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Aston Hall by Candlelight

RosieB

proper brummie kid
Dear all,

I hope you don't mind the post, but just wanted to let you know that Aston Hall will be holding its Candlelight event again this December. The event will be running from the 2nd to the 11th December (not including the 3rd due to an Aston Villa home match!), with timed ticket entry slots every half hour from 6pm (with a 5.30 'matinee' entry at 5.30 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays)

This year we are having a Victorian Christmas, so I hope that some of you can attend to meet our Victorian household as they prepare for a Royal visit, and perhaps meet Queen Victoria herself, and listen to (or join in with) the carols around our beautiful Christmas tree and coal fire! There will also be the craft tent and food available outside, as well as many musicians and performers.

Tickets can be bought online at www.bmag.org.uk or by phone on 0121 303 1966. I hope that you enjoy yourselves if you come!

Best wishes,
Rosie
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Well there you go, I always tbelieved that Brummies were the inventers of hospitality.

Have my tickets for the 11 Dec; it will be the first time ihave been there in twenty years. Not good considering I have lived here most ofmy life, seem to take out local attractions for granted.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi morturn i am sure you will enjoy aston hall its a wonderful building and well worth the visit..this year i have decided to go to the carols in the courtyard at the back to backs...i have been on the normal tour twice before but like aston hall by candlelight this will be something quite different...great way to kick off the festive season.

lyn
 
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Wendy

Guest
We went a few years ago it was lovely. I am mystified as then the connection to Bracebridge Hall to Aston Hall by Washington Irving wasn't mentioned. The reason for my interest is a distant relative Randolph Caldecott illustrated his books. I will sort out some of his Christmas pictures. He was a famous Victorian illustrator and his drawings were quite comical.

 
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Wendy

Guest
To me this drawing from the Book Bracebridge Hall looks very much like Aston Hall.

 

ben0toffy1

proper brummie kid
Hope everyone who went to Aston Hall by Candlelight enjoyed themselves! Wendy I love these drawings by Caldecott - you're right, the second one looks very like Aston Hall. Did your relative live in Birmingham and did his illustrations appear in the first edition of Irving's book?
Rachel
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Hope everyone who went to Aston Hall by Candlelight enjoyed themselves! Wendy I love these drawings by Caldecott - you're right, the second one looks very like Aston Hall. Did your relative live in Birmingham and did his illustrations appear in the first edition of Irving's book?
Rachel
I did and it was brilliant, really interesting seeing it twenty years on. After this visit I have to say that Aston Hall must be one of the finest building in England. I will be going back for another look when it reopens.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Found the Washington Irving link very interesting. It set me off looking into his connection with Aston Hall, and he certainly does seem to have used Aston Hall as his model for Bracebridge Hall (1822). Irving visited Aston Hall when he stayed with his sister for a few years in Birmingham. The Hall was by that time leased by Adam Bracebridge from James Watt's son. Irving was especially interested in how the English nobility lived and noted in his novel many of the Christmas traditions followed by Squire Bracebridge. So it's perfectly possible the Christmas traditions of Bracebridge are those that had been followed at Aston Hall.

And there's another great possibility. Charles Dickens may have been inspired by Irving's example too. The way Dickens looks back at the nostalgic traditions of Christmas in his own "The Pickwick Papers" with description of Mr Fezziwig's ball at Dingly Dell shows many parallels with that of Irving's Bracebridge Hall celebrations. Also a very nostalgic sadness comes through at the loss of the olden days 12 day celebrations compared with the one day celebration it had become in A Christmas Carol. Dickens was known to be a fond reader of Irving, so who knows, Aston Hall may have provided much inspiration for these other great works too. I hope so. Viv.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
Found the Washington Irving link very interesting. It set me off looking into his connection with Aston Hall, and he certainly does seem to have used Aston Hall as his model for Bracebridge Hall (1822). Irving visited Aston Hall when he stayed with his sister for a few years in Birmingham. The Hall was by that time leased by Adam Bracebridge from James Watt's son. Irving was especially interested in how the English nobility lived and noted in his novel many of the Christmas traditions followed by Squire Bracebridge. So it's perfectly possible the Christmas traditions of Bracebridge are those that had been followed at Aston Hall.

And there's another great possibility. Charles Dickens may have been inspired by Irving's example too. The way Dickens looks back at the nostalgic traditions of Christmas in his own "The Pickwick Papers" with description of Mr Fezziwig's ball at Dingly Dell shows many parallels with that of Irving's Bracebridge Hall celebrations. Also a very nostalgic sadness comes through at the loss of the olden days 12 day celebrations compared with the one day celebration it had become in A Christmas Carol. Dickens was known to be a fond reader of Irving, so who knows, Aston Hall may have provided much inspiration for these other great works too. I hope so. Viv.
From Birmingham Daily Mail Feb 1905 there is a mention that Washington Irving lived in Frederick St. near Legge Lane, close to Gillott’s pen factory. He lived with his relative Mr Van Wart.
 

LOZELLIAN

master brummie
hi. as anyone ben around asto hall by candle light. it gives me the creaps by day. never mind in the dark
Hi mw0njm.

In answer to your question, yes me & the mrs have been on the candle lit evenings there on several occasions; it's eerie alright but, it puts a whole new perspective on the place. Go on put your fears behind you enjoy the experience.

Lozellian
 
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