An Insider’s Tour of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton

One of the many highlights of my Attingham Summer School experience was the rooftop tour of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.  Rooftop is a bit misleading, however, as we not only went up to the roof, we went inside the roof. Coming from the US, I am always amazed at things I can do in…

Kedleston Hall – A Robert Adam Architectural Masterpiece

Robert Adam (1728-92) is my favorite architect.  To be fair, my admiration for Adam is a recent development as I had never heard of him before I took up residence in the Chancognie House.  The Buildings of Charleston described the house as having “Adamesque” detailing, so after reading that, I started to study Adam’s work…

Raby Castle – A Medieval Gem in Northeast England

Raby Castle has weathered tumultuous times during a history that spans more than 600 years, and this is reflected in the building itself.  Built by the powerful Nevill family in the 14th century, most of the exterior dates to this period.  After a series of changes in ownership due to political turmoil, the Castle was…

A Memorable Evening at Winkburn Hall with the Attingham Summer School

People often ask me when work at the Chancognie House will be finished.  (For the record, my parents stopped asking this question years ago.)  I answer that question with a smile and say, “Probably never.” There is work involved with owning any home, no matter the age.  Historic homes are a special undertaking, especially if…

Bolsover Castle – A Most Intriguing Site

During the Attingham Summer School, I was fortunate to visit Bolsover Castle which is a fascinating site.  It features Terrace Range, the ruins of a grand house, Little Castle, a miniature version of a grand house and the oldest riding school in England to survive intact. Located in Derbyshire, Bolsover has a long and illustrious…

The Attingham Trust Summer School and a Visit to Boughton House

I recently had the privilege and pleasure of attending the Attingham Trust Summer School, an intensive study course of the British country house.  The Summer School started in 1952 as a way to educate American curators about the complexities of British country houses since many of them had country house materials in their museums.  It…

An Unexpected Underground Discovery

Before Martha Zierden and the team from the Charleston Museum started the archaeological dig here, a previous owner told me that privy diggers had been on the property.  The owner from whom she purchased the property in the late 1970s told her that the privy had been “dug” at some point.  I later met the…

Digging Deeper – Hoyt’s Nickel Cologne

This is the first post in an occasional series where will I dig deeper into the history of an artifact found here at the Chancognie House.  I will start with the Hoyt’s Nickel Cologne bottle pictured above. Eli Waite Hoyt was born in Alexandria, NY in 1838 and moved with his parents to Lowell, MA…

Collecting at the Chancognie House

This fall I had the pleasure of attending the Delaware Antiques Show hosted by the Winterthur Museum.  As I visited different booths I was often asked, “What do you collect?”  This is an excellent question as my collecting mission at the Chancognie House is a bit unusual.  I do not focus on collecting one particular…