Once upon a continent I used to live in Buckinghamshire in the UK. We were annual members of the National Trust, which was just a way of legitimising common folk being able to wander through stately homes without the owners being able to say no. Typically this was because they’d mismanaged their estates for so long that they couldn’t pay the ‘leckie bill and handed the whole shebang over to the National Trust to keep it, well… in the national trust, I suppose! We lived in a particularly rich seam of properties, and frequented Waddesdon Manor in particular many times a year.
Being local-ish we could go at a moment’s notice so got to see it with and without the madding crowd. It’s been used in many films, including An Ideal Husband, which just happens to be an Oscar Wilde play originally. Lovely place if you’re ever in Southern England and stuck for something to do. Nice “cup of tea shop” too, where obviously they do afternoon tea to great effect.
Slightly further afield in the Cotswolds was the way more eclectic Snowshill Manor. Snowshill village too is a film star, and made an appearance in the Christmas scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary, as the place where her parents lived.
Now Snowshill Manor is a paradise for those who don’t see the need to move to the rhythm the rest of the world deems appropriate. Charles Wade bought and restored it. He was a bit of an artist and a collector, and as a visitor one is amazed at just how much stuff he collected, categorised and generally hoarded! Everything from collections of keys to leather fire buckets, Japanese Samurai armour, musical instruments, model farm carts… the list is endless!
In amongst the scrimshaw and other nicknacks, there is quite a collection of chests, furniture and other items from the orient. And in here were some absolutely beautiful examples of cricket cages. One that sticks in my mind was a ball, carved from ivory I believe, and absolutely incredible filigree carving on a tiny scale. Remember – this was to house a single cricket, which would “sing” for the owner once encouraged with a gentle shake of the ball. I couldn’t see any images on the National Trust pages, but here’s a similar kind of thing just to give you the idea.
Keeping crickets as pets is still popular in the East, and I even found a fellow blogger giving details of how to go about it here. Remember though. You’re after a cricket cage, not a cricket box.
Whole different thing altogether…