This is an old and so far my favourite photo of the front of Ponden. I shared it before and I'm posting it again as I couldn't blog about Ponden without including an outside photo of the building.
I had previously stayed in the amazing Earnshaw room and I blogged about it here. This time I stayed in the lovely and cosy ground floor Giddings room. It is situated immediately to the left of the front door and overlooks the courtyard. You can see its beautiful original mullioned windows in the photo above.
I always wanted to photograph the blue painted entrance hall with its stone flag floor, leather and wood seater and all the bags hanging above it. The door frame of the Giddings room is just visible behind the bags on the right.
The room was named after the first person who slept in it since the present owners, Julie and Steve lived in the house. The interesting thing is that the previous owners also named the room after the first person to sleep there while they had the house.
I arrived about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. It had rained all day, so there was no chance of going for a walk. I thought I'd make use of the wet weather time to photograph my room.
I love the beautiful mullioned window with a stone sill. It was a must to take a few shots of, and the fact it was raining outside inspired me even more. I found the three candles and the little framed picture of Ponden on top of the dresser and placed them on the sill for a photo. I used a rain texture overlay in post processing to enhance the mood of a rainy day.
As to the little picture of Ponden Hall, there is a nice, rather sweet story behind it. One day Julie and Steve received a letter from a man who lives in the neighbouring Lancashire. He told them his late parents used to go courting in the Ponden Hall area, and that he'd found the picture while clearing through their belongings. He didn't know who painted it, but sent it through the post to Julie and Steve. I think it was very kind of him to go to the trouble to do that.
My beautiful and very comfortable sleigh bed. I had a couple of very good night's sleep in it.
The two books I was reading - "Thornfield Hall" by Jane Stubbs and the little book of walks in the Bronte Country I took everywhere with me.
Lovely wooden furniture..... and one of the ceiling beams just showing. I like the green colour of the walls very much. I would have chosen that colour myself.
A few of my belongings made the room my own for a precious couple of days.
This is a part of the main Hall at Ponden. The huge oak table is where breakfast is served every morning......
........and where various other activities take place. I loved gazing at the mullioned windows and the charming garden beyond.
This is the little hall upstairs with the doors to the two other rooms you can stay in at Ponden Hall, and the library. The door in this image is the door to the Earnshaw room.
The other room is the Heaton Room, an enormous family room with a four poster bed and two single beds.
The room is named after the Heatons who first built the house in the 17th century and were its occupants till the end of 19th century. They were cloth merchants and manufactured cloth at the nearby Ponden Mill they owned too.
The Heaton room was used as a weaving room in the first place, and had subsequently had other uses. Today it is a stunning stately room with 18th century period features and, thanks to Julie and Steve, you can stay in it.
The lovely rocking horse sitting in front of the south window is Victorian and is called Cromwell. Julie and Steve bought it at an auction in Doncaster as a present from the late grandmother. It is named Cromwell because of Oliver Cromwell's connections with Ponden. He supposedly came to the nearby village of Stanbury, and the story goes that the Heatons heard he was looking for a property to commandeer, so they covered the house with the bracken from the moors in order to make it impossible to spot from the village.
I love this simple photo with the beautiful light streaming in from the north window, the old blackboard sign above the fireplace and the red sofa throws hanging off the backs of the armchairs. Behind the door is the Peat Loft, originally built and designed by the Heatons to take peat upstairs and cows downstairs so the heat would rise and dry the peat. Today the Peat Loft is a beautiful converted self contained annex with all the amenities of a luxurious holiday cottage.
The library at Ponden Hall was reputedly the largest and finest library in West Yorkshire at the beginning of the 19th century. A catalogue still exists. It is known that Emily and Branwell Bronte visited and read here, and it is highly likely that Charlotte and Anne did too.
On the opposite wall there are original library panels (not my photo). When the last of the Heatons died in 1989, much of the Hall's furniture was sold at auction and the books from the library were allegedly sold in the market in Keighley. What didn't sell was torn up and used for vegetable wrappings!! No one knows what happened to the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world's most sought after rare books, that the library contained.
Ponden Hall is a truly wonderful place with a fascinating history and amazing spirit. There are many interesting and captivating stories and anecdotes concerning not only the past but more recent times down to the present too. If you are in the position or ever will be to do so, you can either stay here or just go for one of Julie's brilliant Tour and Teas. In either case you will be in for an experience that will never leave your thoughts.