Monday, 8 June 2009

Calke Abbey

Saturday was the sort of day best suited for battening down the hatches, staying in bed & reading a good book, as the day was so cold and wet. Only just a week ago, we were lunching in Leamington, at Strada, having a lovely Italian Lunch sheltering from the scorching sun under a large umbrella.

Mr S had set his mind on going to a show, and fancying a day together, I found that Calke Abbey was close by. Calke Abbey was not quite like any other National Trust Property. The building was stuffed with treasures, some were absolutely in pristine condition.

Other areas were just piled high with old furniture just as they were left when the building was donated to the Trust. As well as superb embroidery on the chairs, protected mostly by covers, was a superb set of embroidered bed hangings. Given as a present in 1734, the first time they were unwrapped was 1984. The colours are so fresh, it is hard to believe that it has not just been made. I do not think that these is either the skill or the will, or the wealth to create such a superb item these days.

Its not possible to photograph anything in the house, but I downloaded this from the National Trust site. The grasslands around the house were filled with wonderful wild flowers, and a pleasant walk up the hill led to some interesting walled gardens. The auricula theatre was filled with a wide variety of Pelagoniums, and it was interesting to peer into the various work areas, with stacks of old graded clay plant pots, drawers of seeds, and old tools.

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