Visit on Wednesday, 13th October, 2021.
It seems that an army of volunteers, passionate about Erasmus Darwin, were there to welcome us today and guide us around the house. This genius of a man was a successful Doctor, an accomplished Scientist, a noted Inventor, a celebrated Poet and, probably most important of all, a wonderful family man. He was known to have fathered at least 14 children!
We were split into two groups, to be guided around the Ground Floor of the house where we were introduced to the Study where he saw his patients, the rich who paid and the poor who did not! It now displayed medical equipment, fossils and inventions. The Parlour where the family spent their time together and the Inventions Room followed, with of some of his wonderful inventions (including the speaking machine with its sounds of ‘ems’ and ‘ahs’).
On the First Floor, in a room where the famous Lunar Society met, was Erasmus’ ‘flying bird’- although it was hard to imagine this bird flying anywhere – after which we were entertained by the antics of Alan Hart-Davis as he gave us an introductory talk in the Library.
A welcome break for refreshments was followed by a most entertaining talk especially prepared for us to reflect the historical aspect of some of the vast number of herbs in the garden.