Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Late Spring Bank Holiday Outing

It seems ages ago now...since Mr S and I went round Charlecote House. We've been several times before, but I just fancied going over to while away and spend some time together. We started by a tour of the garden center opposite the house. We managed to find a bench in a shady spot and indulged in some excellent ice cream.

We were not going to look at anything in particular. There is so much of interest there, from the deer in the park, the Jacob sheep, and the gardens, to a house crammed full of interesting objects. This time some snippets of note were: overhearing in the gatehouse, some people talking about 'the robbery', in the house some of the dark wood furniture, which we found out were made of ebony, excellent pieces of needlework, and the small thatched cottage in the garden. It is close to the Orangery, and closed up. The builder had found so many interesting pieces of wood to decorate the exterior walls, and the door panels were made up of gnarled burrs.
It was not easy to see inside, but in the light filtering through small stained glass windows, I could make out beautiful panelling and some small pieces of china on a shelf.

On our way out, I wanted to see whether there were any postcards showing details of the house contents, but could not find any. I made a note of a book and was pleased to find it at the Library. I've just finished reading it, which is why I thought of adding this post even though is is several weeks since our visit.

I found the book delightful and there were many passages which for me were of note: details of the robbery, linking into the converation overheard in the gatehouse, details of Mary's visits to Wales, where we had been to recently, details of the cottage which was built for children and grand children to play in. The latter reminded me of a recent Friday night Gardeners World item about some people who had built a series of elaborate garden houses, for their children to play in.

As Mary Elizabeth Lucy was writing her memoirs for her family, the writings have an intimate quality, and her descriptions of her domestic and personal life are so very different from 'History Books'. She lived through the Victorian Period, and her description of her travels, by coach and also by train show the efforts they had to make and hardships that people, even when they could afford the best, had to bear. It is so much easier these days!

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