27 July 2012

Beatrix Potter's birthday 28th July

Just in time to celebrate Beatrix's birthday, the sun has started to shine at Hill Top! At last, no rain for a whole day - so far anyway.

Beatrix loved waterlilies, and each year on her birthday, she would go to pick one white and one pink waterlily to display in her kitchen. We keep the tradition going for her and so this evening after work, one of the team is going to collect some of these lovely flowers and they'll be displayed in Hill Top kitchen for the weekend in honour of Beatrix's birthday.

In 1882, Beatrix was able to celebrate her birthday at Wray Castle.
Beatrix and family at Wray Castle in 1882 - can't promise that it was taken on her birthday though.
(copyright NT Images)
The following year she was at Woodsfield (near her grandmas at Camfield place) for her birthday. She wrote in her journal that she was “sweet seventeen” and listed all the birds she had seen that day – interesting that her priority was to list the birds and not any presents!

In 1884, she was with her father when he was photographing Gladstone at “Mr Millais” – this is the portrait that we have on the landing at Hill Top.
She records her birthday in 1895 as being at 'Holehird, Windermere in very wet weather'. I'm hoping that we don't get a repeat performance and that the sun holds for us!

Much later, in 1896, Beatrix celebrated her birthday at “Lakefield” in Near Sawrey and wrote that it was “A perfect hot day, cloudless...I am 30 this day...and am feeling much younger than I did at 20...Edith’s little Molly to tea...Walked home part way pushing that mail cart with Anne. Very pleasant evening light and the village people up and down the road in the little flowery gardens”

And now for a rare treat to celebrate Beatrix's birthday - Castle Cottage Garden Tour
Castle Cottage was the marital home of William and Beatrix Heelis (Potter).It is now tenanted but on the 28th July this year you can celebrate Beatrix’s birthday with a rare opportunity to visit Beatrix’s private garden. Admission is by guided tour only, led by a local Blue Badge tour leader who will share more stories about Beatrix Potter. The local ladies group from Sawrey Church will be offering tea and cakes too.
Tours are at 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 4.30pm.
Assistance dogs only,
Adults £5 (incl NT members), children free.
Booking Essential on 015394 36802
Meet in Hill Top car park. (limited parking)

Castle Cottage garden is only open to visitors on 6 days a year - so hope to see you there on the 28th July!
Castle Cottage, William and Beatrix's private home, with its large and lovely garden.

post by Jo, Visitor Experience Manager