Visiting Burton Agnes Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire

Second day in our tiny Beverley apartment.  Armed with our bus passes we catch an hourly service towards Bridlington, getting off in the almost non-existent village of Burton Agnes where the village pub has expanded into fine dining and accommodation to make it pay.  And next May it is hosting a live gig.

Now they're in their seventies perhaps a village pub gig appeals to them.

Now they’re in their seventies perhaps a village pub gig appeals to them.

Burton Agnes Hall was a 12th or 13th century vaulted ground floor and defensive upper floored hall until the owners decided to build a modern one in the grounds, during the 16th century.  Both buildings still exist, side by side, and have been held by the same extended family since first built.  Whilst the building is beautiful I admit I was beguiled by the yew bushes.

 The habit of the upper classes of passing property down the generations is one we peasants could learn from, instead of forever flitting after the dollar.  Its got to be more environmentally sustainable.

The habit of the upper classes of passing property down the generations is one we peasants could learn from, instead of forever flitting after the dollar. Its got to be more environmentally sustainable.

In the entrance hall (it’s a hall Jim, but not as we know it – its area must equal the footprint of our entire ground floor) there is a huge fireplace with carved alabaster overmantel (taken from another stately home when it was being demolished) showing the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.

Perhaps we can re-name it, ' Work and Play makes for a balanced life'.

Perhaps we can re-name it, ‘ Work and Play makes for a balanced life’.

Wise to the left, foolish to the right (as in politics).  Of course virgins come in at least two genders, but these are all apparently female, so we might be looking at control rather than anything intrinsically wise or foolish.  A closer look at the perhaps post-death images at the top suggest that  the wise ones not only keep their figures and enter heaven, but also get their bottoms patted by the angel Gabriel.

Wise virgins entering heaven, but why is the trumpeting angel using a broken instrument?

Wise virgins entering heaven.

In the red sitting room there is another fireplace with carved overmantel (in wood this time, and of a more domestic size) showing ‘The Dance of Death’.  Death is a winged skeleton holding a scythe around which a snake twines.  On the left are those destined for heaven – they appear to be poor, crippled and meek, except for the guy reading the book, who, knowing its all tosh, ignores the whole scene.

Hope you can make this out OK, I could not get near enough for a better shot.

Hope you can make this out OK, I could not get near enough for a better shot – click and it will get bigger.

The clothed woman on the right seems to represent vanity as she gazes into a mirror – but who is the naked woman beside her, with the obligatory bit of gauze.  It does seem that women are having a harder time.  There are lots more carved panels on one sort or another throughout the hall, but this is my last, a couple overlooking the grand hall.  he might be wondering how come she gets the piece of gauze.

Or perhaps hes thinking, 'I can do as I like but the wife had best cover up'.

Or perhaps he’s thinking, ‘I can do as I like but the wife had best cover up’.  But why push her away with his shield?

It was a very windy day and we only spent time in the walled garden, but the front and side gardens looked great from first floor windows.

The lake in the east garden, and more topiaried yews

The lake in the east garden, and more topiaried yews

Half of the front garden, the gatehouse and a couple of lead statues

Half of the front garden, the gatehouse and a couple of lead statues

On the way out I noticed a bronze bust by Jacob Epstein, not as finely worked and pleasing as the one in Hull art gallery, seen a year of two ago.

Bust by Jacob Epstein, sorry but I failed to note the title.

Bust by Jacob Epstein, sorry but I failed to note the title.

Back in Beverley had dinner at the Tiger, with a slightly disappointing pint of Robinson’s Dizzy Blonde, described as a zesty golden ale with Amarillo hops, but it fell beside the Rooster’s Yankee that I switched to.

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