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Posts tagged ‘National Trust’

I Had to Come Back to Sissinghurst!

A Cottage at Sissinghurst

A Cottage at Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

To me, no garden tour in the UK would be complete without a visit to Sissinghurst, the home and gardens of Vita Sackville-West. I made my way back again this year to make sure they had not changed anything on me!. It is still one of the most beautiful gardens! So without further ado I present another National Trust property that you will never forget! If you are not familiar with Vita Sackville-West, you might want to start with this story, Here.

There are several smaller cottages on the Sissinghurst property, well not so small exactly! I think I could handle living in one of them!  There are multiple gardens in addition to the main property.

This is the entrance to the featured gardens. We try to be one of the first there, because it gets crowded very quickly. The entrance is still closed.

Sissinghurst, UK

Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

When the entrance is opened, that leads to another entry through the Prospect Tower. This photo is looking back at the Main Entry from the garden.

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

The Back of the Main House, Sissinghurst, UK

The Back of the Main House, Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

A little secret…….the head gardener leaves free packets of seeds from the Sissinghurst Garden on the narrow ledge in the alcove below the stairs to Vita’s writing retreat. They are gone in the first 15 minutes! Hurry!

The Priests are still guarding and giving their blessing!

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Remember the Sissinghurst Garden is made up of several outdoor garden rooms all featuring a different color that fades into the next gardening room. My favorite is the White Garden so I always go there first.

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens, Cranbrook, UK

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens, Cranbrook, UK

My absolute favorite are the silvery-grey flowers and leaved plants!

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens, Cranbrook, UK

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Gardens, Cranbrook, UK

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Garden, UK

The White Garden at Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

Next we go into the garden of lavenders and purple flowers.

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, UK

The Purple Garden at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

From there we go into the Pink Gardens………..

The Pink Garden at Sissingurst Garden, UK

The Pink Garden at Sissingurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

Sweetpeas in the Pink Garden, Sissinghurst, UK

Sweetpeas in the Pink Garden, Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

 The Pink Garden, Sissinghurst, UK

The Pink Garden, Sissinghurst, Cranbrook, UK

The Pink Garden, Sissinghurst Garden, UK

The Pink Garden, Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

For another look at the Garden from last year look HERE!

On the way out I looked over the out buildings again………

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

And the Old Barn where the gift shop and restaurant is now.

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

The oasts are still there………so I am happy to say they are taking really good care of the grounds…… To learn about Oasts Look HERE!

Sissinghurst Garden, UK

Sissinghurst Garden, Cranbrook, UK

To keep up our energy we stopped at the Three Chimney’s Pub nearby….. AGAIN!!!

Yummy!

Yummy!

Yummy!

Yummy!

Another year complete with my Sissinghurst fix…..

PS   For a really good read about Vita look HERE! See you tomorrow in the Garden!

 

 

 

 

The Gardens at Agatha Christie’s Greenway

 

The Walled Gardens at Greenway

The Old Garden Walls at Greenway

Let’s take a walk through the gardens at Greenway! What’s through this doorway?

 

Let's Look Here First, Greenway

Let’s Look Here First, Greenway

Tennis Anyone?

Tennis Anyone?

Or this one?

A Walk Through the Greenway Gardens

A Walk Through the Greenway Gardens

The Wildflower Bank at Greenway

The Wildflower Bank at Greenway

The Walkway at Greenway

The Walkway at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

This Doorway takes us to the Peach House!

The Peach House at Greenway

The Peach House at Greenway

The Walkway to the Peach House

The Walkway to the Peach House

The Peach House

The Peach House

I decided to take a little break and sit on one of the benches that overlooked the grounds around the Peach House. I soon had a little friend! He would come down from the tree and talk to me and as soon as someone would start to come close to us he would fly back up into the tree. As soon as the intruders were gone, back he came to talk to me! He flew up and down for over fifteen minutes!

My Overhead Shot of the Tree Where My Bird Friend Hid

My Overhead Shot of the Tree Where My Bird Friend Hid

My Bird Friend

My Bird Friend

The Vegetable Garden at Greenway

The Vegetable Garden and Greenhouses at Greenway

The Area Beyond the Wall is Called the Plantation

The Area Beyond the Wall is Called the Plantation, at Greenway

Here is the Fountain Garden.

The Fountain Garden at Greenway

The Fountain Garden at Greenway

The Pet Cemetery at Greenway

The Pet Cemetery at Greenway

And the pet cemetery!

