For the second part of my birthday travels I went to Virginia for a week to visit family. Normally when I”m there I take Felicity and/or Elizabeth with me and travel back to the Colonial time period in Williamsburg or Jamestown, but this time I took different dolls, Willow and Mary Grace, and we traveled back much further to the Renaissance Tudor period of Agecroft Hall located in Richmond VA.
Our van was jam packed with people, stuff, and dolls. I was crammed in the back seat and the dolls didn’t even get a seat at all! They were stuffed in the trunk being buffeted by the other bags and clanked at by the wheel chair.
Yet, when dolls are dressed in certain outfits, a part of that character presents itself in them. Willow was dressed as a queen and Mary Grace, a princess. When royalty ride in carriages they do not complain about the bumps in the road. The dolls were ever gracious until we arrived at the hall.
Agecroft Hall started out as a relatively large manor house in Lancashire, England. As the years went on, rooms were added and the house expanded to include a courtyard inside.
You can see the differences in the patterns of the wood. The front part of it was built first and in much leaner times. You can see the wealthy extravagance of the fanciful woodwork in the back when those rooms were added on.
Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures inside the hall. Mary Grace and Willow were especially disappointed because I had promised them a feast, and after all their trials and tribulations of getting to this place, they were very hungry!
And indeed, just as you see in this Google picture, the food looked very good. But even if they could, I”m not so sure Mary Grace and Willow would have wanted to eat there anyway. Children had to eat standing up. And event the adults sat on stools instead of chairs. Do you see the salt in the middle of the table? The salt separated the upper class and the lower class around the table. Eating utensils were not really used in this time period. Much of the eating was done with your hands. And do you see there are no drinking glasses around the table? You were only allowed one glass to drink, and you had to ask for it. And you could only ask for it once!
It was also probably a good thing Willow and Mary Grace were not allowed inside because rooms like the great Hall had straw on the floor. This was used for insulation, as were the tapestries that hung on the walls, but it was also used to soak up spills, and excrement from animals. They would put new straw down once every two months or so. Mary Grace and Willow would’ve gotten their lovely gowns soiled.
The stained glass window that you see never broke on it’s voyage from England to Virginia! When the estate needed to be divided among the heirs, the oldest received the hall, while a younger sibling inherited the windows!
One thing I know Willow and Mary Grace would love that would be found in this room. (and no, this is not a bedroom, even though you see a bed, it’s actually the parlor where they would entertain guests.) That would be a heated chair.
You see the little drawer under the bottom is where you would put hot coals to warm your bum! I could use one right now! It’s still very much winter here!
And it was very much winter when I visited Agecroft hall too! This view that you see is supposed to be the maze garden…..kinda hard to get lost in it. It’s even too small for the dolls!
It might have been too cold for the bees to hive but not for Mary Grace!
But even though it was winter, the gardens were still beautiful.
And there were some gorgeous walking paths with bright green bushes to admire.
Coming to the end of the path Mary Grace and Willow were astounded to see signs of spring!
Even beautiful green trees that were just their size!
I’m not sure about Willow and Mary Grace, but I hope to go back to Agecroft Hall for more. We only got the mini tour and never got to see the upper floor. Maybe this summer! We’ll see! I’ll keep you posted!
On the way back though, we stopped in some little shops and saw some delightful things.
An orchestra of wooden angels.
Carved wooden scenes that lit up.
And cuckoo clocks!
Keep watch! Not too much longer you’ll hear some more of the adventures of Katelynne and Camille!