Warning: picture-rich post
Yesterday my hubby and I went off to Somerset for the day. We haven’t used our National Trust membership recently and although we’d planned on lots of outings this spring and summer, somehow we have both been busy and it hasn’t happened. In the end we had a wonderful day out, in a beautiful place, and the weather was fine, if a bit windy, and we had lunch and tea in the open air in the courtyard outside the restaurant.
As usual I took lots of photos. Here is a selection.
The garden surrounded by these stone balustrades, with the stone pavilions at each corner, was full of simply gorgeous flowers of all colours.
The house is built of lovely warm-coloured stone, and has numerous little alcoves and other embellishments. It is a Tudor house and very beautiful.
This is the orangery.
In this picture you can see the old Victorian heating pipes.
It is filled with interesting plants.
I got some interesting shots of these giant ferns.
I am always amazed how often the Fibonacci series appears in nature – here is the famous nautilus spiral – in the leaves of a begonia!
This is the entrance where we went into the house. My hubby with Yum Sing in his rucksack!
The stewards were all dressed in Elizabethan costume.
The first room we came to was the great hall. On the far wall is a plaster relief depicting a Skimmity Ride, when couples of dubious moral character were paraded in effigy through the community and pilloried by the locals – this event was graphically described by Thomas Hardy in “The Mayor of Casterbridge.”
At the other end of the great hall are the stone archways where we came in.
A beautiful stained glass panel in one of the doors leading to the garden.
In one of the rooms, in the plasterwork frieze running along under the ceiling, was the depiction of a rather curious-looking elephant – we wondered if the artist had ever actually seen one, or whether he created it from someone else’s description!
A beautiful Chinese cabinet.
One of the bedrooms had an en-suite bathroom!
There were beautiful doors and carved panels everywhere.
A detail of the inlay on a lovely little semi-circular table.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more delicate and lovely set of library steps than these.
Beautiful stained glass windows in many of the rooms.
Here is the Elizabethan lady again, kindly posing for me in the beautiful doorway.
I’d love to have slipped this bed into the back of the car when nobody was looking…
At the foot of the bed was this magnificent chest.
In one of the rooms there was an exhibition of vintage embroidered samplers. The work was so fine and the detail amazing.
We both thought this one was particularly charming.
On the top floor is the long gallery. This one was relatively plain compared with those in other houses we have visited, which have magnificent moulded plaster ceilings. They had a collection of works of art painted by contemporaries of Holbein, from the National Portrait Gallery.
More Elizabethan stewards.
Going back outside, we were amused by this enormous box “hedge” – how did they clip the top?!!
The top of one of the many stone alcoves.
A view of the house from below – we went down to the stable block where there was a second hand bookshop. I didn’t buy any, but of course my hubby came away with about six!
Some amazing tree roots. I thought these would lend themselves to Zentangle art!
Going in to the restaurant to order our lunch (we had some simply delicious butternut squash quiche and salad), I was highly amused at this – “Got a food allergy? Have a dog biscuit!”
Later, we returned to the courtyard for a cream tea. Around this courtyard where we ate, there were several unusual benches carved from logs, in the shape of different kinds of clothes pegs.
The corner of the courtyard, with the old pump.
As we left, I got some photos of the gate house:
and also of some of the buildings in the beautiful village just by the entrance.
It was quite a long and tiring day, and quite a long drive to get there, too, but it was worth it!