A beautiful family library full of historical treasure

 

I love this little library that was not in a big house, but in a middle-class farmhouse! Of course it now appears as a scene set in Treacle Moon!

This small family library contains some of the National Trust’s most valuable possessions.

The middle-class farmhouse lifestyle that is preserved at Townend in the Lake District, England, has meant that some extremely rare books have been preserved.

These books were not expensive when they bought, this family were well off but not rich. These are books that would have been purchased from travelling sellers who brought such luxuries as ribbons, lace and other treats to the door or market.

They were general reading almost pamphlets. Things like Romances. In the same style as those that published the story of Harriett Wilson, the courtesan who inspired the Marlow Family Secrets Series. In most households these books were lost long ago.

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In the pictures below is one of the books, ‘The Crafty Chamber-maids Garland,‘ and the full information about this and other books is available on the National Trust website link below.

It’s also lovely that the stewards told us the family obviously read the books as part of their daily life. The pages have food stains, grass stains and even paw prints on them. 

http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/3074726.8

 

 

 

 

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A weavers’ bowl – was filled with water and spread the light farther in poorer homes so people could work in the evening

A weavers’ bowl – was filled with water and spread the light farther in poorer homes so people could work in the evening…

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This is an unusual little fact that I learned while visiting a very old English Farmhouse.

Townend Farmhouse, in the Lake District, England, is owned and kept by the National Trust. It is a lovely and rare preservation of a moment in a middle-class way of life.

Because the family were not rich, but well off, there are remnants of a very different style of life than you normally see preserved. Below is a picture of a candle holder. There are places for beeswax candles but these would have been rarely used, due to the expense. So there are also holders for tallow candles that were made by dipping reeds into melted animal fat. These reeds could be “burned at both ends” so that people could work into the night. Here, though, there is another artefact that rarely survives the test of time – A weavers bowl. The glass bowl in front of the candles would have been filled with water. This would have acted in the same way that mirrors did in richer households, reflecting the light and spreading it further around the room.

Of course, I have now managed to find a scene in Treacle Moon for this lovely little fact! 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/townend

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