7 Sep 2016

Cannon Hall, nr Barnsley (1)

When our daughter comes to stay during the school holiday we like to visit at least one country house and garden.  First on the list of places planned for this Summer was Chatsworth Estate over in Derbyshire, but a return visit there hasn't happened.  It needs a full day to take advantage of all there is to see in the gardens and grounds of Chatsworth House and at the moment I couldn't manage that. We needed somewhere not too far away and didn't involve too much walking. Our other daughter suggested Cannon Hall near Barnsley and it certainly proved to be a good choice.

Once a private house, Barnsley Corporation bought the house and 70 acres of parkland in 1951 and it's a popular place providing a green space for leisure activities for people in the region. The house is a museum and used by local schoolchildren as an educational facility where they can learn about life in times past. The rooms have been furnished with a few personal items that belonged to the family who lived there as well as other period pieces.  There are collections of Moorcroft and De Morgan ceramics on display. Other exhibitions and events take place from time-to time. Volunteers look after the walled garden next to the house, there are other interesting areas in the grounds and beautiful parkland that can be enjoyed all for the price of the parking fee in the car park. There are two cafés within the grounds and another eating facility across the lane from the main car park where a food festival was taking place on the day we visited. The nearby village of Cawthorne would be another interesting place to visit when in the area.  Members of the family who lived in Cannon Hall, the Spencer-Stanhopes, were closely associated with the parish church of All Saints.  The interior was refurbished in 1875, paid for by Sir Walter Spencer-Stanhope and his artistic younger brother, Roddam, who was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite style of artistry.

We were there for only a few hours, but I still took quite a few photos!  Therefore, I shall do two or three blog posts and I hope that you'll be interested in what I share. 


The Deer Shelter was built in the 19th century to provide the deer that roamed in the park some shelter in bad weather. The supports are yew tree trunks.  If you look closely you can see mask-like stone faces on the exterior walls. 



I didn't take a photo of the full frontage of Cannon Hall as there was a commercial display of cars lined up and a bit of a slope away from the terrace as the house is situated on high ground. Below is a structure which was designed to look like a temple and called the Pinery and was once a greenhouse where pineapples and other exotic fruits were grown. Behind that is the Walled Garden and to the left of the photo is the house.


Plenty of benches meant it was a good place to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the view of the parkland.



More benches by the main house gave us a chance to take a rest before taking a look inside the house.



The daughter of a local maker of couture clothing, Amy Carr (1919-1993), has donated some of her late mother's vintage dresses and they form an interesting display in the different rooms that look out onto the parkland.

Cannon Hall was almost empty when the Spencer-Stanhopes sold it to Barnsley Council.  Some items were acquired from the last member of the family who lived there, Elizabeth Fraser Spencer-Stanhope, known locally as Miss Betty, who had moved to Cawthorne Village.  Over the years the house has been furnished with collections of period pieces that reflect what might have been there in former times.


The Dining Room





The Drawing Room (below)



The Library





The Ballroom was built in 1891 and the oak panelling is in the style of a 17th century Jacobean Hall. The panels, floor boards and the wooden railings in the Minstrel's Gallery were made on the estate and the first time the room was used was a ball to celebrate the marriage of Sir Walter Spencer-Stanhope's son to Ida Mary Pilkington of Chevet Hall, Wakefield.  Sir Walter's daughter, Cecily, is thought to have designed the room. The fireplace mantelpiece was made in Florence and the plasterwork is also original.




The 17th century tapestry depicts a scene from Greek mythology and was presented to Cannon Hall by the National Art Collections Fund.




More beautiful wooden panelling, antique furniture and other period items can be seen
 throughout the house.  


(Below) A bust of the Emperor Domition (1st century A.D.)
which would have been brought back as a souvenir from one
of the earlier Spencer-Stanhope's Grand Tours


Next time we'll tour the servants' quarters, take a look at some of the ceramics on display and then take a walk in the Walled Garden and the former pleasure gardens called 'Fairyland'.

Until then wishing you a good day,
Linda :)

24 comments:

  1. It's such a lovely place for a day out, plenty to see and do there. There's the farm next door too, though we've never ventured there but it looks like a good day out for children, and there's the garden centre across the road, though I must admit that I found that a bit pricey.

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    1. The visit was very enjoyable. The car parking charge was reasonably priced and I was amazed that entrance into the house and parkland was free when there was so much of interest to see and do. We didn't go over to the garden centre as our time was taken up looking around Cannon Hall.

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  2. I was really interested to see this post Linda as I have never even heard of Cannon Hall before - love the thoughtfully built shelter for the roaming park deer to give them cover during inclement weather.

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    1. The deer shelter was an interesting structure. One could just imagine the deer roaming in the parkland and using it.

