Friday, 15 August 2014

Mr Selfridge Day in Dorset

Back in early summer I spent a day exploring a small part of the Dorset coast line. I have only ever been in this location for work related visits, and although this had 'work' influences it was lovely to spend some time in this picturesque part of the world.
I picked up a train from Waterloo and travelled down to the quaint little village of Hinton Admiral, where I then walked through the village to Highcliff Castle.
 Highcliff Castle between 1916 and the late 1920's was the weekend home of Mr Selfridge and his family. He moved Rose and his mother to this location to escape the dangers of wartime London during WW1. It was thought to be a fear of Zeppelin raids that drove Mr Selfridge to move out of London during the First World War and rent Highcliffe Castle for £5,000 a year fully furnished.
His eldest daughters, Rosalie and Voilette, became Red Cross volunteers and worked at Christchurch Hospital.
Mr Selfridge’s wife, also called Rosalie, was heavily involved in war work, and especially the care of wounded American soldiers. Many of them were treated at the home she established in Christchurch, the Mrs Gordon Selfridge Convalescent Soldiers’ Camp near Christchurch. She was a much loved member of the community.
HG was responsible for the implementation of electricity within the castle and the buildings and renovations of the kitchens. The Castle has had its run of bad luck in recent years and is now under a huge restoration project to build back after a fire which desecrated the buildings in the 50's and 60's. During the summer the castle has hosted a small Mr Selfridge exhibition sharing the history of the castle and the famous department store owner. With books, personal belongings and fabulous photographs its an interesting little exhibit.
As the name suggests the Castle is perched on a cliff overlooking the English Channel, with its Jurassic coastline its winding stairwells and footpaths were perfect for a leisurely stroll. Due to it being pre-school holidays and a weekday, I had the beach to myself other than a couple of dog walkers and joggers. The views either way are stunning, either back at the castle peeking through the forestry or the coastline.
I spent a couple of hours just relaxing on the beach, reading, and cloud watching as the skies turned from blue to grey to black and then blue which was great for an amateur photographer playing with her camera!
Walking back up to the castle I stopped in the garden eatery for some lunch. I opted for Dorset Crab bisque & fresh bread, followed by Tea and Cream Scone. All delicious, made even more delightful by the surroundings and views.
Finishing lunch I headed across the road from the castle into the small churchyard of St Mark's. Here nestling amongst the headstones lies My Selfridge, his mum and his wife. From the lavish crypt of his mothers, to the grand headstone of his wife, Harry's is a simple stone; epitomising how his fortunes declined over the years.
Leaving Highcliff behind I jumped on a bus for the short journey into Christchurch, where I finished my day enjoying the harbour, and beautiful rose garden and a fish & chip supper before catching the train home to London...

 
 


 


1 comment:

mrsmsmeanderings said...

Ah, my neck of the woods! (Where I come from, not where I live now.). Looks like a lovely day out x

Friday, 15 August 2014

Mr Selfridge Day in Dorset

Back in early summer I spent a day exploring a small part of the Dorset coast line. I have only ever been in this location for work related visits, and although this had 'work' influences it was lovely to spend some time in this picturesque part of the world.
I picked up a train from Waterloo and travelled down to the quaint little village of Hinton Admiral, where I then walked through the village to Highcliff Castle.
 Highcliff Castle between 1916 and the late 1920's was the weekend home of Mr Selfridge and his family. He moved Rose and his mother to this location to escape the dangers of wartime London during WW1. It was thought to be a fear of Zeppelin raids that drove Mr Selfridge to move out of London during the First World War and rent Highcliffe Castle for £5,000 a year fully furnished.
His eldest daughters, Rosalie and Voilette, became Red Cross volunteers and worked at Christchurch Hospital.
Mr Selfridge’s wife, also called Rosalie, was heavily involved in war work, and especially the care of wounded American soldiers. Many of them were treated at the home she established in Christchurch, the Mrs Gordon Selfridge Convalescent Soldiers’ Camp near Christchurch. She was a much loved member of the community.
HG was responsible for the implementation of electricity within the castle and the buildings and renovations of the kitchens. The Castle has had its run of bad luck in recent years and is now under a huge restoration project to build back after a fire which desecrated the buildings in the 50's and 60's. During the summer the castle has hosted a small Mr Selfridge exhibition sharing the history of the castle and the famous department store owner. With books, personal belongings and fabulous photographs its an interesting little exhibit.
As the name suggests the Castle is perched on a cliff overlooking the English Channel, with its Jurassic coastline its winding stairwells and footpaths were perfect for a leisurely stroll. Due to it being pre-school holidays and a weekday, I had the beach to myself other than a couple of dog walkers and joggers. The views either way are stunning, either back at the castle peeking through the forestry or the coastline.
I spent a couple of hours just relaxing on the beach, reading, and cloud watching as the skies turned from blue to grey to black and then blue which was great for an amateur photographer playing with her camera!
Walking back up to the castle I stopped in the garden eatery for some lunch. I opted for Dorset Crab bisque & fresh bread, followed by Tea and Cream Scone. All delicious, made even more delightful by the surroundings and views.
Finishing lunch I headed across the road from the castle into the small churchyard of St Mark's. Here nestling amongst the headstones lies My Selfridge, his mum and his wife. From the lavish crypt of his mothers, to the grand headstone of his wife, Harry's is a simple stone; epitomising how his fortunes declined over the years.
Leaving Highcliff behind I jumped on a bus for the short journey into Christchurch, where I finished my day enjoying the harbour, and beautiful rose garden and a fish & chip supper before catching the train home to London...

 
 


 


1 comment:

mrsmsmeanderings said...

Ah, my neck of the woods! (Where I come from, not where I live now.). Looks like a lovely day out x