Sunday, 17 May 2015

Heritage & History in the Hamlet

Last weekend I found myself with a free day, I hadn't planned anything so decided to have a little look online for any local events or markets, whilst searching I came across the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet's 'Festival Forge In'. I set off collecting Charlotte on the way, and camera's in hand, feeling like true tourists we headed off for an adventure of the past.
We paid our entry fee and headed down into the courtyard and it literally was like stepping back in time; with the sound of blacksmiths hammering away and the smell of smoke really adding to the historic feeling.

You will have gathered by now that I love anything historic, and I am particularly fascinated by the lives of women and the parts they played in history, so I got very excited as we headed into the first building 'The Worker's Cottage'.

The cottage was a very basic two up two down layout with minimal furnishings and decor; a rag rug in front of the fire and a gorgeous quilt handmade by the 'Hamlet Haberdashers' were among the few soft furnishings. This typically would have been the place which many working class women would have spent the majority of their time. Wandering round the cottage you can see how basic tasks we now often take for granted, such as washing, cooking would have easily taken up the day. 

Our next stop was 'The Counting House', Charlotte and I were busy investigating the old books when we were disturbed by a tall gentleman in a top hat. He proceeded to ask if our husbands were looking for work and that they'd only jobs for women in 'The Blacking Shop'. It's great that the staff stay in character I can imagine children love it.

Feeling more feminist than ever we continued our journey of the past, amazed by the shear scale of the industrial cogs and machinery; we particularly enjoyed admiring the Water Wheel which was in action for the first time at an event. 

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main courtyard was my favourite building so far, 'The Manager's House' and I think you'll be able to see why...

Dream Pantry
Lovely little sewing machine.

A stark contrast to the basic worker's cottage, the with many more luxuries, Charlotte and I spent quite sometime admiring this house, the ladies dressing table particularly caught our eye. 

Lace in the process of being handmade.
It was great to see so many traditional crafts still being practiced today, there were wood carvers and black smiths, weavers and yarn spinners, even a sword maker had a display stand there. The Sheffield Lace makers were also there with their intricate craft on display, its amazing to see the detail up close, it really makes you appreciate how time consuming it must be. 

Well another great day out in Sheffield, I really enjoyed the museum and would recommend it to anyone, all ages and interests. 

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet


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