A Look at the Restaurant and the Gift Shop Area at Greenway

A Look at the Restaurant and the Gift Shop Area at Greenway

One last look at the converted stables that are now the restaurant, garden shop and gift area at Greenway.

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Flowers at Greenway

The Gardens at Greenway are not formal. They are restful, flowing, and carefree. Just like the holiday home for Agatha and her family was meant to be! I hope you enjoyed your walk! See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Greenway, the Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway House, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway House, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

At Entry to Greenway

At Entry to Greenway

Wipe your feet before you enter!

I think what I liked best about Greenway, Agatha Christie’s holiday home in Devon, was it was a home where I could see Agatha and her guests enjoying themselves. There were rooms, many rooms, filled to the brim with her collections; cupboards with stacks and stacks of dishes, her finds from her travels, games and puzzles scattered everywhere. The rooms reminded me of me; I like to collect things, especially from my travels, and find my treasures very comforting remembrances. One gets the feeling that Agatha is here in the house and as you wander from room to room you know you will find her right around the corner! This home is well loved and well looked after, so let’s take a peek inside!

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The Drawing Room at Greenway

The pillows have sentences from her books printed on them!

The Drawing Room at Greenway, (Notice the Dominoes on the Floor)

The Drawing Room at Greenway, (Notice the Dominoes on the Floor)

The Piano at Greenway

The Piano at Greenway

In the drawing room is the piano she played only to entertain herself, never to entertain her guests.

Old Photos at Greenway

Old Photos at Greenway

The Fishing Gear is Ready!

The Fishing Gear is Ready!

The fishing gear and picnic supplies are by the stairs in case you want a quiet spot at the river before dinner.

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The Library at Greenway

The library is comfy-cozy with a drink’s table by the door, just like in the old movies, and the frieze painted on three sides of the library’s upper walls is a timeline of WWII.  The frieze painted by U.S. Lt. Marshall Lee looks fresh, like it was painted only yesterday. Greenway was acquisitioned during the war, as an officers’ mess, and officers from the 10th U.S. Coast Guard flotilla headquartered here before D-Day.  When Agatha came back to the house after the war she wanted the frieze to stay, but the 16 makeshift bathrooms to go! 

Agatha's Closet

Agatha’s Closet

Her clothes are hung in the bedroom closet and her bags are packed and ready for the next adventure.

Books in the Library at Greenway

Books in the Library at Greenway

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

Love This Bookcase!

The Bathroom at Greenway

The Bathroom at Greenway AND

The Books in the Bathroom

The Books in the Bathroom

There are books everywhere in every room! Some are in very interesting bookcases! I loved the end-table spinning bookshelves! There is a small library of books even in the bathroom! 

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

Just One of the Pantries Full of Dish Collections!

The Kitchen at Greenway

The Kitchen at Greenway

The Kitchen and Pantry are always interesting to me! Look at all the dishes! Agatha’s mother and grandmother were collector’s too. You can never have enough dishes! Be sure to notice the typewriter in the kitchen. More about that further in the post!

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

The Dining Room at Greenway

I watched an elderly gentleman pick up every plate on the dining room table making sure they were made in England! The plates were beautiful!

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

A Portrait of Agatha with Some of Her Treasures

A Portrait of Agatha with Some of Her Treasures

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

One of the COLLECTIONS at Greenway

And the Dinner Gong!

And the Dinner Gong!

There were so many treasures to look at I asked one of the National Trust guides if everything was left at Greenway. She replied that the family (her grandson) took everything he wanted, but there was still plenty left over! Oh my, I’ll say!

Agatha never wrote at Greenway. She came here to relax, to read and go over her notebooks, many times reading her current mystery to her family and friends in the evenings. However, there is a writing project going on as part of the activities and events at Greenway and old typewriters are placed throughout the house, and even in the kitchen, where one can leave a message for Agatha. Some of the messages are posted on a Twitter account #Type Greenway! Very interactive! 

Greenway is one of my favorite National Trust properties, I loved everything about it. And tomorrow we’ll take a look at the gardens at Greenway! See you there!

A Day With Agatha Christie at Greenway: Getting There

Agatha Christie's Tour Bus, Greenway

Agatha Christie’s Tour Bus, (a 1947 Leyland Tiger PS1/1 single decker with Barnaby bodywork)

Agatha Christie's Tour Bus, Greenway

Agatha Christie’s Tour Bus, Greenway

I am so excited to be visiting Greenway House, the holiday home of Agatha Christie. It is the first private residence of the famous author to be opened to the public. Greenway House is situated on a 278 acre estate on the Dart River in Devon. I will be dividing the posts into several sections since there is so much to talk about and it is all so very interesting! Now let’s get on the tour bus, so to speak!

