Wollaton Hall, Nottingham

The back of Wollaton Hall

The back of Wollaton Hall

A grand Elizabethan Renaissance house built on a levelled hilltop just outside Nottingham in the late 16th century by a man who wanted to display his wealth.  The top floor had the largest domestic windows in Britain when they were built, but the huge room is only accessible by tight spiral staircases, which leads to the conclusion that it was just for show, to be seen rather than used.

The Prospect Room at Wollaton Hall. The view to the north was once described as the finest rural view in England, but the arrival of the industrial revolution, and specifically two coal mines within a mile, changed that.

The Prospect Room at Wollaton Hall. The view to the north was once described as the finest rural view in England, but the arrival of the industrial revolution, and specifically two coal mines within a mile, changed that.

The building now houses Nottingham’s Natural History collection, which includes a giraffe.

Tall giraffe, short Jackie.

Tall giraffe, short Jackie.

In the grounds is what claims to be the oldest cast-iron greenhouse in Europe.  Its a pretty thing anyway, an comes complete with underfloor heating – though I cannot tell if it still works.

A glorious greenhouse of cast-iron and crystal. (sorry, I've just finished reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage, and its full of alliterative lines like that)

A glorious greenhouse of cast-iron and crystal. (sorry, I’ve just finished reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage, and its full of alliterative lines like that)

In the shop we bought a postcard titled ‘Wollaton Hall and Sun Dial’.  I imagine the photographer was commissioned to take the photo.  probably a manager or team inspected each frame and chose the image, after which it may have been improved by electronic means to make it the best possible shot.  Then it went to the printer who produced the several thousand cards, some of which were on display the day we called and bought one.  Throughout this process it appears that no-one noticed there is NO SUNDIAL in the picture.

Here is the sundial-free postcard image.

Here is the sundial-free postcard image.

Like everything build on the sandstone here they could not resist digging down into it, so we visited underground tunnels and rooms, some cut into stone, some later lined with brickwork.  The tunnel below would once have been lined with wine casks on the left, and beer barrels on the right.  Sadly neither was present on our visit.

This tunnel stretches beyond the footprint of the house and eventually reaches a well.

This tunnel stretches beyond the footprint of the house and eventually reaches a well.

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