Dressing the medieval manor house for Christmas
Every year we gather foliage from across the estate at Brockhampton in order to dress the ancient manor house in the traditional manor for the festive season.
It is an annual event that the rangers and their volunteers set off across the woodlands at Brockhampton gathering winter foliage and greenery in order to dress the timber frame manor house in the traditional manner.
Evergreen firs, boughs of holly and ivy are carefully gathered and brought inside to dress the house.
Mistletoe is brought in from the orchards where the mistletoe weevils make their home and are one of the important rare species which inhabit the ancient orchards around Brockhampton. Mistletoe is filled with ancient symbolism and represents purity and new life blooming in the depths of winter.
In the great hall the Conservation team carefully dress the room with foliage to evoke a timeless Christmas atmosphere.
Dressing the house with simple greenery gathered from across the estate is just one aspect of traditional festive activities, bringing the evergreen foliage indoors and decorating the house is an ancient activity which may have been carried out here for over 600 years.
Lit only by flickering candlelight the finished effect is one to delight the senses as the gentle pine scents fill the manor and delicate boughs hang from the ancient rafters.
An open fire completes the cosy atmosphere in the manor house, making Christmas here feel truly traditional throughout the festive season.