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born September 15, 1890 into a wealthy, upper middle-class family in Ashfield, Torquay, Devon. Agatha described her childhood as “very happy”, but that her childhood was over when her father died when she was eleven. She was surrounded by strong and independent women, (her mother and her grandmother especially) believing her mother was a psychic with the ability of second sight. She described her grandmother and her cronies as “always expecting the worst of everyone and everything, and were, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.” Her mother insisted that Agatha be educated at home, so her parents were responsible for teaching her to read (which she loved) and write, and basic arithmetic, which she also enjoyed. In 1905 she was sent to Paris to further her education, but returned in 1910 when her mother was ill. They decided to go to Egypt, (a popular tourist destination for wealthy Brits at that time) to spend time in a warmer climate, and stayed three months at the Gezirah Palace Hotel, attending social functions with her mother. They were on the prowl for a husband for Agatha! 

Upon return to England Agatha met Archibald Christie at a dance given by Lord and Lady Clifford at Ugbrooke, near Torquay. Archie was born in India, the son of a judge in the Indian Civil Service. By 1913 he was an army officer in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple married on Christmas Eve in 1914, while Archie was home on leave.

Agatha involved herself in the war effort, joining the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1914, and assisted with wounded soldiers at a hospital in Torquay as an unpaid VAD nurse. She was responsible for aiding the doctors and maintaining morale; she performed 3,400 hours of unpaid work between October 1914 and December 1916. She qualified as an “apothecaries’ assistant” (or dispenser) in 1917 and, as a dispenser, she earned £16 a year until the end of her service in September 1918. In her spare time she wrote.

She was initially unsuccessful at getting her work published, but in 1920 The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the character of Hercule Poirot. This launched her literary career.

Agatha Christie created several series’ characters during her writing career, but her best known was Hercule Poirot. Christie, was a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s early Sherlock Holmes stories. In her detective novel, Poirot was a former Belgian policeman noted for his twirly large magnificent moustaches and egg-shaped head. Christie’s inspiration for this stemmed from real Belgian refugees who were living in Torquay. He appeared in 33 novels, one theatrical play, and more than 50 short stories He first appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) and last appeared in Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (1975) which famously features his death. While her fans loved Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie herself was increasingly fed up with her creation. Late in her career, she described him as “an egocentric creep.”

In 1926, Archie Christie wanted to marry his mistress, Nancy Neele, and asked Agatha for a divorce. Agatha, totally overwrought, left her home and then abandoned her car at a chalk quarry, before disappearing for ten days. There has been a lot of speculation as to what exactly went on during this time. It has been suggested that Agatha disappeared to embarrass her husband, and call him out on the divorce, (mistress and all) or that it had possibly been a publicity stunt to promote her next book. However, when she was found at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate having registered under a false name, two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia and a depressed state from literary overwork, her mother’s death earlier that year and her husband’s infidelity. Agatha never spoke of the incident again.

A quote from Agatha; “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

Life goes on………. and Miss (Jane) Marple was introduced in the short stories called The Thirteen Problems in 1927 and was based on Christie’s grandmother and her cronies.

In 1930 Agatha married Sir Max Mallowen, (14 years her junior) having met him during an archaeological dig. Her travels with him contributed backgrounds for several of her novels set in the Middle East.

Agatha Quote; An archaelogist is the best husband a women can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.

In 1938, Agatha Christie, now independently wealthy from her writing, returned to Torbay and purchased a Georgian Manor, named Greenway. Greenway would be the setting for several of her books.

She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve around the investigative work of such characters as Hercule Poirot, and Jane Marple.

Agatha Quote; I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest.

She returned to Greenway again and again in her fiction, setting many of her classic murder mysteries at the beach, cove and island. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple both ventured to Torbay to solve heinous crimes. While Greenway was never Agatha’s primary residence, it was for a generation the family holiday retreat—where the family gathered for Christmas and Easter, and where she spent her summers. In 1950 Christie turned the house over to her daughter Rosalind Christie Hicks and in 2000 Greenway was transferred to The National Trust. Today, Greenway is restored and furnished as Christie and Max Mallowen would have known it in the 1950s.

