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Enjoying the July 4th Holiday

We will be closing at 1:00 pm this Saturday, June 30 due to family obligations.

We will be open Monday and Tuesday (July 2 & 3) with limited hours.

Closed on July 4 and back to regular hours on Thursday July 5.

We wish your family a safe and relaxing holiday.

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Fresh Treasures Have Arrived!

Items we purchased in March and April in England have arrived and are now at the store.

Come see us at 1055 S. Glenstone, Springfield Mo.

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October Container Arrives!

The Queen is pleased to announce the arrival of the container from England. Starting this Thursday, come and see Her recommendations. She is quite pleased and excited for your visit.

Cheers!

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Special In Store Promotion Expires November 11

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Why Chester?

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Here, we are once again at the Chester Cathedral; some 36 years since our first visit.

We made a return trip to Chester, England on our latest shopping trip; not to buy, but to reminisce. Chester is a beautiful ancient city built by the Romans 2000 years ago. It’s known for its city walls, the black and white covered walkways of the Rows and its beautiful red sandstone cathedral.

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Up on the top of the Chester Cathedral looking down at a portion of the wall. If you look closely, you can see people walking on the wall and the King Charles’s Tower. (at the 12:00 position, nestled in the trees)

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So many black and white buildings. This one is the Stanley Palace built in 1591.

We were there 36 years ago and returned this year to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. In 1980, Drury University’s English Professor Jim Livingston organized a Winter Term Trip to England during the month of January 1981. He was Theresa’s faculty advisor, so she signed up for the trip. The trip was not only open to students, but also to alumni of the college. Philip tagged along with his friend, who was an alumnus. We met and the rest is our history.

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Some of the oldest buildings in Chester. Also, houses a candy store!

During the trip, the participants had the opportunity to go off and explore on their own for a few days. Four of us went to Edinburgh, Wales and Chester. We only had a small time to spend in Chester, so we’ve always known we wanted to return. This time, we spent two glorious fall days, different from the snowy January 1981 visit.

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Eastgate Clock built in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Part of the wall.

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Dovecote! Taken from atop the most complete wall in all of England.

We walked on the city walls getting our bearings. The walls surround the older parts of the city for two miles. They were originally built by the Romans and then rebuilt by the Normans. Medieval gates have been replaced by arches, which cars now drive through. The walls are tall and wide and easy to walk. They are made of the same red sandstone as the cathedral and in some places, they are almost 40 feet high. Trees hang over the walls providing shade and fall colours. From the high vantage point, you can peek into the yards and alleys of the city.

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Interior of the nave. It took over 130 years to build because of a lack of workers due to the Black Death.

Our main objective was to revisit the cathedral. We remembered it as smaller than average, quiet and a beautiful red color. So, we headed over to the Chester Cathedral for a private behind-the-scenes tour and walked up 216 spiral stair steps for an awesome view of Chester and Wales. There has been a church on the spot since the 900s. The original Minster was turned into a Benedictine abbey in 1092. It survived Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries by becoming the cathedral of the Church of England. On the tour, we were able to catch glimpses of the past monastic life, including eating lunch in the 13th century monks’ dining hall. The cathedral is the beautiful sacred spot we remembered.

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The oldest part of the cathedral, dating from 1092.

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The 13th century dining hall for the monks. We ate cake!

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The carved medieval quire stalls from the 14th century. These were so amazing!

Most people associate Chester with The Rows. The black and white Rows are rows of two levels of shops with covered walkways. Think of them as the first malls, where you could shop continuously without getting wet from the English weather. They were built in the 13th century. Most have been rebuilt and enlarged and now have shops and eateries (And antique stores!). Stairways link both levels so you can shop each with ease, which we did. Yes, Philip found a few candy stores.

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The corner of Bridge Street and Eastgate, near the Cross, where public trading has occurred since 1407.

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The Roman Gardens, where the excavated remains of the Romans rule were placed in a garden setting.

We wandered around the oldest Roman amphitheater ever unearthed in England and gardens, just outside the city walls. We visited the River Dee, stopping to imagine the Vikings raiders sailing up the river to attack the city. We had dinner the first night at the oldest horse race course in England, and the second night, we ate at the Bear and Billet, a tavern who roots go back to 1584!

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Gorgeous pub built in 1622.

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22 Yards Mapped Out the World

Mapping out Property with a Gunter’s Chain


In a world of GPS, a Gunter’s Chain is a true antique. It’s a surveyor’s tool for measuring a tract of land. It was primarily used from 1620, when it was developed by Edmund Gunter, until the start of the 20th century.

A Gunter’s Chain is a metal chain made up of 100 links and measures 22 yards. At the end of a group of 10 links is a metal tag. Metal detector enthusiasts often find these tags while out hunting for treasures.

