September 30, 2016


Here we are again on Friday and it's time to join in with Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday. Don't forget to visit when you're done here.

Last weekend we found a delightful place called Middleton Hall near Tamworth in Staffordshire. It's a (partly) Tudor (partly older, partly younger) house that's been restored as an educational base and craft centre. The site is managed by volunteers and I have to say that they do a wonderful job. As well as the various parts of the house, they are restoring the old gardens and orchard, the moat, the outbuildings and the surrounding parkland.

For today's purposes we are visiting the kitchen. It's in the Tudor part, but not displayed as a Tudor kitchen.

I loved this. I'm not sure of the date,but I'd guess at Edwardian. Just look at that description: "Entirely new"; "Daring Design"; "satisfaction guaranteed". Three exclamation marks!!! The sure sign of a diseased mind, according to Terry Pratchett.

How about this?  Early 20th century. In fact I saw something very similar only a couple of weeks ago being marketed by Kilner and I might just have bought it if it weren't for the hefty price tag. (A balloon whip is much cheaper and just as effective, if more tiring.) Have you ever made your own butter?  It's very easy. Just whip cream until it 'breaks'. You might have to squeeze it a bit to get the whey out. Add a small amount of salt and spread on toast. Better than anything you can buy.

Something else you could have bought last week, except the new ones don't have the same patina somehow. You can always tell an original because it will have the words "Church Gresley" on the bottom. The company that makes them - Mason Cash - was founded there in 1800 but that pottery no longer exists. It's now part of the Liverpool-based Rayware Group which, incidentally, also owns Kilner these days. The thing is, I use original Mason Cash Church Gresley mixing bowls myself. One of them was inherited from my grandmother.

I found this fascinating, not least because those stands are intended for recipe books and that was what I expected to find on it. But this is a collector's guide to kitchen equipment, which explains the prices on it. I couldn't find a date on it so I have no idea what such things would be worth today.  I want that bee-shaped silver honey pot though. Not sure what I'd do with a grape hod.

Which brings us to this, slightly cheating, photo. It wasn't in the kitchen, it was in one of the living chambers in the Tudor section of the house. I very much doubt its authenticity. That coffee pot looks distinctly 'distressed' and besides they didn't have coffee in Tudor times. I suspect the little jug belongs to some sort of Tudor revival period, possibly as recently as the 1970s. The jug and plate might be real. (Though they wouldn't leave genuine Tudor items out like that where they could be easily pinched by unscrupulous folk. Victorian, maybe.)


  1. An interesting post, I love old kitchenware. I also have two Church Gresley bowls, one large and one smaller one that I still use. x

  2. I have a new Mason Cash bowl, no wonder they are still going strong, they are so beautiful. I could just do with that foot warmer, it's turned quite chilly here. Have fun.

  3. A great collection of kitchen items. I was watching a restoring homes programme on BBC last night and they found the oldest kitchen building from the Tudor period which had turned into a derelict barn. Fascinating. Have a good weekend. B x

  4. Lovely post, you have reminded me of the time I made butter when I was a little girl. Full fat milk in a tupperware beaker with a lid, I had to shake it until my arm dropped off - well at least thats what it felt like! But I did end up with a little butter :)

    Tamworth is really not so far from where I am in Shropshire - I will add Middleton Hall on to my places to visit list.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

  5. I love looking around the kitchens of the large old houses. Just fantastic. I love the bowls. I had one (obviously the new kind!) when I came over to America but sadly broke it. I miss that large old mixing bowl!

    Thanks for sharing
    Happy Five on Friday

  6. Old kitchenware is amazing to see. I'm visiting from Five on Friday.

  7. What a fabulous place to visit! I love kitchen
    accoutrements and these did not disappoint. Those original Mason Cash bowls are to die for. Great post! Enjoy your day, Pat

  8. Thanks for sharing the interesting collection. I think the white bowls are lovely works of art, and they would be a practical pleasure to use as well. My niece has a modern day version of the butter churn that they use on their farm in Nebraska on a regular basis, but your butter making method sounds like it would be a special treat and good exercise!

  9. Whenever we visit a historical house I always like the kitchen the best, that's where I'd have been working in those days so the objects there look familiar.

  10. Interesting mix of photos. Enjoyed taking the tour with you.

  11. I remember making butter by shaking 'top of the milk' - it seemed forever - in a jam jar. It might have been a ploy to keep me occupied whilst Grandma was cooking, but I got some satisfaction from the end result by spreading it on a piece of bread. I've got one of those stoneware footwarmers inherited from my great aunts, but not as interesting as it's plain cream and brown glazed.

  12. When I see old kitchen tools I always have to think about the poor women who had to use them. We are so spoiled today ! I can wash the dishes and laundry and watch TV at the same time, lol !

  13. I remember churning butter on my grandmother's farm. She even taught me a song to relieve the monotonous cranking. I could match the rythm of the song (more of a chant, actually), to the rythm of the turning.

    Come butter come, come butter come, Peter's waiting at the gate, waiting for a butter cake, come butter come.


Leave your mark for future historians.