 

Christie Mysteries Set Locally

  • Peril at End House
  • Sleeping Murder
  • The ABC Murders
  • The Body in the Library
  • And Then There Were None
  • Evil Under the Sun
  • Dead Man’s Folly
The Ferry Stop at Greenway

The Ferry Stop at Greenway

Greenway is not easy to get to. The preferred and recommended method of arrival is by boat—passenger ferry from Torbay, Dartmouth, or across the river from Dittisham. Any way you arrive at the quay, it is a 400-yard climb up hill to the house and gardens. This is not a trip for those with limited mobility.

The Lane to Greenway, Devon, UK

The Lane to Greenway, Devon, UK

Now that we have had a little background on Agatha let’s continue to make our way to Greenway! Take a good look at that narrow country lane! It is the Green Way, aptly named!  Arriving by car and getting closer to our destination, we first meandered through a neighborhood of Galmpton and then came upon this mile or so of narrow lane to Greenway. See that little extra pavement to the right in the photo? That is how much room you have to pull over if another car or bus approaches! Add to that the idiots that do not read the details of visiting Greenway. You MUST reserve a parking space that is available in 3 hour increments at Greenway House. If you don’t have a permit, pre- arranged, you will be turning your car around and heading home! Now some think it is OK to just park your car in this tiny strip and walk on to Greenway! Now how do the cars pull over when another car approaches???? This is an adventure all in itself. Once you reach the parking lot there is another extended hike up to the house. Golf carts are available to pick you up, but you must register for assistance and the wait can be lengthy as there are over 900 visitors a day.

But, we got here, Leon (the car) was all in one piece and I had my reservation to park, so what’s another walk? The house itself is surrounded by walled gardens, orchards and woodland gardens, so the walk was pleasant.

The Walled Gardens of Greenway

The Walled Gardens of Greenway

Navelwort in Walled Garden at Greenway

Navelwort in Walled Garden at Greenway

The stables and other out buildings have been converted to a gift shop and an eatery, so you can stop and enjoy this area before going on up to the house. What a beautiful view of the river and grounds from the front of the house!

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

A View of the River Dart at Greenway

There are lawn chairs to sit and enjoy this view either before or after visiting the house.

The Lawn Chairs at Greenway

The Lawn Chairs at Greenway

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Greenway, Holiday Home of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie at Greenway

Agatha Christie at Greenway

Let’s go in! See you tomorrow!

More Interesting Tidbits I Discovered about the Hoare Family of Stourhead

Young Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelery

Young Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelry

 Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelry

Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelry

 Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelry

Elizabeth I Wearing Exquisite Jewelry

Just a few days ago I wrote a blog post about the Hoare family and how I had visited their fabulous estate called Stourhead, which is one of the National Trust properties in the UK.  I wrote how Richard Hoare, in 1672 had a goldsmith’s business at Cheapside and set up a system of banking because goldsmiths had secure premises and had always been the storehouses for cash and valuables. The shops on Cheapside were the commercial heart of London with shops for the sale of luxury goods and was known as Goldsmith’s Row, the center for the manufacture and sale of golden jewelry in medieval London.

Elizibethan London Map

Elizibethan London Map

Richard Hoare, knighted by Queen Anne in 1702, the same year she became queen, prospered, and he not only made precious jewelry for the queen and others, he became Lord Mayor of London in 1712, and took his goldsmith venture into the banking industry. He soon moved his banking facilities to Fleet Street, the main thoroughfare halfway between the City of Westminster and the City of London.

by Michael Dahl,painting,1705

Queen Anne by Michael Dahl, painting,1705

Hoare introduced many aspects of modern banking, including issuing printed checks and the C.Hoare and Co Bank is the oldest private bank in the United Kingdom to this day. It is family owned and run by the 11th generation of Hoares’ descendants.

Well I got to thinking, is this where the word hoard came from? According to the Dictionary, the word, hoard, has it’s origins from the Old English noun, hord, which was a secret stock or store for something. Hmmmm….. sounds very familiar to our story of goldsmith, Richard Hoare.

Then I read another fascinating tale; that of the Cheapside Hoard, which was discovered in 1912, when a workman’s pickax smashed through the brick cellar in an old house being demolished at 30-32 Cheapside in London! Found in a buried, wooden coffin-styled box, was 500 pieces of 17th century goldsmith’s stock, including rings, brooches and chains with bright gem stones and enameled gold settings, along with cameos, scent bottles and crystal tankards.  Well that fits nice and tidy with our Hoare family name and background doesn’t it? What was so incredible about this stash of jewelry, with huge rubies, pearls the size of acorns, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires, is that it was left as designed and not altered as other pieces from this period tended to be; broken up, re-fashioned and reworked over the centuries and therefore didn’t survive.

