Tuesday 18 June 2019

Well I had to ask didn't I!

If I'm visiting a National Trust property [or anywhere else for that matter] and I spot something I haven't seen before I always ask the room steward. These marvellous volunteers are the fount of all knowledge. Whilst at Lytes Cary in Somerset one such conversation led to the discovery of more witch marks that I'd have missed otherwise [no photos...think you've probably seen enough of those!] and learning about these.

This is a hunt table from 1800. Clearly not a thing to be celebrated these days, but when you came in cold from hunting birds or beasts you would open the curtains to let the heat through from the fire and through the mesh. This warmed the brandy decanters which are stood on a tray with castors. If you fancied a nip to get the blood going again you could then serve yourself.

These two ladies standing to attention in the fire place really foxed me. They are made of leather and are known as the "good companions". Had you organised a dinner for 14 and then heavens forbid one guest had dropped out you didn't want to be left with the unlucky 13. Judas Iscariot was the 13th at the Last Supper and we know things didn't go terribly well for him did they now! These ladies would be used to bump up the numbers. I'm sure nobody noticed! Their age is a bit of a mystery, but when one was x-rayed it was found that she has a tin can inside her keeping her head on these days. I suspect they are several hundred years old as their clothing implies.

The property has been added onto my favourites. It's got a real sense of the people who lived there and is not too grandiose.



  1. I like the china cats on the stool.

  2. How funny about the good companions!! They made me smile to think of sitting next to one at a meal!



 Bowlderise- verb meaning to omit or change parts of text [usually in literature] considered vulgar. Yes it's a new-to-me word alert and...