A few weeks ago, a friend and I ventured out to Wimpole Hall for my first English Christmas Craft Fair. I’ve heard fairs in some towns are larger, but I did enjoy this small event. I had wondered if the fair would be cancelled when it was foggy and wet that morning, but we swiftly discovered everything would continue as planned–They had brought in a tent to keep us and everything nice and dry.
The fair itself had a pretty good variety of merchandise and food products. Knitting, crafts, jewellery, bath products, homemade lace, cheese, and wines were a few of the stalls I can remember off of the top of my head.
The beautiful handmade lace was made by a gentleman on a Victorian style machine (You can see samples hanging behind him in the photo below). He also used a knitting machine from the same era to make some lovely delicate scarves.
The National trust also had stalls outside where they were making various crafty items using older methods of wood-working. We’d seen one of the methods before at Wicken Fen, but it was interesting seeing it used in new applications.
Unfortunately, the house was closed for the winter, so I cannot post much from the inside. There was a basement tour we opted to take since it was offered, which was something different.
We were warned upon entering that we could be snagged on walls and the floors were uneven due to the house not being in a ‘finished’ condition below the stairs. The basement is only available for a guided tour for £4 per person and not a part of the house open for the general public.
We began the tour in the lamp room, which isn’t a common room in most homes. They were usually somewhere on the grounds and not in the house due to the potential for fire as this was where the lamps were filled with oil.
The housekeeper at Wimpole had a lovely room with lots of storage, including the storeroom pictured above. Our guide was wonderful as he explained the ins and outs of the lives of servants from the housekeeper to the butler to the steward.
I cannot wait to return to see the upstairs of the house! We caught a glimpse or two up the stairs and it looked amazing!