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  3. What a lovely place to visit, personally I'm not one for going around grand houses but I found the baboon interesting and I do love the way they had period dress in the rooms to show you what may have been worn by residents past. I think I would have spent more fo my time outside enjoying the grounds and gardens.

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    1. You would enjoy the Walled Garden, Tanya. I had a long chat with one of the volunteer gardeners who is also a Friend of Cannon Hall. From the conversation it was obvious to me that Cannon Hall and grounds are appreciated by the people of Barnsley and visitors who travel to spend a day there.

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  4. Great post, Linda! The perfect balance of photos and information, which this "armchair traveler" appreciates and enjoys very much. So glad that you're able to get out a bit for enjoyment's sake. Your yard/garden in your previous post is lovely! Blessings, Bess

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    1. Thank you Bess. Bless you too and I'm glad you enjoyed this blog post about Cannon Hall. There's more to share when I get the opportunity to write up another blog post.

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  5. What a marvelous place... You all certainly chose the perfect one for that outing... The house reminded me of the house they used in Downton Abbey. Did you ever see that series on PBS? Hubby and I are watching it now --and absolutely LOVE that show.... Not sure the name of the 'real' house they used --but you may know. Have you been there?

    How are you feeling? My love and prayers are with you.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. The grand house you are thinking of is Highclere Castle which is located in my home county of Berkshire. I know it well. I first visited it when doing a course on architecture as it was open to the public long before it became famous as a location for the television drama, Downton Abbey. My cousin's daughter was married there as it's also a wedding venue. Cannon Hall is much smaller in scale and is a museum not a house where a family lives. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the visit because it felt 'homely'and lived in because of the way the rooms had been dressed exactly as it would have been in the Georgian period and the Victorian period in the kitchens and servants' quarters.
      Thank you for your prayers and loving concern. I'm getting on well, but feel tired by the afternoon and have to rest. My radiotherapy sessions start on the 26th of this month so I'm feeling positive that I'm moving forward with the treatment.

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  6. The tapestry is so interesting to me. All your photos are great. Blessings...

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    1. The tapestry is beautiful and depicts a scene from the Greek myth, The Judgement of Paris. It's called the Mortlake Tapestry because it originally came from a place called Mortlake in the county of Surrey where Flemish-style tapestries were being made in the 17th century.(Notes taken from the guidebook). Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment. Bless you too.

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  7. How wonderful Cannon Hall looks. When you described the car park and cafe opposite I remembered we'd pulled in there once for a break on a journey but for some reason we couldn't find parking on the eatery side and didn't have time to visit the hall and gardens as we were on our way home. I think after seeing your photos a return visit is needed. There looks to be so much of interest to see:)

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    1. Hello Rosie. The parking of a car can be confusing as there are two - one for Cannon Hall and one for what Jo says is a garden centre with eating facilities. My husband drove straight into the big Cannon Hall car park and paid the fee. It's probably run by Barnsley Council although I didn't look at the machine. There's a small café near this car park and then you walk up to the Hall. There's another café near to the house. It's a lovely drive down leafy lanes to get there and I expect Cawthorne village is also interesting.

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  8. just the house would be enough to visit. I love all the photos that show the insides and the dresses and furniture and that fireplace... my favorite thing you showed us today is that deer shelter. what a fantastic idea and it is gorgeous. I love those yew trees as post. with benches to rest and cafes to eat, a perfect day out.

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    1. It was a pleasant drive out to visit Cannon Hall. I'm glad our daughter suggested going there. Of course the good weather made our walk up to the house and a look around the gardens all the more enjoyable.

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  9. Marvelous photos of this beautiful old home Linda. I loved the old tapestry and I also enjoyed the grounds and especially the deer shelter. Thank you for sharing this interesting home :)

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    1. Thank you Denise. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the first part of our tour of Cannon Hall and Gardens.

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  10. What a lovely place to visit!! It is nice to go to different places isn't it, and this one looks well worth a visit. Glad you enjoyed it. xx

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    1. Our daughter has moved so we are beginning to find interesting new places to visit in her area or that can be reached easily via the M1 motorway going northwards. We had a good few hours at Cannon Hall.

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  11. So lovely to see you looking so well and being able to visit such a historical building. Gosh, what a rich, fascinating place, I often wonder what it must be like to live in such a huge house, having servants doing all the chores obviously made it all possible. Looking forward to hearing about the servants quarters, loved the wire baboon too.xxx

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    1. The baboon is amusing. There's something for everyone to enjoy at Cannon Hall. I must say I like reading about and seeing life 'downstairs' in a Big House and find the servants' quarters fascinating. Hope to share soon!

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  12. What a magnificent place - inside and out. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live that life. To think, they likely just took it all for granted for so long.

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  13. I expect it was difficult for the last members of the family to maintain the lifestyle they had been used to or afford the upkeep of the house and estate. Thankfully Cannon House and parkland survived and can now be enjoyed in a different way by the general public.

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