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The garden of Astleham Manor Cottage at Chiltern Open Air Museum

Gertrude Jekyll and Astleham Garden: Inspiring Arts & Crafts Design

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“I hold that the best purpose of a garden is to give delight and to give refreshment of mind, to soothe, to refine, and to lift up the heart in a spirit of praise and thankfulness.” Gertrude Jekyll The formal garden of Astleham Manor Cottage was inspired by the designs of Gertrude Jekyll, who was

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Wassailing Through History: A Gift to Bring Good Harvests

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The Romans brought apples to the UK and they have been growing here ever since. You can see their importance in ancient traditions, like wassailing. What is wassailing? Wassailing is an Anglo-Saxon tradition. On January 5th, the Twelfth Night, people would gather to take part. The landowner greeted the guests with the toast waes hael,

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A Victorian Christmas

A Victorian Christmas: How Did They Celebrate the Festive Season?

Christmas in the Victorian era started to become a time for family celebrations rather than the large gatherings enjoyed during the Georgian era. The giving of gifts now took place later in the festive season, on Christmas Eve, rather than St Nicholas Day on Dec 6th. In 1871 Boxing Day became a national holiday (in

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Handmade decorations and gifts in the 1940s

Christmas in the 1940s: How Did Wartime Families Celebrate the Festive Season?

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How people celebrated Christmas in the 1940s. For the first few Christmases of the 1940s, families were divided by war. Even for those left at home, Christmas may have been spent in air raid shelters, rather than in their own homes. The Christmas break was cut short for those vital to the war effort, with

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