power from ‘The Wallower’ at the top of the mill to the great spur wheel.   Here I am sitting on the leather belting drive having a good look at everything.IMG_0174Downstairs there are two millstones that make me look like I am even smaller than I am.IMG_0182There were also some weights which were impossible for me to lift.IMG_0186I climbed onto the scales but they didn’t even move.  This must mean that I haven’t eaten too many cakes yet.IMG_0133On the ground floor I was pleased to find some miller style clothing for people and bears to try on.  I rather like the hat but I am not sure about the smock, it was a tad large.IMG_0121Before leaving the mill I had a go at milling some grain using some small bear sized millstones.IMG_0129

After a visit to a mill I usually purchase a bag of flour milled there, but Bembridge Windmill hasn’t been used for milling since 1913, so that wasn’t possible!

A very interesting place to visit.

Horace the Alresford Bear 26/4/17

For more information about Bembridge Mill:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bembridge-windmill

St Michael’s Mount

I was hoping the tide would be in which would have meant a little boat trip to get to the tiny island St Michael’s Mount which is next to Marazion in Cornwall. IMG_9818The tide was out though so I climbed into the bear carrier for the trip as the surface looked a bit wet and I didn’t have any wellington boots with me.IMG_9822When the tide is in people and bears can cross using this strange boat with wheels which is called an amphicraft.IMG_9843The St Aubyn Family have lived on St Michael’s Mount since the 17th Century, though  in 1954, the 3rd Baron St Levan gave most of St Michael’s Mount to the National Trust though they kept a 999 year lease (which is a very long time) to live in the castle and manage public viewing of the historic rooms (source Wikipedia). National Trust members and their bears can visit for free as long as they show their membership cards….IMG_9846As we climbed up to the castle I stopped to have a little rest then Karen pointed out to me that I was right next to The Giant’s Well.  I didn’t stay there long.IMG_9850I climbed up into a little window in a wall that I thought might make a good place to hide from giants.IMG_9854Further on I came across some battlements with a row of cannons.  After clambering up onto one I could see a lovely view of the sea.  IMG_9856Just in front of the castle I paused to take a ‘selfie’.IMG_9859It was a long tiring trek to the front door.  IMG_9862I was rather hesistant entering as just inside the door there was a bear much bigger than me with very big teeth.  IMG_9863The views from inside are amazing.  I was jolly pleased that my human had put her coat in the bear carrier which turned it into a pillow to stand on.IMG_9865In one of the rooms I spotted a rather grumpy looking dog.IMG_9867On the roof terrace there was a very old thermometer which was a tad confusing to read  as it was in Farenheit instead of Centigrade.  In between freezing and temperate seemed about right though!IMG_9869I peered over to have a look at the sea which seemed to make the humans a bit nervous.IMG_9870The gardens looked splendid.IMG_9880Back inside I noticed that the Queen had visited recently. IMG_9882Being a bear I am sometimes able to go places where humans cannot.  I had a peak up this very old staircase, but at the top there was a piece of glass and I couldn’t go any further.IMG_9885They are well prepared for any fires that might break out.  These buckets were full of sand.IMG_9886On returning to the outside we came across more battlements and smaller cannons.  In the past these would have been used to defend the island.IMG_9890All the climbing and walking around made me very hungry.  I was very pleased to find a cafe.  The Sail Loft make very yummy celeriac soup.IMG_9894

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to St Michael’s Mount.  There is another one called Mont St Michel in France that I hope to visit one day.

Horace the Alresford Bear 3/4/17

PS:  I have now visited Le Mont St Michel https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2018/06/19/trip-to-le-mont-st-michel-france/

For more information about St. Michael’s Mount see:

https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/   

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/st-michaels-mount

 

Greenway – Agatha Christie’s holiday home

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. img_9350As we went into the house I noticed a huge painting on the wall of Agatha when she was a little girl cuddling a doll.img_9360Further on in the drawing room someone had abandoned a game of dominoes…img_9362No 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.img_9364In 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.  img_9368Upstairs 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.img_9372I am always very interested in toilets.  This mahogany seated one was inhabited by a little green frog, which was something of a surprise!img_9374The toilet roll had ‘government issue’ stamped on it, and it looked more like the paper Karen uses to line cake tins.img_9381I had a peep in Agatha’s dressing room…img_9382The view out of the window was beautiful, I could see the boats going up and down the River Dart.img_9383Behind 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.img_9385The 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.img_9387There is graffiti on the walls of the library painted by an American Lieutenant during the 2nd World War. img_9393In 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.img_9395After looking around the house I was a very hungry bear so had some lunch.  The baked potato was extremely yummy.img_9398I made sure that the door remained closed on the peach house to make sure that no naughty squirrels came in.img_9411I like terraccota flower pots!img_9400The cucumbers were all knobbly and didn’t look like the ones that Karen buys in the greengrocers shop.img_9404We went on to explore the fernery, which is an excellent place for bearsimg_9413img_9416I climbed up to have a closer look at the broken pot, but only as far as the sign that said ‘no further please’.img_9422There 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.img_9420I was delighted to come across a bear sized tractor.img_9426We 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.img_9431I 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.img_9439I had a look inside, though the humans told me that it wasn’t a wise thing to do!img_9436I realised then that it was an old cannon.  I felt safer at the other end.img_9442Just along a woodland path from The Battery we found The Boathouse.img_9443The Boathouse is a perfect place to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the view of the river.img_9447The 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.img_9449The house looked lovely in the sunshine as we walked back up the path…img_9450I stopped and had a rest for a while in one of the deckchairs…img_9464…after which it was time to leave.  We will be back 🙂img_9470

To find out more about Greenway go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Horace the Alresford Bear 17/10/2016