A coach outing to Ellys Manor House, Great Ponton, and 'Rocks by Rail' (Rutland Railway Museum), Ashwell, was enjoyed by thirty SLHA members on Saturday 21 April.
The Manor House was rebuilt in stone in the Tudor period by the Ellys family, wealthy Lincolnshire wool merchants. Its distinctive crow-stepped gable on the prominent eastern elevation is similar to contemporary houses in northern Europe of the Renaissance period.
Of outstanding interest are the early 16th century wall paintings on the first floor, widely recognised as among the country’s best examples in a domestic setting. The Ellyses were also responsible for rebuilding the large tower of Holy Cross church adjacent to the Manor House in 1519.
The afternoon was spent at the Rutland Railway Museum near Ashwell which is currently being upgraded and re-branded as 'Rocks by Rail'.
The museum location is the railhead for an extensive area of ironstone quarries which were served by a network of temporary lines, though only a relatively short section of line survives.
There are a large collection of working locomotives, almost all of which worked in ironstone quarries here or elsewhere, a wide range of wagons and other related rolling stock, and excavators to undertake quarry work.
Thanks to Ken Hollamby for organising the outing; to Clive Taylor, owner of Ellys Manor; and to the knowledgeable volunteer guides at 'Rocks by Rail'.