Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Lammas and August Days and more about Ickworth House

Lammas, the 1st of August was one of the Celts 'cross quarter' days. The dates that fall between the solstices and equinoxes that were used to mark the agricultural year. Lammas or Loaf-Mass marks the wheat harvest. In early Christian  days a loaf of bread made from the new crop would be brought to church to be blessed.
It was an important day in the country, as land which had been harvested could be made available for village people to graze their animals. It was once a public holiday when fairs were held.
For the Anglo Saxons August was Weodmonath - The month of weeds - a prompt to keep hoeing.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne

Two pages of August illustration from The Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis (btw I still have no idea who sent me her other book The Coastal Year, )

 August 24th is Saint Bartholomew's Day, he was the patron saint of bee keepers and it was traditional for the honey to be taken from the bees on this day.
In London a St Bartholomew's Day fair was held to raise funds for St Bartholomew's hospital, the fair was first held in 1133 but was banned in 1855 because of offences against public dignity and morals!
The first "toffee apples" were traditional at this fair, they were windfall apples, skewered on sticks and dipped in honey.

St. Bartholomew's mantle wipe's dry all the tears St. Swithin can cry

That is a reference to the fact that the forty days from St Swithin's are up on St Bartholomew's.

Maybe we should be prepared because

If the first week of August is unusually warm
The winter will be white and long. 

Many Thanks for comments yesterday................

I will go back to Ickworth as we didn't look around the furnished rooms "above stairs" at all because in the first room we went into Jacob spotted a rope round the very old carpet and furniture and before we could grab him,  said "I can go under!" so he did and the NT volunteer lady watching over the room said  "You will have to get him out of there" so after daughter had grabbed him by the leg and hauled him out we beat a hasty retreat outside!

In Reply to Margaret and others................... I've been a  member of the NT a few times in the past and have visited many of the properties in Suffolk and Norfolk, Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District. But I hadn't been to Ickworth and haven't been to some places just over the border in Essex, so with those and the cost of Ickworth and a £15 NT voucher to use for Christmas presents I shall get my money's worth.
To Col. ..........We used to get many people coming to the campsite who had never visited Suffolk before and they were always surprised by the wide open skies, the quiet country roads and the number and variety of things to see. So if you do visit I hope you will enjoy your stay.
Mary.........Jacob liked the playground!
To Katie......I hope you get your country cottage so you can display your copper pans.
To Jackie at Winters End............It was the Hervey family who owned it for 500 years, some had money and then in the 20th century as Rachel said in comments the family had "problems" and handed it to the NT with a 99 year lease to live in the East Wing but then gave that to the NT too to avoid forfeiture because of the 7th Earls  behavior. The East wing is now a posh hotel and the west wing earns it's keep as a conference centre and wedding venue as well as being open to visitors.
To Aril...............I was pleasantly surprised to find I will be able to visit Ickworth again in the winter as last time we were members they seemed to have most houses shut through winter and then only open on odd days in spring

More about the family who owned Ickworth
The entry about them in Wikiwotsit explains the recent family history.................
The 6th Marquess of Bristol married three times. His son from his first marriage succeeded as 7th Marquess A flamboyant character, he died childless and virtually penniless after decades of drug abuse at the age of 44 in January 1999. The 6th Marquess's only child from his second marriage, Lord Nicholas Hervey, died by his own hand at the age of 36 in 1998. From his third marriage, the 6th Marquess had three children: Frederick Hervey, 8th Marquess of Bristol, Lady Victoria Hervey and Lady Isabella Hervey. While the present Lord Bristol is involved in business, his two sisters are reality TV actresses and socialites whose lives feature in the popular press.

How the other half live!!

Back Tomorrow


  1. I love your comments at the start of each new month, thank you. I had heard of St Bartholomew's Fair but knew nothing about it and that last quote is a goodie. We will find out, won't we?

    1. The book I got that last quote from..... "March Winds and April Showers" is by Ralph Whitlock and he says "I attach little credence to them"......meaning the quotes in his book about long term weather prophecies!

  2. Gosh, he didn't have much luck with his children did he? They don't sound particularly grounded, apart from the 8th Marquis. There must be a rogue gene there somewhere . . .

    Our August has started with rain (again, someone forgot to turn it off!) I've not heard that saying before (about the first week of August). Here we are having heavy showers and sunshine, a bit like April with the heating turned up!

  3. Just a follow-up, Sue, on Ickworth. I have a book which I'm ashamed to say that although I've had it for more than a quarter of a century, I've not yet read it. It is The Mitred Earl - An Eighteenth-Century Eccentric by Brian Fothergill and it's all about the Herveys.
    As with Joy, I enjoy seeing your beginning-of-the-month comments. I had heard of Lammas but if anyone asked me, I'd have no idea when it was (apart from the latter end of the year.) Not that far away we have a Lammas Lane (now part of the conurbation of our town, perhaps years ago it was a lane to a farm, as this was mainly a farming and fishing area, with little to no industry, Devon being such a 'rural' county.)
    Margaret P

    1. Perhaps Lammas lane was where a Lammas fair was once held

  4. Am I the only one who read the title as 'Llamas and August Days ...'? Thanks for another very interesting and informative post.

  5. John Hervey lost the last bit of Ickworth they had in his drug ridden life and got through £40M.

    1. Yes I found that online - a staggering amount of money to waste

  6. Just wanted to let you know I'm really enjoying "Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves". Thanks for recommending this - a brilliant book!

  7. Enjoyed the information on the historical August traditions. And happy to know Jacob liked the playground--as opposed to stately rooms :). So did my grandchildren.

    I remembered reading some of the family history when I was there. Just goes to show that wealth is a subjective thing, not necessarily tied to money.

    1. The latest Marquess is trying to build a business to get back the money lost but I'm not sure the NT will let them back in the house now

  8. Really look forward to the first of the month post. I have bookmarked Ickworth if we ever get down your way.

    1. I'm glad you enjoy it, I like looking through my books to find all the interesting info

  9. I get the weed thing. I seem to be pulling even more weeds from the garden than usual.

    Interesting facts about the family who owned Ickworth.

    God bless.

    1. The bit of rain we had has made the weeds go mad

  10. Fascinating history bits. Reading from USA, the names and titles are unfamiliar to me. I do enjoy visiting historic homes. My last post was on Seward House.

  11. I hope you have visited Lanhydrock...beautiful kitchens there x

  12. Only downsides here was that I’m not sure if they were expecting such a crowd as they did not have nearly enough servers and sometimes it would take a really long time for service guy to come. But at LA venue they tried to keep a smiles on their face.