Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Guest Post by Kassie Nelson on Salisbury House
By Kassie Nelson
To see an entire post of Christmas Photos go Here
(also by Kassie Nelson)
Nestled in the South of Grand neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa is a piece of England-
the Salisbury House.
“A piece of England” is a literal statement as 16th century wooden beams that held up the roof of an inn where Shakespeare is said to have performed adorn the ceiling in one part of the house. Other salvaged English pieces include decorative wood panels to wood floor planks featured in the Commons Room. These incredible pieces of history were lovingly brought to Des Moines by cosmetic company king, Carl Weeks and his wife, Edith during the 1920s. The inspiration for their home was the Kings House in Salisbury, England.
Salisbury House is a blend of Tudor and Gothic styles. It has the charm and a sense of culture from a bygone era. When you walk through its massive front door you feel as though you have stepped back in time. The Weeks amassed a massive collection on their travels of art and antiques. Many of these items are proudly on display throughout. The crown jewel is the library. The library features the Weeks collection of over 3,500 books. Many of these are rare and some date back to the eighteenth century. Their collection of old documents signed by the likes of King Ferdinand of Aragon and President Abraham Lincoln can also be found here.
The home did not stay in the Weeks’ possession for very long, its upkeep proved too much for them, and has been owned by different organizations over the years. The Salisbury House Foundation has owned the property since 1998 and has worked diligently to restore the entire home. The garage and cottage have been restored. The tile roof was replaced in 2005 and just last year the wooden floors on the second level were refinished. The plaster walls have also been repaired and repainted. While the majority of the home has been restored, there are enough rooms left to insure that there will be something new for some time. The charm of this home extends to the outside to its English style garden. Some of the oldest and largest oak trees in Des Moines dot the property.
Readers may be delighted to know that this home is open to public guided and self-guided tours for a relatively low priced admission. The property can also be booked for special events such as weddings. Special events occur year-round, from the popular to Holy & Ivy Tour in December to “Shakespeare on the Lawn” in the summertime. You can view the calendar of events and learn more about Salisbury House by visiting: www.salisburyhouse.org.
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