Monday, 16 December 2013

Jane Austen Festival - Part 3

On the Sunday I went to a fabulous evening soiree. It was held in Beckford's Tower - an amazing folly in the outskirts of Bath, that was built in 1827 for William Beckford (who also commissioned Fonthill Abbey)

(image from
When I arrived at the tower it was dark so I couldn't take any photos, so I borrowed this lovely photo of the tower in the snow (of course since it was September at the time it wasn't actually snowing, but thought I would be slightly festive, it being December! :) )

The party was organised by the wonderful Helena. It included delicious regency food, great entertainment and even a footman!

The evening began with a candlelit tour of the tower - where we climbed right to the top, and saw an amazing view over Bath. 

(taken by the lovely Claire Violet Hanley)
Aurora and I at the top of the tower

(Taken by the lovely Claire Violet Hanley)
Me and a rather ghostly image of Jeanette

(image from
Looking down the stairs from the top of the tower. (Not taken by me as my camera is pretty rubbish in limited light.)

After the tour, we returned to the Drawing Room where we ate and chatted.

The food.

Then Jeanette, Lyze and Aurora performed a harp recital. 

And then the games began...

(Taken by the lovely Jeanette Klok-Heller)
A game of blindmans buff. It was hilarious, we were all in fits of laughter! You can just see me popping my head out from behind one side of the curtains and Lyze popping her head out the other side! :)
We had a wonderful time playing many other games, one being Pin the Tail on the Footman! The footman had a cushion tied to his chest and a picture of a napoleonic soldier on horseback, pinned to it. You had to try and pin the horse's tail on the horse without pinning the footman in the process!! Rather a tricky process. And it was made all the more difficult, and entertaining, by the fact that the footman kept moving around!! :)

On the Tuesday I went on the day trip to Stoneleigh Abbey - home of Jane Austen's relatives the Leighs. Sadly no photos were allowed inside the house, but here are a few of the outside.

Eliane. I love her camera basket - a very clever way to conceal a camera when aiming to look historically accurate.

Me hiding from the rain!!

The gatehouse

It was fascinating how the house, and Austen's stay there, inspired so many of the characters and scenes in her novels. It is definitely worth a visit.

After Stoneleigh we returned to Bath via Leamington Spa. I had never been to Leamington before, but sadly we weren't able to tour the town as the weather was being typically British and chucking it down with rain. We sought refuge in the local muesum, which contained much information about the town's history, and various items from its past.

A regency overshoe

Fabulous 30s Railway poster advertising the town

A Victorian shower

I can't remember what this is, but it looks rather like an inkwell.

I think this is a workbox.

Another fabulous poster

lace making

Amazing and adorable child's bonnet

After the museum, we sneaked into the pump rooms and took a few photos. 

Sadly the room was set up for a conference, so as you can see the picture is rather ruined by patches of ugly modernness.

The wonderful glass on the inner front doors.

We got lost on the way back to Bath, but luckily I made it back just in time to attend a lovely card party. More on that in the next post.

1 comment:

  1. This all sounds and looks like an amazing time...and I'm insanely jealous!! :0) Glad you had fun...and I LOVE her camera basket, so very clever!