Saturday 29 April 2023
Tuesday 25 April 2023
Our costumes are handmade, our animals are trained by us, our sets are painted in the barns on our farm. We burn the midnight oil to conjure new visions for the show. It’s all we do. Circus is our job, our life, our love. Nell Gifford
Giffords Circus is a magical village green circus that tours England from the first days of spring to the first glimpse of winter. It’s our hymn to homemade fun, excess and benign disruption. We want our show to move something in you, and to take just a little while to recover from. We want it, wish it and mean it with all of our hearts, because it is everything we believe about life and art and love.
Because as Nell would say “Art is Love”.
John Musters replaced all of the older buildings with the present Hall in 1775–1776.The new house was built in the Palladian style by local builder, Samuel Stretton, from designs of John Carr of York. It was enclosed with a moat, crossed by drawbridge on the north side.
In 1805 John Musters's son Jack married Mary Chaworth, Byron's childhood love-interest from Annesley Hall. In 1827 Jack inherited Colwick Hall from his father, but in 1831, during the Second Reform Bill disturbances, it was sacked and partly burned by rioters. Mary Chaworth Musters spent the night in pouring rain with her daughter Sophia, crouched beneath the shrubbery and died at Wiverton Hall some four months later from the shock.
Jack and Mary's eldest son, John George Chaworth Musters (1807–1842), predeceased his father. He had married Emily Hamond, the youngest daughter of Philip Hamond of Westacre, Norfolk. Both of them died of tuberculosis, leaving three orphaned children. The eldest son, John Chaworth Musters (1838–1887), inherited the estates from his grandfather Jack in 1847. He in turn was succeeded in 1887 by his son John Patricius Musters (1860–1921), who in 1888 obtained licence to add the surname Chaworth to his own.
In 1896 the Hall was sold to the Nottingham Racecourse Company and became a public house with the rest of the buildings used to accommodate grooms and jockeys. Nottingham Corporation acquired the Hall from the Racecourse Company in 1965. The building fell into disrepair until it was saved by Chek Whyte, who won a competition to restore it. It was later sold to the Pearl Hotel group and, in recent years, has become the area's premier wedding venue.
Afternoon tea was served in Byron's Brasserie and, despite the Hall's chequered history, we were pleased to discover that plenty of the original architectural features remained including the spectacular moulded Palladian architraves, Adam-style multi-coloured marble fireplaces, the elegant sweeping staircases, Spanish mahogany doors and some wonderful stone floors.
We'd requested a vegetarian-friendly afternoon tea and were well catered for. Savouries included taster cups of cream of white onion soup served with warm cheese straws along with sandwiches on wholemeal and white crustless bread filled with vegetarian Cheddar cheese, egg mayonnaise with vegan bacon flakes and vegan Coronation chicken.
Sweet dishes included fruited scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream, chocolate dipped shortbread, carrot cake muffins, lemon drizzle cake and chocolate tartlets (most of which we took home in the boxes our waiter, Katie, thoughtfully provided!)
Fancy treating yourself? Book HERE.