Articles tagged with: Lake House

Wilsford Manor and a Bright Young Thing

on Wednesday, 01 July 2015. Posted in Archives

Wilsford Manor was renovated by architect Detmar Blow in 1898 following a commission by Lord Glenconner and Lady Pamela Tennant. It was built of knapped flint and grey Tisbury stone in the local 17th century style with gables and mullioned windows modelled on the nearby Lake House, which was also renovated by Detmar Blow in 1897 (under advisement from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings).

Image of Lake House – inspiration for Wilsford Manor with its chequerwork pattern.

Wilsford Manor was left to Pamela, Stephen’s mother by Lord Glenconner, and all the children grew up there with their step-father Edward, Viscount Grey of Falloden. It became a retreat for the family and an escape from the London summer season for Pamela. The childhood of Stephen Tennant was recorded in ‘The Sayings of the Children’.

After the loss of her eldest son Edward (Bim) in the Battle of the Somme, Pamela turned to spiritualism. Along with neighbour, and developer of wireless technology, Sir Oliver Lodge, she developed séance techniques and held spiritualist gatherings at Wilsford.

After Bim’s death, the bond between Stephen and his mother grew, further developed by Stephen’s emerging talent for poetry and art. Aged just 13, Stephen published humorous drawings of ducks and swans, frogs and nets, owls and dragonflies in ‘The Bird’s Fancy Dress Ball’.

After his mother’s death in 1928, Wilsford was left to Stephen’s older brother David, who planned to sell it. A deal was arranged between David and Stephen’s trustees and for all intents and purposes, Wilsford became Stephen’s.

From the small... to the large

on Thursday, 21 November 2013.

I have just catalogued an additional collection of papers of the Duke family of Lake House which includes several unusual items.

Notably the smallest book in any of our collections; Small Rain upon Tender Herb; a book of quotations from the Psalms, inscribed Charlotte M Duke, 1838. Published by The Religious Tracts Society, before 1838, Ref: 4136/2/21.

It measures just 2.5 x 3 cm and leads me on to an item which stands at the other end of the spectrum, and which we lovingly call ‘Big Bertha’!

This register of the Wiltshire Constabulary dates from 1893 to 1926 and includes details of police officers; their date of entry into the force, a description of person, any details of misconduct, and numerous other details. It makes fascinating, if not awkward reading, especially if you come across details of an ancestor. Our shelving in the strongroom is coping admirably, but it is certainly being put to the test by the weight of this specimen!

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