Thursday, 30 December 2010

Lady Blantyre


One of my Christmas rambles took me up to the St Ives Estate above Bingley, a mile or two up the Aire valley from Saltaire.  The estate and house once belonged to the Ferrand family, though the house is now a residential home for young adults with disabilities.  I passed a large stone dedicated to the memory of the mother-in-law of William Busfeild Ferrand. The dedication is typically Victorian in its sentimentality but nevertheless reads rather touchingly:

The Dowager Lady Blantyre for nearly 30 years was accustomed, in Summer to sit under this rock reading and enjoying the scenery.  In 1857 St Ives was altered and enlarged from plans entirely drawn by herself and her daughter the Honr'bl Mrs Ferrand. The Terrace and the flower garden were also designed by them. Her Ladyship ended her last visit on the 21st November 1874 and died resting on the Rock of Ages at Lennox Love in East Lothian on the 19th of the following November, in her 84th year with facalties uninpared, and most deeply lamented. Mr Ferrand her son in law mournfully dedicated this rustic monument to her beloved memory, and with confidence requested the future owners to preserve it as an affectionate Memento of the best of Mothers and the sweetest of women. 

In addition to the rock, there is now this wooden carving of Lady Blantyre reading her book.  Sadly, all these years later, the view she must have enjoyed looking over the valley is blocked by tall trees but it's still a peaceful spot.

14 comments:

  1. Jenny, I absolutely love how much we learn from each of your posts! I really enjoyed this one. Quite touching and Lady Blantyre's memory has certainly managed to hold firm through the passage of time, although the wooden carving is showing its age (albeit in a decidedly charming way!) Lovely picture!

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  2. When we lived in Cornwall, there was a residential home for young adults with disabilities, called Blantyre. A coincidence, no doubt?

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  3. Beautiful statue and history. Happy New Year in advance!

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  4. what a lovely little surprise she would be....
    this is great.

    blessings to you in the new year~
    chasity

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  5. I second Desiree's comments. I enjoy the diversity of CDP blogs. Some are very photo-focused, with a wonderful photo and not much text. Some are storytellers, with the photo as a pretext for the story. Some -- like yours -- do both. Best in 2011.

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  6. Oh, I love this story, and this tribute! I wonder what she would think if she could know that there's a statue of her , and that her memory remains?..I think I would like to go to this place if I was living there.

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  7. A beautiful statue. Lonely in the snow.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR ...!!!
    Costas

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  8. A very nice place to sit, I like this carving. Hope you have a good New Year, and thanks for stopping by.

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  9. This is so lovely. I really enjoyed reading the tribute too. ~Lili

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  10. That is an amazing memorial.

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  11. Charming memorial. Wish I had more time to read (and blog) these days...

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