Jemima Puddleduck et al

When my girls were little, I read them The Tale of Peter the Rabbit and other Beatrix Potter stories so it was a delightful surprise today when I discovered a Beatrix Potter connection at Melton Hall.

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Melton Hall is another Tudor estate right down the road from Kentwell Hall. The Hyde Parker family has had possession of Melton Hall since the 1700s. Beatrix Potter’s cousin married a Hyde-Parker and Beatrix loved to come visit for extended periods.

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She had her own bedroom and travelled with animals — hedgehog, rabbit, etc. — in cages which she kept in a little room off her bedroom. Eccentric? Yea, more than a little.

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Many of her illustrations are on display at Melton Hall as was the Jemima Puddleduck Beatrix made for one of her cousin’s children.

The Hall’s other claim to fame was a visit from Queen Elizabeth I in 1587 or so. Like the Queen, John took a load off in front of the Hall’s great fireplace.

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Next to the Beatrix connection, my favorite aspect of Melton Hall was the  rococo fireplaces. Truly beautiful…

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We toured the garden, but I saw hide nor hair of any rabbit, hedgehog or duck.

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I did spot this strange beast attempting to play crochet. Wonder how Beatrix would illustrate it?

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