Linda Jane Holmes
The Baroness of Bolsover Returns
Updated: May 11, 2021
History in the making...
"Something magical happened, as we headed for the town,
In the Parish Church, in her burgundy gown.
The Baroness of Bolsover, graced us with her presence,
Looking every bit a Lady, with her nineteenth century essence…
Shimmering around in her lovely silken dress,
Town folk bowed and curtsied, she was dressed to impress!
Originating from Ireland, this lovely Dublin lass,
Born in 1834, destined for a higher class…
Living her dream, in our castle in the sky,
Lady Augusta loved our town, with its Parish Church nearby.
It was an honour to become Bolsover’s first Baroness,
Lt Gen Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck would be proud of her success!
Just three years earlier, Arthur had sadly died…
His heirs would carry the title, he would look down on them with pride…
The Baroness had returned today, Vicar Rachel, showed her around,
Delighting in the Flower Festival all the Wedding Themes abound!
A singer sang his songs, music echoed around the walls,
Beautiful images were on sale, on one of the many stalls.
Tea and cakes were being served, it was a lovely treat!
Friends and family gathering, all looking for a seat…
Warmth and goodwill, were in abundance in the Church,
A weekend of Community, coming together, all in search…
Of a social gathering, just as in the days gone by,
When the Baroness lived her life in the Castle on high…
Lady Augusta’s life ended in 1893,
But her spirit had returned today, so everyone could see,
The beautiful stain glass window, commemorating her life,
The first Baroness of Bolsover, a Lieutenant General’s wife.
Although she was born in Ireland, when she finally came to rest,
She chose to stay in Bolsover, the place she loved the best…"
By Lorraine Bytheway (2019)
Thank you so much to Lorraine for introducing us to the Victorian Baroness. Read more of Lorraine's poetry in her wonderful new children's book Who Spilled the Paint available on Amazon.
An Afternoon Tea Treat
Bolsover Parish Church is well-known for its delicious homemade cakes, hugely popular with locals and visitors to the church alike. Lorraine mentions in her poem, the tea and cakes were ‘a lovely treat’. They certainly delighted the Victorian Baroness for the Victoria Sponge Cake is Her Ladyship’s all-time favourite and reminded her of the many Afternoon Teas she’s enjoyed over the years.
In fact so much so, that she’s created a ‘deliciously entertaining’ Teatime Talk about this quintessential British Tradition in which she demonstrates 'everything one needs to know about Victorian Tea Etiquette' from how to use a napkin to the correct way to stir one’s tea'.
Baroness Bolsover’s Afternoon Tea Talk is the perfect addition to any Hotel, Tea Room, Café or Heritage Venue serving Afternoon or Cream Teas and makes Teatime that extra special. Visit Baronessbolsover.com for contact details.
Bolsover Parish Church of St Mary and St Laurence – Medieval origins
The lovely church in the heart of Bolsover is a Grade II* Listed building with a Norman Tower that dates to the late 13th century. Sadly, much of the church was gutted by devastating fires in 1897 and 1960 and had to be rebuilt. The Norman Tower however, remained unscathed, though in recent years it was beginning to show serious signs of wear and tear and water was getting in. A Tower Restoration Project funded by Heritage Lottery was launched in 2015 and after months of disruption to the church, was finally completed in 2017.
The East Window
The ‘beautiful stain glass window’ that Lorraine refers to isThe East Window at the far end of the Church. It’s a Victorian addition, erected in memory of Baroness Bolsover by her children Henry, William, Charles and Ottoline Cavendish-Bentinck in 1901. Symbolic figures of the four children are featured in the window which is said to be designed in the 'Te Deum’style.
Cavendish Chapel & Crypt
The East Window is not the only Cavendish family link to the Parish Church. In 1618 William Cavendish had built on to the side of the church, the Cavendish Chapel & Crypt.
William, 1st Duke of Newcastle, was the owner of Bolsover Castle and the grandson of the famous Bess of Hardwick. The Crypt was built to house the tombs of his parents Charles Cavendish and Katherine Ogle. By the end of the 19th century 14 members of the Cavendish family had been entombed in the crypt including Baroness Bolsover and her husband Lt Gen Arthur Bentinck, although they would later be taken to a private burial ground at the 7th Duke of Portland’s estate at Welbeck Abbey.
These fascinating connections between Bolsover Parish Church, Bolsover Castle and the great Cavendish Dynasty are what have inspired actress and writer Linda Jane Holmes to create a character based on the Victorian Baroness of Bolsover.
Find out more about this theatrically inspired ‘Living History’ experience at BaronessBolsover.com and invite the Baroness along to make your Afternoon Teas an extra special occasion, one your guests will never forget!
With special thanks to Lorraine Bytheway, for introducing us to Baroness Bolsover ‘with her nineteenth century essence’, here in the 21st century.. .
Baroness Bolsover - Teatime with a difference - Created by Linda Jane Holmes