Monday, November 22, 2010

Mansions are Romantic

I've always thought that mansions have stories of romance and tragedies. So the Werribee Mansion that I visited last week definitely proves my point!

The best part; there IS a romantic story behind this mansion!

Ok, so its like this. There was this Scottish man named Thomas Chirnside who first came to Australia with his younger brother, Andrew Chirnside carrying only a few hundred pounds. During that time, they worked as farmers and became very rich.

After awhile, Thomas went back to his homeland of Scotland in 1838 for a few years where he fell in love with his first cousin, Mary Begbie. As expected, he wanted to marry her, but their parents did not approve because they were first cousins. Duh!

So Thomas went back to Australia alone... Aww....

Then! His brother Andrew was about to go back to Scotland and before he left, Thomas asked him to bring Mary back to Australia, no matter what.

And so, Andrew and Mary came back to Australia in 1852... wait for it... MARRIED!

Poor Thomas was single for the rest of his life.

But anyway, Thomas didn't kill his brother... or Mary because he loved them so much. Too much that he wanted Mary to live a luxurious life in an exquisite 60-room Italianate Mansion, which he built from 1874 to 1877 in the Werribee park.


But after they were dead and gone, their children (Andrew and Mary's kids, okay?) who were too damn lazy to take care of the mansion because they don't know how to make any money, sold it away and the entire property now belongs to the government. Which is also open to the public.

My favorite part of the mansion is the Rose garden!

Its almost summer time, so its the perfect season for roses!

Everywhere I go, I see roses! The things love can make people do...

And there's even a little hut in the middle of the garden. I swear its the perfect place to get married; walking by the roses with your lover, its a lovely weather with cool air and its sunny.

You know what? Maybe I will get married there!

There's just so many roses! We were surrounded by hundreds of roses!

I can't get enough of it! I was really enjoying myself.

I don't know about Mary, but I'd definitely fall for that someone who did all these for me! (Unless its a girl. Because then, that wouldn't be romantic; that would be creepy...)

And one more rose before we move on!

I'm not exactly sure how big is this mansion but I have a feeling that its as big as 10 football fields! After the rose garden, we went to yet another garden!

Look at mom trying to climb up a tree!

Followed by Daniel...

Ok, so eventually I also cannot tahan and I climed up the tree as well!

There's even a friggin vineyard! Honestly, I felt like as if we were in a movie or something. Give me a vintage dress, a pair of white gloves, a bonnet and a parasol and I'd be part of the story (minus the corset)!

Then there was the lake...

Isn't it pretty? That's probably where the ladies have their afternoon tea, eating crumpets and scones, with a butler by their side, waiting to serve them.

Ahh... what luxuries...

By the time we've finished looking at the garden, it started raining..

And now, on to the mansion!

Check it out! These furnitures are the original ones Thomas imported all the way from England to this very mansion! This would be the library I think.

This would be the drawing room. This is where the ladies hang out during a party or when guests arrives. They'd play the piano, read a book, or just chat.

And here's the dining room...

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you what the people do in there, right?

And this is where the family eats on normal days.

I don't weather its true, but I heard that this is a portrait of Mary Begbie!

At the servant's headquarters, this is the courtyard, where the maids and horsemen and all kinds of servants wander there with the laundry and stuff.

Check it out! Its a real antique toilet!

I wonder how do you sit on that thing...

Remember that I've mentioned the sitting room where the ladies hang out earlier? Well, this is the Billiard room where the gentlemen hang out during a party. Here, they'd have a smoke and play billiard and stuff while the ladies are at the drawing room.

As for this room, I have no idea what's it called, but anyway, isn't it pretty?

Gosh, can you imagine that the couple slept in this tiny bed?? I bet not even Daniel can fit in that bed, let alone two people!

Those were the clothes they wore back then. I also found out that these people from the past are much smaller compared to the people today. More nutrition, perhaps?

Here's the kitchen!

You thought they were real maids didn't you?

Going upstairs...

If you're wondering, this is a corset. The very first lingerie for women. Its used to make your waist as small as possible. Get this, the ideal waist size is... 20.

Anymore than that, the mother would be very angry with their daughters because they were too 'FAT'. WTF..

And this is what 'normal' women are supposed to look like after years of corsets. You wanna know how does a corset feels like??

Put both hands on your lower ribs, just above your waist, hold your breath and squeeze as tight as possible.

And they do this everyday...

Ok, some of you maybe wondering why Andrew married Mary even though they both love Thomas. FYI, Andrew was not being a traitor or a bastard, kay? Its because back then, it was strange for a man to bring in a single woman to another country. So, Andrew had no other choice but to marry Mary in order to bring her to Australia.

Hope that cleared the air.

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