IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in the village of Dunham Massey, Cheshire in the UK. This estate, was bequeathed to The National Trust in 1976 on the death of Roger Grey, the 10th Earl of Stamford, whose family (the Booths and the Greys) had owned the estate for hundred's of years prior.
My parents have lived in Dunham virtually their whole married lives. My Mum still does, in the cottage first rented directly from Lord Stamford in 1964, and now rented from the National Trust. I promise to do another post in the future to cover more about my growing up in Dunham. This post however, highlights the fantastic National Trust exhibit going on this year at Dunham Massey Hall.
DUNHAM MASSEY IS THE STAMFORD MILITARY HOSPITAL
Over the years, there have been many changes and improvements made by The National Trust and Dunham is an extremely popular place to visit, with just cause.
It has been a few years since I actually toured the house, so as I was back visiting my Mum this past March, I wanted to go and check out the new exhibit.
One of the major changes at Dunham this year is the spectacular new visitor centre, gift shop and cafe, newly opened near to the car park.
Having obtained my ticket for the Hall & Gardens, I walked towards the Hall passing by the duck pond and along the back of the stables and through the arch underneath the clock tower.
Walking on, through the archway under the stable clock tower, you approach the house. In front of the house, is the sundial that has stood in place since before 1750, depicting a Moor (representing Africa, one of four continents known at the time).
Roger Grey, the 10th Earl of Stamford, inherited the Dunham estate upon the death of his father when he was just 13 years old. His mother, Lady Stamford, ran the estate in trust, until he came of age in 1917. The Countess was on the committee of the local branch of The Red Cross, she offered Dunham as an Auxiliary Hospital in early 1917 and this was accepted. Lady Jane, sister to Roger, who was 15 years old when war broke out, left school in 1917 to help nurse the soldiers at Dunham. Another major contributor to the Stamford Auxiliary Hospital was Sister Catherine Bennet, who worked tirelessly for the hospital and it's patients.
Other rooms would have been used as a recreation room for the recovering soldiers, a sitting room for the nurses, and a surgery. The exhibit also includes "live actors", who pop up during the tour to make the era come to life even more.
As well as the exhibit re-creating Stamford Hospital, you see much more of this wonderful house when you take the tour. Basically designed in a rectangle shape, with an open courtyard in the middle, the house has huge long corridors with many rooms. The Great Room at the back of the house, which was turned into the ward, overlooks the wonderful "formal" part of the garden and the Duck Pond. Currently, there is a modern exhibit of white blocks each with a number, representing the 282 soldiers treated at Dunham in the middle of the formal garden.
I leave you with a slide show of pictures taken on my visit to Dunham Hall and the Gardens. (March 2013)
Dunham Massey History, Wikipedia click here
Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford, Wikipedia click here
The Booth & Grey Families (History, plus some great photos of Dunham) click here
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