Jewels from the Cheapside Hoard

Jewels from the Cheapside Hoard

Jewels from the Cheapside Hoard

Jewels from the Cheapside Hoard

Now who hid the stash and what was done with it after it was found? More to the story…….

In 1637, a gem dealer named Gerrard Pulman paid the East India Company 100 pounds for the safe passage on the ship, Discovery, from the Orient back to England. With him was a crate that took three men to lift, a great sea-chest, and smaller boxes full of diamonds and other gems worth many millions today. He lost a walnut-sized diamond from a purse around his neck when bathing on the voyage, and two weeks later he was dead….. poisoned by the ship’s surgeon, an inquiry found. Pulman’s body was stripped and thrown overboard. By the time the  treasure chests were opened in London upon arrival, they were half empty. The missing gems, stolen by crew and officers, were sold to jewelers across London. One crewman pulled a pocket full of loot out at the Three Tun Tavern in Fleet Street and dropped an enormous pearl through a crack in the floorboards. Many believe these gems ended up in the Cheapside Hoard. But, who buried the treasure and why was it not discovered until 1912? One theory was that the jeweler buying up the gems very likely buried it below the cellar floor to keep them safe. This was also a time of great upheaval as many jewelers were soon to became soldiers in the Civil War of 1642. From 1645 to 1646, fifteen percent of the population of London was killed by the Great Plague, so many people fled the city to avoid the war and then to avoid the plague.    

Then in 1666, a fire that started in a bakery, spread quickly through the city. In less than three days it consumed more than 13,000 buildings, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, about a block away from the hoard. The Great Fire of London, as it came to be known, destroyed most of the city’s wooden structures, including those above the site of the treasure. Evidence of fire damage found during the Cheapside excavations led experts to conclude that the jewels were buried no later than 1666. It is unlikely that the owner of the hoard perished in the fire, as very few casualties were actually recorded.    

Following the Great Fire of London and the rebuilding of the city, new structures were erected in the Cheapside district around 1670. This time, brick and mortar structures rose above the forgotten cellars, sealing the Cheapside Hoard for two and a half centuries.

Cheapside, London

Cheapside, London

So more than likely, whoever buried the hoard died and the stash was never discovered until the workmen started demolishing the old jewelry premise in 1912. The workmen stuffed the loot, some dating back 1500 years to the Byzantium period, into their hats, pockets and knotted handkerchiefs and took them to “Stoney Jack,” an antiques dealer and pawn shop owner, who literally went on pub crawls offering men work, giving them a shilling or “half a pint” for any interesting finds that were brought to him! “Stoney Jack,” who was George Fabian Lawrence sold all the treasure given to him to the new London Museum. The Cheapside Treasure was an epic success when the London Museum opened in 1914, revealing some of the treasure, including a watch set in a single emerald the size of a small apple!

During WWI the treasure went into bank vault storage and came out when the entire collection went on display at the Museum of London in 2013. 

Oh my, what a person can discover from just one visit to a National Trust property and an inquiring mind! What an adventure! More to follow!

The Gardens at Stourhead, a National Trust Property

A Garden Gate at Stourhead

A Garden Gate at Stourhead

One of the many lovely things about the Gardens at Stourhead is the Estate Walk and many other seasonal walks on the grounds. Many of the paths lead around the big lake that is framed by the hilly terrain. When we did the tour of the manor house a gentle, but steady rain was coming down, but after the manor tour was over and we headed out to the garden paths it was pouring! That did not deter a group of scheduled ramblers, who departed from their buses and vans prepared for the weather, in walking boots and rain gear, and carrying one or two walking sticks. I was not as prepared and had been up all night on an overseas flight so we took as many pictures as we could before getting drenched and then headed out to our next National Trust destination that morning, hoping the weather would turn for the best. Here is a LIST of some of the upcoming walking events and future highlights at Stourhead.

First let’s take a look at the entry into Stourhead. It sets the mood, your home is your castle! And Stourhead has the gates and crenelations to prove it! Loved that clock too!

Entry into Stourhead, a National Trust Propert

Entry into Stourhead, a National Trust Property

Entry into Stourhead, a National Trust Property with Lots of Ivy!

Entry into Stourhead, a National Trust Property with Lots of Ivy!

Gated Walls and Meadows at Stourhead

Gated Walls and Meadows at Stourhead

Now let’s look at those gardens!

Another Gate to the Gardens at Stourhead

Another Gate to the Gardens at Stourhead!

Notice the meadow look? We’ve noticed a lot of the National Trust gardens and others are turning part of their land back to meadows, with natural flowers and habitats for birds aplenty!

