Tuesday, April 10

MELFORD HALL, Suffolk, UK



Sir William Cordell acquired Melford after the Dissolution of the Monasteries and entertained Queen Elizabeth 1 there in 1578, a stained glass window now marks her visit.
Since 1786 Melford Hall has been the home of the Hyde Parkers, a distinguished naval family who fought hard and died for their country. Naval art decorate the walls and spoils of battles fill the house. In 1942 fire struck Melford but recovery was quick and a repaired Melford was transferred to the National Trust in 1960.



In the guide book I purchased during my visit, Sir Richard Hyde Parker speaks of growing up at Melford, with memories dating back as far as 1942, watching the house burning as a child of five years. He speaks so warmly of Melford and one feels a true 'family' atmosphere within his words. I am sorry to say I did not feel this warmth at Melford on my visit, instead the house, despite it's treasures and memories, felt empty and cold. Doorways were roped off forbidding access to the very few rooms on show making it difficult to see anything among the crowds that had all piled in together as the large Tudor doors were opened at 1.30pm. Such a large house with such a wonderful history, I was disappointed to find that the Beatrix Potter room was so small but to be able to look upon many original watercolour works and notebooks in her hand more than supplemented the size of the room.



Beatrix Potter was a cousin of Ethel, Lady Hyde Parker, the Grandmother of the present Baronet. Lady Ulla Hyde Parker refers to her as 'Cousin Beattie' and remembers her drawing some of the Jeremy Fisher illustrations at Melford. Potter's work is so fine I would find it hard to believe she worked with any other size of brush than a 000, such amazing detail and character, perfection gained from a timeless study of nature.

I felt Melford needed more than it could offer, it watched as visitors filled it and still longed for a family to feed it's walls with love.

26 comments:

Robyn said...

What a wonderful souveneir of your travels. I would love to be able to do architectural sketches but perspective and proportions elude me completely.

gingermoggy said...

Oh these Melford Hall sketches are lovely and your Jemima is wonderful!

Lin said...

Anita -- these are AWESOME!! Love your delicate line work ---!!!!

Lynn said...

That's a great sketch of Melford Hall. I really like how you sort of hinted at it but left it unsketched at the edges. Lovely composition.

Bill said...

Nice work, both drawing and painting, on Melford Hall. Like the warm colors with the grays and the history lesson.

E-J said...

The Grecian couch is standout, for me, but all of your sketches are good. I admire your economical use of watercolour, which says so much with so little. Do you tend to work in pen first, or over pencil lines?

caseytoussaint said...

Your sketches are exquisite.

aPugsLife-laserone said...

Oh wow these are gorgeous!

Carole said...

What beautiful illustrated journal pages! Thanks for sharing these. They are very well done, and quite charming.

Arty Velarde said...

These are beautiful. thanks for sharing them!

Anita said...

Thankyou Robyn. I've always adored architechture, even as a child I appreciated the crafts that now seem lost in modern buildings....Such workmanship!

Anita said...

Thanx Ginger!

Anita said...

Thankyou Lin!

Anita said...

Thanx Lynn!

Anita said...

Thankyou Bill, glad you enjoyed the history aswell!

Anita said...

Thankyou E-J, those sofas were screaming to be sketched, soooo beautiful!
I tend to work in pencil first to get a rough of where I am going so if I need to move on I have something to work with later. I'm learning to take notes with my sketches too, National Trust premises do not allow photography so it's vital to jot down colours and such before leaving if I have to finish the colourings at home, very different from sitting on a river bank and having all day to fiddle, alot of the time you have to sketch standing as there is just one chair in each room intended for the steward...No easy task with an A4 sketchbook I can tell you!
Oddly enough,there is a sketch by Beatrix Potter in Melford of the sitting room that is unfinished and you can see her pencilled notes across the floor area that read 'dark yellow'.

Anita said...

Thankyou Casey!

Anita said...

Thankyou Pugs!

Anita said...

Thankyou Carole, I'm so glad you enjoyed them!

Anita said...

Thankyou for your kind comments Arty and for taking time to add them here.

Africantapestry said...

Your sketches are nothing but beautiful, Anita and your architectural studies are stunning...I love this one of Melford Hall.
Ronell

Anita said...

Thankyou so much for your lovely comments Ronell!

phthaloblu said...

I love your commentary as much as your artwork. A great historical lesson. :-)

Anita said...

Thanx Pthaloblu, glad you enjoyed your visit!

Anonymous said...

I was reading avidly to see how you told your blog following that we were in fact thrown out of Melford Hall!!!!!!! You can visit the Louvre and the Tate and sketch masterpieces worth millions, but not allowed to do so in this English home in the heart of Suffolk. .. but perseverence held out and you have come up with some stunning pieces as usual. Like the way you added Jemima Puddle Duck to your page... sneaky!!but Beatrice Potter's sketches were, afterall, the best part of the whole visit - apart from the 'stand' we made when sketching the chaiselong!!. . Joannie

Anita said...

LOL...Trust you to notice the 'sneaky' addition of Jemima PuddleDuck Joannie!
It wasn't until I got home I realised I hadn't included anything B.Potter in my journal and, as you recall, her works were the best part of Melford so I just had to include a little something to remember them by.