If it was Good Enough for a Queen

Surely it should be good enough for you?

Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in North Yorkshire – a region full of wonderful scenery and places of interest. One of these places of interest proved to be Bolton Castle, a 14th Century fortified manor house, built to keep the inhabitants safe from attack from the numerous menacing border reivers who plagued the area at that time. Some of the castle bears scars from an English Civil War bombardment by Parliamentarian forces, but the majority is intact and incredibly well preserved. Amongst its many attractions are the original kitchens, a very sobering dungeon, the armoury, fantastic views from the battlements, birds of prey, grand rooms and curiously, the bedroom of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Blue Velvet https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1033759This latter room was of particular interest to me. As soon as I entered the chamber, I felt as though I was back in Mary’s time. It was quite eery! Tucked almost apologetically away from the middle of the room is a tiny double four-poster bed. This sounds odd, I know – that a double bed should be tiny, but at the time when Mary would have been spending her nights in it, people were encouraged to sleep sitting up in order to prevent demons from entering their bodies while they were defencelessly asleep! Yes, I know!! I’m presuming also that Mary wasn’t expected to share the bed with anyone, which is possibly why it’s very tight on the width element too. Poor Mary had a bit of a rough life, being imprisoned by Elizabeth I for a couple of decades, as she’d decided to claim the English throne and was found to be complicit in a plot to kill the monarch. As you might expect, it didn’t end well for her. Elizabeth didn’t want to set a precedent for executing a fellow queen but eventually had no option, and it was off with her head!

While Mary was alive and well (and incarcerated in Bolton Castle) however, she’d have had all the luxuries afforded to her due to her station. The four-poster bed was (and still is) draped with heavy velvet curtains that would have kept out the most insistent of draught. The stone-walled rooms would have also been hung with rich tapestries and other drapes. These luxuries that would have cost a king’s ransom in those times, precluded any ‘ordinary folk’ from enjoying them in their own homes. Thankfully, things have changed. You can walk into Inches today (unless it’s Sunday) and order some sumptuous velvet curtains for a great deal less than a king’s ransom.

Wicker Paradise https://www.flickr.com/photos/wicker-furniture/8581250621Velvet is a very special material. No other fabric has the same suppleness or richness of colour. Due to its density and thickness, velvet offers second-to-none insulation, as well as the ability to completely transform any room. There’s no need to stick to a single colour, style, texture or even material. Instead, these can be combined to create any look that you desire. Solid colour, stripes, patterns and flowers can be amalgamated together to make the curtains really stand out. And of course, it screams quality.

I’m not quite sure that Mary, Queen of Scots put a great deal of thought into her own velvet curtains, as she probably took them for granted. Maybe she did though. There wouldn’t have been any time-consuming distraction from television back then, to be honest, so perhaps she was forever redesigning her living quarters. The one thing for certain though, is that she’d have had the best quality available. There’s no reason why you can’t have the same in your own home though is there? Why don’t you pop in and have a chat about the possibilities of keeping the February cold out of your living room?