These Scots get everywhere ... !
Most people will have heard of the name Thomas Chippendale: the "Shakespeare of furniture makers". He published a catalogue of designs known as "The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director", and quickly made a name for himself as the greatest furniture designer of his generation. But did you know he had a business partner? James Rannie, of Leith, Edinburgh, was Chippendale's partner. Indeed the correct title of this franchise was "Chippendale and Rannie" (have a closer look at this image of an original bill received by the 5th Earl of Dumfries in the 1750s). So, perhaps, without the keen, financial guidance of a Scot the extraordinarily beautiful furniture collection at Dumfries House (or any house for that matter) might never had existed. What do you think?
"Get out of my dreams, get into my car ...!!"
Last Saturday - 10th September - a troop of classic cars stopped in at Dumfries House on their way from Moffat. A variety of classic, prestige and generally impressive automobiles were lined up outside the front of the house. Have a look at some here or go to our FaceBook page www.facebook.com/dumfrieshouse to see more. Have you got a favourite ...? If you're a member of a classic car club, or indeed an specialist interest group, why not hold an event here at Dumfries House? Get in touch for more information on group events.
Have you got any tales to tell about this House, the estate or the family who lived here?
During our first summer season open to the public in 2008, we here at Dumfries House got chatting to a lot of visitors who had very interesting links to either the Chrichton-Stuart family (The Marquesses of Bute), this house or the estate. People who had actually worked in the house as staff, estate workers and residents from Cumnock and other local villages. Not only was it intertesting but incredibly useful for filling in the gaps of what day-to-day life was like living at Dumfries House or on this extensive estate. Many people rememberd Lady Eileen, the Dowager Marchioness of Bute who resided here fromm 1956 till her death in 1993. One chap told as a great anecdote about removing a bees nest from inside the chimney of Lady Eileen's south-facing bedroom: quite a drama! All of these stories have been preserved in audio interviews and written transcripts (sometimes known as "Oral History"). Many of the people interviewed were also photographed and a fantastic exhibition of our interviewees was held this summer in the Baird Institue, Cumnock. It would be nice to add to these memories, so if you've got any funny, moving, unusual or informative tales to tell contact us and we can add them to our ever increasing folder.
Why not make your wedding an extra special day by celebrating it at Dumfries House?
Since Dumfries House was spectacularly and majestically featured on Britain’s Hidden Heritage on BBC 1 in August and on the front cover of The Radio Times, the House has had a wonderful uplift in visitor numbers.
The programme showed the extent of the recent restoration and renovations and displayed the House in its full glory opening it up to a nationwide audience for the first time in 250 years. The House and the surrounding 2000 acre estate are fast becoming established as an interesting and popular attraction to locals and visitors alike and additional tours have been added to cope with visitor demand and to captivate the interest of the younger historians in the family.
An open letter to Mr B Pitt and Miss A Jolie ....
Dear Mr Pitt and Miss Jolie,
What is it about Sundays that make them even longer when it's bucketing down?
It's been a busy old day here at DH, despite the rain. I think it's the same all round the country though, right? That'll be Hurricane Irene visiting from the US! We had some American visitors in today who had to check twice this is still officially summer-time! Anyway ... the Bistro nigts are going well - every Friday and Saturday night at the Coach House through September (check the website for details). Go on, get that table booked for some hearty, warming cuisine - perferct for curing the miserable weather blues! DH Blogger :0)