Welcome to Brentingby House
Ever since my mother taught me to knit when I was four years old, I have had a great interest in textile crafts. From knitting I progressed to embroidery, dressmaking, crochet, tatting, and finally the one which became my chief interest - bobbin lace.
Having produced various items for friends, family and for my own home, I began to wonder how I might bring together all my crafts with some kind of theme or focus. I finally decided to make and furnish a dolls house. That would enable me to produce a wide range of textiles, and also give me the opportunity to work in miniature, as I had become increasingly interested in working with very fine threads and fabrics.
So, in August 2002 I arrived home with 3 large flat pack boxes - a Queen Anne dolls house kit. It took three years to build and decorate, and is still far from being completed. Along the way I learned new skills - interior decoration, roof tiling, woodstaining, basic carpentry, cabinet making and landscape construction.
As the house began to take shape, it seemed to take on a life of its own, becoming more than a mere display medium for its contents. Although designed as a Queen Anne style house, I wanted to have some Tudor elements, as I have always found the medieval and early Tudor periods fascinating.
The house therefore began to develop an architectural history, and I decided to name it Brentingby House, after the original manor in North Leicestershire purchased in 1317 by John Woodford, a direct ancestor of my husband. So step back in time and visit a building that has its roots in medieval England and has grown and developed through the centuries. The make-believe starts here.
The Queen Anne house has been built around the shell of the old medieval manor house. Two rooms from that building have survived virtually intact - the Dining Room and Master Bedroom. These retain their original floors, panelling, fireplaces and lights. Many pieces of Tudor furniture are still in use, although some have been relegated to the servants areas to make way for more fashionable pieces in the main reception rooms. The house is still being fitted out and furnished, so the pictures will change as this process continues.
The house was built from the Dolls House Emporium Queen Anne house and basement kit. The building, decoration, lighting and fireplaces took just over two years to complete. The dark oak Tudor furniture has been made by Norman Jones. Most of the lighting is by Small World Products.