The Front Meadow at Stourhea

The Front Meadow at Stourhead

The Gardens at Stourhead

The Formal Gardens at Stourhead, Framed by the Woodlands

The Gardens at Stourhead

The Formal Gardens at Stourhead

The Gardens at Stourhead

The Formal Gardens at Stourhead

The Gardens at Stourhead

The Gardens at Stourhead, Inside the Walls

The Gardens at Siourhead, Inside the Walls

The Gardens at Stourhead, Inside the Walls

The Gardens at Stourhead, Inside the Walls

The Gardens at Stourhead, Inside the Walls, all Neat and Tidy and Wet!

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

The Flowers of Stourhead

P1020868

Which Way to Go? Choices, Choices!

Which Way to Go? Choices, Choices!

Well I hope you enjoyed a very abbreviated and wet tour through the gardens!  Were you carrying an umbrella? We would definitely place Stourhead on our Return Garden List!

Off to another National Trust Property, see you there!

 

Thursday’s Doors, Stourhead

The Gate Keepers Cottage, Stourhead

The Gate Keepers Cottage, Stourhead

Today’s Doors come from the gardens at Stourhead, a National Trust estate in Devon, UK. This summer as part of my “English Garden Tour” I again explored many fine estates and gardens, both public and private, as I toured along my path to Cornwall and then back to Sussex and Kent.

These are photos of the fabulous doors I found at Stourhead! If you would like to know more about the estate look HERE in the previous post about it!

When you arrive at Stourhead, you pass the gate keepers cottage. I loved the door, and the look of the cottage was just my style.

I can’t imagine living in the estate house with all those pictures to dust and all those rooms to clean. Of course, the owners of Stourhead didn’t have to do any of that either! They had plenty of servants, housemaids, butlers, farm workers, gardeners, and ground keepers to maintain their 2600 acre estate. But, I am glad the National Trust preserves not only the manor house, but all the out buildings as well. It gives you a proper prospective of things, although I imagine the estate cottages and out buildings are nicer today than they were back in the day!

Stourhead, of course, has the estate house and this was the door that welcomed you in! There are lots of rooms to tour here and a very interesting family history.

The Main Entry Door at Stourhead

The Main Entry Door at Stourhead Manor House

Stourhead

The Manor House at Stourhead, (Notice the Main Entrance and the Servants Entrance!)

Then there are the out buildings and these doors were some of my favorites!

The Limey Green Door at Stourhead

The Mossy Green Door at Stourhead

A Close Up of the Limey Green Door, Stourhead

A Close Up of the Mossy Green Door, Stourhead

I love that stonework too and the door defines the mossiness of it!

A Thursday Window That I Liked Too, Ha Ha

A Thursday Window That I Liked Too, Ha Ha

Another Outbuilding with Limey Green Door and Fantastic Windows

Another Outbuilding with Mossy Green Door and Fantastic Windows

Workers Cottages at Stourhead

Workers Cottages at Stourhead

Workers Cottages at Stourhead

Workers Cottages at Stourhead

The Workers Cottages at Stourhead

The Row of Workers Cottages at Stourhead

Of course the connected worker’s cottages were my very favorite! And they all had Red Doors!

The Red Cottage Doors!

The Red Cottage Doors!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!

The Hoare House, aka Stourhead, a National Trust Estate

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

I’m back from my “Garden Tour of England” and as you have learned from the previous post, written by the garden fairies here at The End Cottage, we are caught up with my own garden chores and all the guests are back home! Hence the delay in sharing my adventure!

It takes me months to plan which National Trust properties I will visit. After I decide on the properties I determine as many public and private gardens as I can in close proximity to the National Trust sights that I have picked out, and voila, my schedule of touring is complete! There is so much to see and do! So, let’s take a walk through the grounds and home of the Hoare family, here at Stourhead. It is the first of many delights this year on my Garden Tour of England. I have separated the posts into the house and to follow, the gardens.

