Beautiful Historic England.
Location, location, location.
Enjoy the tour...
Playing the flute takes me to many fun, exciting, interesting, historic places. It's always a joy to venture somewhere new, learn new history, discover incredible facts about a place, and enjoy the experience. In England I have been truly spoilt with history from places I have performed. The history has amazed me. I have chosen some places, which simply blew me away, to tell you about. Do enjoy learning about these fabulous places, and if you are ever in middle England, do go along and soak up these magnificent places yourself. It will be an unforgettable treat!
Kelmarsh Hall is located in the stunningly beautiful rural Northamptonshire countryside, around 11 miles from Northampton. Kelmarsh Hall is a Grade I listed building, built in the 1730's. Set in picturesque grounds.
I played there a few Christmas's ago, performing Christmas Carol's, at their Christmas Afternoon Tea's event. I played in The Great Hall, to a full room of guests enjoying the festive atmosphere, sipping on tea, and nibbling on yummy cakes.
When approaching Kelmarsh Hall from the long driveway is it a spectacular building. Inside the Christmas decorations took my breath away! The Great Hall was simply glowing with festive cheer. The pink walls of The Great Hall, looked beautiful. An interesting choice of shade, but the pink worked perfectly. The room was so welcoming, friendly, cosy. The perfect place to get you in the Christmas mood!
The history of Oakham Castle is seriously impressive! Built between 1180 to 1190. Oakham Castle can boast an 800 year history. Wow! It is not a huge Castle, it is more the size of a Church, but the size takes away none of its grandness or impressiveness! Oakham Castle is one of England's most impressive historic places. Everywhere you look it's wow, wow, wow!
Oakham Castle had been on my list of places I wanted to perform for a long time. So when the opportunity came along I jumped at the chance. It literally felt like an early Christmas present, that's how excited I was!
I went to Oakham in the summer, on a beautiful hot, sunny day. I was early, so I had a wonder around the town first. Oakham is so pretty, quaint, and well worth a visit. Oakham is located in England's smallest county of Rutland.
At the Castle I played in the Great Hall, which has over 230 horseshoes upon the walls. Truly unique. These horseshoes each have their own story behind them. Each horseshoe has been donated by the likes of Royalty, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts. The oldest horseshoe was given to the Castle by Edward IV in 1470.
There is so much to take in, be prepared to spend a good few hours there. Which is well worth it.
I played background music for two hours. The visitors especially loved my Oliver! Medley, it was a joy to see people singing and dancing along!
Stanford Hall is an incredible Stately Home, in the pretty rural Leicestershire countryside. With a hugely impressive assortment of antiques, art, and the gardens are incredible.
As I entered through the gates, I walked up a huge driveway to the Hall, passing many Canadian Geese on the way. At the end of the driveway is Stanford Hall, looking very impressive and welcoming. I couldn't help but giggle to myself when I thought what an inconvenience, and time consuming experience it would be each week when you had to put the wheelie bins out!
I played in the glorious ballroom, playing background music whilst visitors enjoyed guided tours of Stanford Hall. When the first group of visitors entered the ballroom, after the talk of the history of the room was complete, the group were lead to the back of the ballroom where I discovered there was secret door! I had no idea! The door camouflaged wonderfully with the deco! Hidden secrets like secret doors are magical to discover. I suppose it brings out the child in you!
Run by English Heritage, I was greeted on arrival into the grounds by peacocks, who happily live there. They were extremely friendly! With gorgeous feathers, and what a fabulous welcome!
Kirby Hall is an Elizabethan, 17th century house, in Northamptonshire, not too far away from Corby. It was once owned by Queen Elizabeth I's Lord Chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton. Rumour has it Queen Elizabeth I herself stayed there. If you love the history of English Royalty then this is very exciting information indeed.
Parts of the building are in ruin, with parts of the roof missing, due to having to sell lead to fund the upkeep of the house. The size of Kirby Hall is massive. There are rooms in Kirby Hall which are how they originally were, I performed in front of a huge bay window, over looking the breathtakingly beautiful grounds. To get there I entered through the Great Hall, with its very high, impressive ceiling, which I found rather spooky!
Stanford Hall has been used as a filming location, for numerous productions, which is no surprise, the place is picturesque and stunning.
Tours are available, where you venture throughout the place, with headphones on, giving you tonnes of Kirby Hall knowledge to soak up.
St Martin's House
Next door to historic Leicester Cathedral, where King Richard III is buried. Which also is well worth a visit! You will find St Martin's House. Originally built in 1877. A former grammar school, which is now often used to host events.
I played as part of an Art's and Craft festival. Where I played at the top of a very grand staircase. Such a treat!
St Martin's House has had a refurbishment mixing the old history of the building and the modern together. The result is magnificent. Truly unique. With a lovely feel about the place.
Check out the cafe and gift shop too.
England is full of hidden gems, it is well worth getting off the beaten path, and finding the not so well known places. Where the history is just as great, interesting, enjoyable. English history is long, and it's incredible that so many historic places still stand tall, and welcome visitors to soak up the knowledge which they boast. We are so lucky.
Yes its wonderful to go on the tourist trail, Buckingham Palace, Chatsworth House, St James's Palace, but remember whilst you are doing that you are missing out on the hidden gems, get out, explore England, and all the history it has to offer.