As part of our new series of blogs where we introduce the people behind Parham, revealing more about their roles and favourite piece of our historic estate, this month we talk to House Guide and Archivist Lyndy Kessell. Having been at Parham for 34 years, Lyndy’s understanding and knowledge of Parham is therefore extraordinary.
“At the beginning of each season, I train all of Parham’s new Guides using the original patter that was written in 1948 when the House first opened. I find that the wonderful stories behind the pieces helps the Guides remember those interesting details – and also helps bring the treasures to life for our visitors too.
My favourite part of working at Parham is meeting the visitors and answering their questions. I also enjoy maintaining the Parham traditions and the quality of the visitor experience that was started by the Hon. Clive and Alicia Pearson, when they opened the House to visitors.
During the season I also used to work in the Flower Team. Together we used to create the cut flower displays that decorate the rooms in the House. This ‘Parham Style’ flower arranging continues as a much-loved tradition that perfectly unites the House and Garden.
As well as my role as House Guide, I am responsible for the Archives at Parham. However, I don’t look on any of it as work!”
Every painting, artefact and piece of furniture at Parham has a beautiful story and one that Lyndy takes great pride in sharing but the needlework christening cushion cover in the Great Chamber is her favourite treasure. The intricate workmanship of 900 stitches to the square inch and the blue and pink in the passementerie that surrounds the edges of the cushion, make up just some of the stunning detail. The pears in the embroidery could be an additional reason for Mr Pearson having given it to his wife, Alicia, since ‘ Parham’ means a pear enclosure.
“Pears feature in a number of other works in Parham’s collection and, as I have come to realise over the years, there is always a reason behind why the Pearsons acquired the many wonderful things they did.”
Find out more about the Collection here.