The name given to the tight trousers worn by some Regency gentlemen, such as the notorious Beau Brummell and his ‘dandy’ followers, as they showed off their leg muscles.
Thank you for helping us achieve 25 wonderful years
A note of thanks on our 25th birthday to all of you who have supported us.
On the 24th May 1997, actor Robert Hardy descended the steps of an 1860s horse-drawn carriage, to cut the ribbon across our gates, declaring us open for all, after three years of work to restore this Grade 2* building and its contents to its former 1860s glory.
Since then, we have seen thousands of visitors, won numerous national awards, hosted hundreds of interactive school trips, held community exhibitions, and hosted crazy events (our personal favourite was a pirate weekend, as we got to dress up and say ’Argh’ a lot!).
Our ’hands-on’ policy has allowed us the freedom to experiment in Victorian living and share experiences with visitors. If you visit, you are perfectly welcome, for example, to pump water in the kitchen and see just how tiring it is to carry it up the 41 stairs to the bathroom!
We’ve learnt which plants don’t last well in period lighting fumes, how hard it is to fold napkins into fancy shapes, that it can take up to an hour to iron the best table cloth to make it fit for the judge’s table. We know how to get a 16 foot Christmas tree in through a window, set jelly without gelatine, trim lamp wicks to allow lights to burn effectively, and how to clean carpets using tealeaves. Oh yes, the staff here have no end of (admittedly, rather non-transferable) skills!
What a ride it has been and we thank you for your support over the years. We really couldn’t do what we do and keep our wonderful building alive without you encouraging us, sending visitors our way and of course, dropping by yourselves. I, myself, have been with the building since its restoration, so I truly know how important you’ve all been on our journey so far. Every day it is open is another reason for me to smile. Here’s to the next 25 and onwards!
Gabrielle Rivers, Manager 24th May 2022