Tag: England

Mrs Heelis

This weekend the Photo Challenge over on our other site https://weeklyprompts.com is Top of The Hill. This is my response to the challenge.

Being a creature of habit, I’ve chosen to use a combination of words and pictures for the challenge; the blend mostly tells a story about a house called Hill Top and Mrs Heelis, the lady who once lived there.

Mrs Heelis, the wife of country solicitor William Heelis, was better known to most as Beatrix Potter, the author of 23 little books about rabbits, mice, hedgehogs, ducks, foxes, kittens and many more! (A 24th book was recently discovered)

Little characters

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on these pages that my son and I had recently spent a delightful few days in the Lake District (Cumbria, North West England). In part, this is a continuation of our visit.

Whilst in Windermere and visiting The World of Beatrix Potter exhibition, we slipped outside and took a peep at Mr McGregor’s small but perfect garden replica of the 2014 gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show. The garden photos can be seen further ahead.

After visiting the exhibition, we planned to take the car ferry across the lake and visit Hill Top, the former home of Beatrix Potter. We were looking forward to this, but unfortunately, and what a disappointment, the car ferry wasn’t running. A longish drive around the lake followed until we finally arrived in the village of Near Sawrey and Hill Top Farm. 

Sawrey Village from National Trust

Beatrix bequeathed her former home Hill Top Farm to the National Trust and included her possessions, furniture, pictures and ornaments. Hill Top was everything Josh and I had hoped for,  it had remained exactly as it was when Beatrix lived there.

kitchen Range at Hill Top

The Old Farmhouse Kitchen

The display cupboard

The china cupboard showing Beatrix’s original Peter Rabbit pottery

My own cabinet

Not to be outdone and continuing this old-fashioned English tradition – My own kitchen dresser! Can you spot  Peter Rabbit?

The Parlour

The Parlour

It was a pleasure to view the rooms, see the fireplaces and furniture that were later drawn and replicated by Beatrix in some of her stories. I imagined Beatrix living here and writing  her little books; the little characters Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and  Jemima Puddleduck were all created here. Thirteen of her books were written at Hill Top.

More little characters

Mr McGregor’s Gold Winner and the garden at Hill Top:  The Hill Top garden, that I don’t doubt was carefully planned, had a wonderful air of informality. 

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Strolling around the corner of the lane and bordering the grounds of Hill Top we came across a country hotel (Sawry House). A short time later we sat upon its garden terrace enjoying afternoon tea, whilst looking down from our hill, absorbing and appreciating the peaceful tranquility of the beautiful panoramic vista.

Sewry House Hotel


Amazing views looking down from the top of this hill

Another view from Sewby House

Another beautiful view from the top 

Sewry House hotel

Looking down on the garden deer from the edge of the terrace

Not wishing to create an even longer post than this,  I cherry-picked several snippets from the National Trust’s excellent and informative book abut Beatrix, from this, I wrote and uploaded my own document. It gives some fascinating facts about Beatrix’s life,  and if interested, it can be read here  More About Beatrix.

Visiting Hill Top and learning so much more about Mrs Heelis and finally writing about her has been one of my most enjoyable tasks and posts to date.

Apart from a couple of obvious pictures copied from the National Trust Book the photos shown here are my own.

© SueW-nansfarm.net 2018 – In response to the photo challenge Top of the Hill from Weekly Prompts .


Previously related Posts: Ghost to Coast  –  Beatrix  –  Poor Old Mr McGregor .   

The Tale of Peter Rabbit   A Bedtime Story, a talking book created and told by me! 

And did those feet…

Ewe and lambs

...in ancient time 
Walk upon England’s mountains green? 
And was the holy Lamb of God On England’s pleasant pastures seen? ~William Blake (1757 – 1827

A few years ago in England, a cathedral banned the hymn Jerusalem for being too nationalistic. This got me thinking about people in general and I came to the conclusion that some people are too nationalistic and sometimes a little too insular.

Nonetheless, this hymn remains a favourite, you could almost say it’s a national treasure. my other favourites in the national treasure category include ‘I vow to thee my country‘ and ‘Land of hope and glory‘. And on the subject of favourites let’s not forget the very English Last night of the Proms – watch and listen, soak up the atmosphere and don’t stop there do carry on and listen to Land of hope and glory.

A couple of days ago I had a conversation about where we live, our homes, our countries, though in truth it was more of a one-sided conversation, which usually means I did all the talking! Some of the conversation is below.

Are we proud of and do we love our individual countries?

I could have been born in Canada or America (my father used to live there). I could have been born anywhere in the world but as it happens I was born in England and it has remained my home.

Do I love my country? Am I passionate about my love for it? Quite honestly I don’t know.


I do know I love where I live, my immediate environment. I love taking walks in the parks and woodland, around the lakes and along the river bank.

Riverside 1 Knaresborough

SONY DSCI love the wildlife and farm animals. I enjoy visiting the castles and abbeys and I wonder in the age of them and all that has gone on before, I love hearing about and reading about our long and chequered history.

The Tudor Courtyard

I am proud that we still have a royal family and I think it’s sad that most countries don’t have this kind of continuity.

I respect our queen, our head of state, and I appreciate the amount of revenue that the royal family generates each year. I am proud that so many millions of visitors come here every year, but I don’t feel the need to flaunt it, it’s inside me.

I often disagree with whichever political party is in power but fortunately, the difference of opinion is never so bad that I need to take to the streets and march about it, well, apart from Brexit but even then I didn’t march.

I don’t feel the need to hang an English flag from my window in the way a member of a far right racist party would, or wear a Tee-shirt saying Make Britain Great Again and neither do I call for the re-build of Hadrian’s wall!

Am I proud of my country? Well, we have a history that no one should be proud of, so once again I do not know.

What was all that about? I think it was my long winded way of saying I like my country and today I’m flaunting it!.

SueW-nansfarm.net May 2018 In response to the word-prompt Flaunt