The device was used for 300 years, along with a compass, by surveyors to preform their legal duties. These duties included measuring a designated tract of land, drawing a map of the land features and providing a written description of the land.

For cricket fans, here’s a bit of trivia: it is also used to measure the cricket pitch.

Our friend Stephanie pointed out this interesting item on our last trip to England, so, of course, we bought not one, but two!

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Over 600 Antiques Added Today!

We’re full of crazy cool antiques! Come see for yourself. 

Robertson Gallery and Antiques, 1055 S. Glenstone, Springfield Missouri.

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Closed on Saturday, April 8

We have a family obligation on Saturday, April 8, so we will be closed for the day. 

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A River Runs Through the Valley

Looking down on the abbey from the south bank of the River Skell.

Looking down on the abbey from the south bank of the River Skell.

In a small valley, in Yorkshire (midway between London and Edinburgh), a river runs quietly and peaceful. People have been here for a long time. This couple from Missouri visited in October 2016. There are several abbey ruins on our bucket list and we chose to visit the National Trust site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, near Harrogate. Because there’s a friendly antique centre full of our kind of treasure at Harrogate! It’s the Harrogate Antique Centre at Crimple Hall. Anyway back to the story….

A view from the altar down into the nave.

A view from the altar down into the nave.

Thirteen monks were given land in the valley, where the River Skell runs, in 1132. Here, they founded an abbey. Originally part of the Benedictine order, the monks switched their alliance to the Cistercian Order. The massive abbey grew, built from the white sandstone that lined the valley. Many workers laboured for years. Wood buildings went up and then, down, replaced by marble and stone. The storeroom, cellars and latrines were thoughtfully situated over the river, to make use of the cool river temperature. The abbey became one of the most wealthy abbeys in England.

Chapel of Nine Altars.

Chapel of Nine Altars.

Philip at the base of Abbot Huby's Bell Tower, next to the ruins of the Church's choir.

Philip at the base of Abbot Huby’s Bell Tower, next to the ruins of the Church’s choir.

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Storeroom

A mill was built next to the river and provided a source of income for the Order. As the conflict between Henry VIII and the Roman Catholic Church ramped up, most abbeys fell to the crown. The Fountains Abbey was abolished in 1539 by edict from the crown. The little mill on the river was saved due to the income it produced. It is the oldest 12th Century cornmill in all of England. It was still operating in the mid-20th century and it is the only original complete building on the grounds.

One of the many ruins you can explore. This was in the area that was the Abbot's residence and dormitories.

One of the many ruins you can explore. This was in the area that was the Abbot’s residence and dormitories.

As the abbey’s land was divided between important families, two massive country manor houses were built on adjoining land. The Fountains Hall was a Jacobean House. Construction began on it in 1598 and builders used stone from the abbey ruins. The other mansion, Studley Royal began in 1452. A medieval mansion, it burned down twice and was rebuilt. Now, it is a private home. The Studley Royal owners used the river and began to make plans for a Water Garden. The work on digging the canals, lakes and ponds began in 1716 and they still exist today. A folly temple tempts the visitors a little further down the path. It’s easy to imagine characters from a Jane Austin novel strolling around the ponds. In 1767, the owner of Studley Hall bought the Fountains Abbey estate, once again combining the estate, and the abbey ruins became a focal point for the water garden. The work on the Water Gardens foreshadowed the landscape work by Capability Brown and set the stage for known English landscape gardens.

Pond at the Water Garden with statue.

Pond at the Water Garden with statue.

The Folly at the Water Garden.

The Folly at the Water Garden.

View of the abbey, as seen from the path at Studley Royal water garden.

View of the abbey, as seen from the path at Studley Royal water garden.

Nowadays, tourists visit the river and the valley. If they are like us, they miscalculate the acres as they walk down from the visitors centre, past flocks of sheep, to the ruins and onto the water gardens, descending down into the valley. Distracted by the quiet beauty and the sounds of the pheasants rooting in the underbrush. Then, they are suddenly aware how long the path is once they start back to the car. A 10 minute walk down to the river and a 45 minute walk back up hill. We highly recommend you visit the designated Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had great fun exploring the ruins and imagining the quiet life of the devout monks. Lots of rooms and ruins to discover!

Pheasants!

Pheasants!

On a side note: Near our hometown of Springfield Missouri is Assumption Abbey. The Trappist monks, who reside there, are part of the Cistercian Order. The same order that lived in Fountains Abbey. According to Damian, our substitute while we shop, they make the best fruitcake ever! Something for your Christmas 2017 list.

 

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600+ Items New in the Store!

The complete shipment from our October shopping trip will be in the store Tuesday, December 13.

We took over 1/3 of the items yesterday, another 1/3 today and the remainder tomorrow morning. Stop by any time! And help the big man in the red suit find something extra special for you.

Philip is super excited about all the new inventory and he’d love to show it to you. 

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