The classic Edwardian blend roof tile is a rather rustic looking reddish brown clay tile that is lovingly hand formed by our skilled craftsmen at Heritage.
The result is a gorgeous looking roof tile that embodies the oppulence of the Edwardian era perfectly. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoyed such an oppulent existence during this period.
The 1834 Poor Law defined who could receive monetary relief. The act reflected and perpetuated prevailing gender conditions. In Edwardian society, men were the source of wealth. The law restricted relief for unemployed, able bodied male workers, due to the prevailing view that they would find work in the absence of financial assistance. However, women were treated differently. After the Poor Law was passed, women and children received most of the aid. The law did not recognise single independent women, and put women and children into the same category.
If a man was physically disabled, his wife was also treated as disabled under the coverture laws, even though coverture was fast becoming outmoded in the Edwardian era. Unmarried mothers were sent to the workhouse, receiving unfair social treatment such as being restricted from attending church on Sundays. During marriage disputes, women often lost the rights to their children, even if their husbands were abusive. However, women were increasingly granted custody of their children under seven years of age; this tendency was colloquially known as the tender years doctrine, where it was believed that a child was best left under maternal care until the age of seven.
At the time, single mothers were the poorest sector in society, disadvantaged for at least four reasons. First, women lived longer, often leaving them widowed with children. Second, women had fewer opportunities to work, and when they did find it, their wages were lower than male workers wages. Thirdly, women were often less likely to marry or remarry after being widowed, leaving them as the main providers for the remaining family members. Finally, poor women had deficient diets, because their husbands and children received disproportionately large shares of food. Many women were malnourished and had limited access to health care.
Fortunately things have changed for the better since the Edwardian times and if you are looking for a hard wearing rustic roof tile of superior quality, look no further than the classic Edwardian blend clay roof tile from Heritage Clay Tiles Ltd.
The house itself is set high on the South Downs and was built for Ford Grey between 1655 and 1701, the first Earl of Tankerville. The West Sussex estate was sold in 1747 to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh and his wife Sarah. Matthew and Sarah redecorated the house extensively from 1750 to 1760 and introduced most of the existing collection of household items displayed today, much of it collected on their Grand Tour of 1749 to 1751.
Their only son, Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh, added to the collection and commissioned Humphry Repton to add a new pillared portico, dairy and landscaped garden. In the 19th century stables and kitchens were added as separate buildings, connected to the main building by tunnels. Sir Harry married, at the age of 71, the estates dairymaid, twenty one year old Mary Ann Bullock, to whom he left Uppark on his death in 1846. She in turn, after considerably upgrading the property, left it to her sister Frances on her own death in 1874. Frances Bullock, under her adopted name of Miss Fetherstonhaugh, was determined to fulfill the trust her sister had passed on.
Miss Fetherstonhaugh chose her two friends, Col. Turnour and Admiral Meade, to be her heirs in succession. Both were selected as second sons who could, therefore, adopt her name, which both went on to do. Admiral Meades wife, Margaret, became the next mistress of Uppark in 1931. She continued caring for the house and contents as the Bullock sisters had done. After World War II, Admiral Meade Fetherstonhaugh and his son, Richard, entered into negotiations with the National Trust, the outcome being that Uppark passed to the Trust in 1954. The house is open to the public, except for private apartments leased from the Trust that are still used as a home.
When he was twenty years old H. G. Wells spent the winter of convalescing at Uppark, where his mother, Sarah, was housekeeper between 1880 and 1893. She had previously been employed there between 1850 and 1855, as housemaid to Lady Fetherstonhaughs sister, and Wells had paid many visits to her during his boyhood. His father Joseph, a gardener, was employed at the West Sussex mansion in 1851 and he and Sarah married in 1853.
The house and the social hierarchy it demonstrated had great effect on Wells outlook. The deep class divisions he experienced there helped to inspire many of his liberal and socialist views. This development was further encouraged by his discovery, in the Uppark library, of works by philosophers and radicals such as Plato, Voltaire and Thomas Paine. Wells discovered of a telescope in the attic, which gave the author the idea for The War of the Worlds, as this was his first opportunity to examine the night sky in detail. Maybe without this iconic West Sussex mansion, we may never have enjoyed so many of his literary works.
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