House Blog | Christmas Decorations
This week we have been busy decorating the house for Christmas. Standing proud in the Great Hall is our 6m high Christmas tree which was grown on the estate, and hanging adjacent to the tree are two Christmas balls, wonderfully created by our gardeners Andrew and Sam.
The Great Hall Christmas tree is illuminated with warm white lights, draped with red, gold and silver tinsel and decorated with a beautiful variety of baubles and ornaments, acquired by many generations of the Brudenell family.
It takes our Gardeners at least two days to assemble the 6ft Christmas Balls which hang from chains in the Great Hall. They start with two large hanging baskets that are tied together to form a globe and filled with dry florist’s foam. The globe is then covered with aromatic bay; brightly coloured Cornus stems; dried Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ flowerheads; Mahonia ‘Charity’ flowerheads; Iris foetidissima seedpods, exposing bright orange seeds held within; and finished off with a sprig of mistletoe. You will be able to read more about the Christmas Balls in this weeks Garden Blog.
Mrs Brudenell has also been busy wrapping presents in the Chapel Parlour which is the perfect spot for keeping all the gifts for friends and family hidden away until Christmas eve.
History of Christmas Trees in England
In England the Christmas tree grew in popularity during the 1840’s after Prince Albert imported several spruce firs from Coburg to decorate Windsor Castle. Prince Albert is often credited with founding the Christmas tree tradition, however, it is said that the real credit should be given to ‘Good Queen Charlotte’, wife of George III, who erected the first English Tree at the Queens Lodge in 1800.
Queen Charlotte came to England from Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1761 and with her brought the legend of Martin Luther, dated 1536. Whilst wandering through a pine forest one evening, Martin Luther looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches which inspired him to bring a pine tree into his home and decorate it with wax candles.
Queen Charlotte’s Christmas Yew Tree took centre stage in the Drawing Room and was decorated with baubles, almonds, dried fruits, toys and wax candles. She would invite her ladies-in-waiting to help decorate the home, often gathering around them to sing and distribute gifts and sweets.