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42NADFAS REVIEW / WINTER,downstairsThere was more to country house life than the contrast between the ease and comfort of 'upstairs' and thedaily grind of 'downstairs'. A new exhibition at the St Barbe Museum in Lymington reveals the bigger pictureThe ownership of land gave power,status and influence and so thehistory of the country housereveals more than just the lives of theowners or indeed the servants andfarmers who worked there. It tells usabout how lives were lived, money wasmade and lost, relationships wereformed and power was exercised.ST BARBE MUSEUMParlourmaid to Peer: Life on theCountry Estatesis a new exhibition atthe St Barbe Museum, a smallindependent museum and gallery in theGeorgian town of Lymington inHampshire. It tells the history of the localcommunity, which built its fortunes onsalt production and later as a centre foryachting and boatbuilding.The charm of life 'upstairs' is capturedin countless images, whetherdemonstrating the importance of theshoot for the gentlemen of the house orthe narrowly confined lives of the ladies.The photograph of a skating party is abeautiful image capturing how life couldbe lived and the highest standardsmaintained with an army of servants.Above: Servantsand estateworkers lined upat WainsfordHouse, c 1900

Here, families from the local estates sitdown to their lunch on a frozen pondduring the Great Freeze of the early 20thcentury. The butler stands at the backready to serve the skaters from hamperson tables set with linen and glass.A life in service was tough, with longhours of hard work, but it at leastguaranteed a roof over your head andfood to eat. For some, particularlywomen, domestic service was a meansto advancement. Aged 12, FlorenceColes went into service as a kitchenmaid, but rose through the hierarchy tobecome a respected lady's maid to thewife of Admiral Ommaney. Her kinsman,William Cardy (1858-1889), on the otherhand, was a gamekeeper on a differentestate. He died of pneumonia and whenhis wife and five children returned fromhis funeral they found an eviction noticepinned to the door of their estate cottage. Until the end of the 19th century, whatunited estate owners was the desire toinvest wealth in land for its 'safety' andstatus. At a local and national level, estatesand their owners were part of a complexweb of family ties, connections andrelationships. William Cornwallis-West(1835-1917) and his family, of NewlandsManor in Milford-on-Sea and RuthinCastle in County Denbigh, were at theapogee of late Victorian and Edwardiansocial life, entertaining Edward VII andthe Kaiser on a number of occasions.Well connected, beautiful and popular,The monument erected to Burrard-Nealeby public subscription still standsoverlooking the town and remains alegacy to the impact that countryestates have had on their locality. Parlourmaid to Peer: Life on theCountry Estates; 26 Nov 2011 to 21 Jan 2012 Contact: 01590 676969 Above: Thewedding party forDorothy Morrisonof Walhampton,1912 Right: DorisForman of SetleyHouse paddlingon the beachwith a friend atMilford in 1912Below:Haymaking atNewtown Parkc1900his children made impressivemarriages;Constance (Shelagh) married the richestman in Britain, the Duke of Westminster,and Daisy married the richest man inEurope, the Prince of Pless, whileGeorge married Lady RandolphChurchill. However, it was not enough tosave the family's fortunes. After the saleof Ruthin, George's plans to turn Milfordinto the next Eastbourne failed and hewas declared bankrupt and had to selloff Newlands to the highest bidder.Dorothy Morrison had no concernsabout lack of resources as thegranddaughter of James Morrison, whowas the son of an innkeeper butbecame a fabulously wealthy self-madetextile multi-millionaire. Dorothy boughtWalhampton Park in 1910 and set aboutrebuilding and extending the house toinclude 30 bedrooms and remodelledgardens. In a classic case of old moneymarrying new, she is shown here in1912 at her fashionable wedding to LordSt Cyres, son of the Earl of Iddesleigh.Dorothy was an influential figure inlocal society though not as contentiousas the Burrards who had built the housecenturies before and been highly activein political life, jockeying for power andpositions. Though largely forgotten, theirmost famous scion was Admiral SirHarry Burrard-Neale (1765-1840) whobecame a national hero and friend ofKing George III when he rescuedCharlotte, Princess Royal from a mutiny.NADFAS REVIEW / WINTER 201143Left: Dining onSowley Pondduring theGreat FreezePhotos: St. Barbe Museum Collection; Private collection