If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that we have visited a lot of country houses, stately mansions, castles, cathedrals and churches. There is a lot of history contained in all these and the more buildings we have visited the more discerning we have become, I hope, and the more our sense of all that history has developed. Speaking as someone who is broadly on the left of the political spectrum and who grew up in Britain experiencing what is still, despite all improvements, a society permeated by class differences, I tend to react to these various properties from an historical and class perspective.
One of our two main walks was around Tarn Hows. This relatively small body of water was actually created from three much smaller, separate tarns by Garth Marshall who owned the estate from the early 1800’s as part of a larger land improvement program. This 19th century history of the land is like a microcosm of the move from common land to enclosed land and large-scale agriculture and agribusiness. Wikipedia sums it up as follows:
We have been in Britain for several months now but it was only recently that we ventured up into the far north. On our extended visit last year we got all the way up to Edinburgh and returned south via the Lake District without stopping except further south at Chester. This time we headed specifically for the Lakes and with the aim of visiting Chatsworth House in Derbyshire which is really in the midlands I think most people would agree.