The Story of Harry……… really it starts with all those Henrys and Richards in the Hoare family, who had nicknames of “good,” “magnificent,” and “naughty” to tell them apart. Sir Richard Hoare, was a goldsmith, in 1673, in London. Goldsmiths had secure premises and were the storehouses for cash and valuables so they were in a unique position to start a system of banking: lending their customers money for interest. He was granted the Freedom of the Goldsmith’s Company on July 5th, 1672 and this marked the foundation of the Hoare’s Bank. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1702 and then became Lord Mayor of London in 1712. His son, Good Henry, was a partner in the family bank, Hoare and Co. Henry the Good, lived at the bank during the week and wanted a country estate for holidays and leisure. In 1717 he bought the medieval Stourton estate for 14,000 pounds and renamed it Stourhead after the source of the Stour River. He built Stourhead House based on a 16th century Venetian villa, but died before his grand design was completed.  Henry Hoare, “the Magnificent,” grandson of Richard, and son of Henry the Good, dominated the family with his wealth and personal charisma and was a great patron of the arts. He expanded the estate and the gardens that were considered a showcase. The garden was completed in 1770 and it’s fame spread quickly and became a must see destination with the breathtaking landscape and classical temples set around the lake. The grounds included a Grotto, a Gothic Cottage, the Pantheon, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Flora.

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare (perhaps the naughty) and his wife Augusta inherited Stourhead in 1883, but it soon spiraled into decay when costs grew impossible to manage, because she loved living in the country and he preferred city life. Ainslie’s flamboyant lifestyle forced him to leave the bank and auction Stourhead paintings, furniture and books. He left Stourhead in 1885.

In 1894, after the death of his cousin, Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare and his wife Alda, inherited the unoccupied house that had sat empty for 10 years and the 2,650 acre estate with the run down, neglected and overgrown gardens. They decided to pack up and leave their home, Wavendom in Buckinghamshire, and move with their son, Harry Hoare, to Stourhead, to create a special home for their only son. Harry and his parents loved the estate and worked hard to make it the beauty it once had been.

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

I love that Poppy Red Color!

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

In 1902, a fire broke out in a chimney and burned for hours. The center of the house collapsed from the attic down to the cellars. The family, servants, gardeners, estate workers and farm hands worked to salvage as much as possible from the burning building. Paintings were cut from their frames and furniture was thrown out of windows. The Hoares worked again to restore the house they so loved, especially  for Harry, since he had grown up here and loved every inch of the place and this would always be his home. As you can see from the many rooms of Stourhead, saving everything would have been quite a challenge! It was vast with huge collections of Everything!

On August 1, 1914, Harry joined the Dorset Yeomanry and within a week he was no longer the estate manager, working for his father, but a soldier fighting for his country. His military career was plagued with injury and ill health and every time he was taken ill he would return to Stourhead to be cared for by his parents. After each recovery Harry returned to the battlefield.

During WWI the house and grounds were opened to the “Tommies” from the nearby Red Cross Hospital at Mere. Alda made arrangement for the soldiers to have outings on the property. Especially popular with the men was  fishing in the Flora Bay and afterwards Alda would serve tea to all the boys at The Flora Temple. Flowers, grapes and vegetables were also sent to support the troops at the hospital.

On December 19, 1917, Captain Henry Holt Arthur Hoare (Harry), was shot in the lungs at the Battle of El Mugher in Palestine and died of his wounds in Raseltin Hospital in Alexandria. He was buried in the Hadra Military Cemetery there. Harry’s parents were devastated after his untimely death and made plans to bequeath the home and grounds to charity, opening the estate to visitors. On show days visitors were shown around by the butler or the head housemaid, following strict rules. In 1946, one year before the death of Harry’s father, the estate was split and half was gifted to the National Trust and half remains in family ownership.

Visiting this extraordinary house and gardens was made that much more interesting by learning about the family, the house and grounds. That’s what makes the estates in the National Trust so interesting, they are preserving History! Particularly fun was the large display of 19th century women’s hats found in the estate ticket office! Women and children spent a lot of time trying on the hats and primping in front of the mirrors! A first for me in a National Trust property!

Hoare and Co. is the oldest private bank in the United Kingdom. As the business prospered it was moved to 37 Fleet Street, where it still is today and run by the 11th generation of Hoare’s direct descendants.

Next we’ll visit the Gardens at Stourhead! See you there!

Ellen Terry: The Saga Continues

Ellen Terry in Costume

Ellen Terry in Original MacBeth Gown

Alice Ellen Terry (February 27th, 1847 – July 21st, 1928) was the darling of the theatre and her life has been compared to that of Princess Diana. Born into a family that made their living from the traveling theatre, Ellen and her siblings never had a real home, as they spent most of their childhood in boarding houses near the theatre or actually at the theatre with their parents. By the age of eight, Ellen Terry was working in the theatre along side her older sister. By the time Ellen was sixteen, (1864) her sister had married well and was no longer working on the stage.  Ellen was the primary breadwinner of the family. Her parents encouraged her to marry G. F. Watts, a rich and famous painter,  who was thirty years her senior, and who had also offered to support her family after the marriage, since Ellen would be retiring from the stage, at age sixteen. G. F. Watts hired a companion for Ellen (to teach her the finer manners of polite society) and he continued to be a recluse painter. Within a year of the marriage, Ellen was bored to tears and he was bored with being married to a teenager that did not fit into his circle of friends.  The couple separated. He continued to pay her family 300 pounds a year until 1877, when he finally divorced her for adultery. By 1877 Terry had two children with Edward William Godwin, whom she never married, and had returned to the stage and was on to her second third husband, Charles Kelly. What was it about Ellen Terry? Men loved her. Her fans adored her; she could do no wrong in their eyes, no matter how scandalous her life was.

