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 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,