Thrumpton Hall, Nottinghamshire and History

With my current Master Class (basically a history of the Victorian Era class) we read the book, In My Father’s House by Miranda Seymour, which is called Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir of Life in My Father’s House in the US.  It was an amazingly surprising story of life in an English Manor house.

Then (because of a personal relationship with our teacher to the author, Miranda) we got a special “Insiders Tour” of Thrumpton Hall AND then got to have lunch with Miranda and her 87 year old mother (who is often mentioned in the book), the Hon. Rosemary Seymour (sister of a Lord!).

The previous owners of Thrumpton had been involved in the Babington Plot to get rid of Queen Elizabeth I in order to put  Mary Queen of Scots, who was Elizabeth’s cousin, back on the throne, because they wanted a Catholic monarch.  We had read about this in a previous book for class called Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, so the tie-in was perfect, and the stories juicy.
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Amongst the hidden gems to see in this massive 100 room home, were some of Lord Byron’s (he was a relative) small personal belongings, tapestry curtains that were stitched by Queen Alexandra of Russia (“and you know they all came to a dodgy end”), and a gorgeous carved wood staircase best seen in this link’s slideshow Thrumpton Accomodations

Lunch was served in the dining room at a table that seats 22, with the Honorable Rosemary Seymour sitting in “her spot” at the head of the table (Miranda asked us to save it for her, so as not to upset her… and she was a bit late to lunch… loved her!)  I was eating and chatting to another class member when he said to me, “By the way, did you hear her say that that painting behind us is a van Dyck?”  There were actually 2 van Dyck’s hanging in this house.. a mansion that became something of a money pit near the end of Miranda’s father’s life and badly needed updates and repair.

Today Thrumpton is thriving thanks to Miranda’s development of the House and grounds into a wedding venue.  She is also a fairly prolific author, and seems quite happy.

I got a chance to talk to her mother one-on-one, and if any of you read the book, read the quote below (otherwise it won’t make sense).

(I asked, and how did you feel about the book?

“Well, it wasn’t easy you know, him running off with those guys.  But I stuck with it because of the house.  I would have lost the house. I love it too, you know.  The house protected me”)

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