What was Ellen Terry’s secret? She didn’t care about the money, and she made plenty of it. She was generous to a fault. At seventeen, she left the stage for a second time to run off with the married, Edward William Godwin, and did not work for six years and had two children with him. The major problem was Edward William Godwin, architect and designer, didn’t work much. They fell on really hard times and Ellen Terry returned to the stage and picked up right where she had started off. She again was the darling of the theatre. Edward William Godwin, the love of her life, ran off and married his secretary, Beatrice Birnie Phillip. He was simply jealous of her success.  When Godwin died, Phillip, his widow, came to Terry and asked for money. Ellen Terry supported Phillip  financially and emotionally, until Phillip died and then supported  Phillip’s mother, for the rest of her life! How many women would do that? The men that Ellen Terry married, really weren’t all that nice, but had no problem living off her money.  She continued to support her family, her children, and all her husbands (except G.F. Watts) well after their separations and divorces. Ellen Terry’s parents thought Ellen Terry was very greedy and loved the limelight, (but she supported the entire family until they all died.) I think Terry could just not say no to anyone. In 1877, when G.F. Watts finally divorced Terry, she married Charles Kelly. Terry stated she loved manly men of the theatre, and Kelly was that. However, he wasn’t nearly as good an actor as Terry, and Henry Irving, Terry’s professional partner, whisked her away from him and Irving and Terry set off to America, leaving her husband by the wayside. Irving was not stupid either. Ellen Terry was his bread and butter!  Kelly and Terry separated, but she supported Kelly until his death. He died on the day she announced she was coming back to England! In 1907, Terry married, James Carew, in Pittsburgh,  her co-star in America, while on another tour there. She was 60 and he was 30. A letter on display at her home records the media hysteria when the news broke of her latest adventure. She wrote from Smallhythe Place, “The horror of it all when I first arrived back in England. I wish we had never been born! About 50 reporters and photographers all met me! I fought……flew into the railway carriage and pulled down all the shades….with an enormous crowd outside the windows asking me to put my head out!! Her marriage to Carew lasted two years. They separated, but she never divorced him.

Then there was the problem with the children. Daughter, Edith Craig, got a proposal for marriage, but Ellen told her daughter, who worked with her on the stage, that she was needed so much by Ellen that she could not marry. Her daughter responded by creating a wall, separating the cottage at Smallhythe Place, into two halves. Edith then moved two other females into the cottage on her side (where she lived in a ménage à trois, with dramatist, Christabel Marshall and the artist, Clare, “Tony” Atwood from 1919 until her death in 1947. Ellen Terry supported them all financially and lived alone on her side of the house. 

During this same period, Terry’s son, Edwin Gordon Craig, had managed to have thirteen children with eight different woman and Ellen Terry supported all the children and their mothers and then took care of the woman Craig finally married, and their two children also. Ellen continued to work, in the theatre in England and traveled the world in her later years, lecturing and acting, and at one point worked in the United States in the film industry.  She commented, “Am I to do one night stands for the rest of my life?” She was just a nice woman, who was very gifted and couldn’t say no. She also supported many charities and the Woman’s Right’s movement.

In her personnel life she was very thrifty. She was beautiful until the end and had beautiful clothes, but recycled them, dying her dresses new colors, adding a new feather here or there. Why buy new clothes when the old ones were perfectly fine? One of her most popular dresses, for the theatre, was the “beetle-wing gown.” Ellen Terry wore this green, shimmering dress, made with the wings of 1,000 beetles, as she performed as Lady Macbeth. The dress transformed the beautiful red-headed actress into a cross between a serpent and a medieval knight and was the talk of the town after the first night. John Singer Sargent painted Terry wearing it!  Oscar Wilde loved it! Edith Terry commented, “Is this not a lovely robe? It is so easy to wear, one doesn’t have to wear a corset!”

Lady Macbeth Beetle wing Gown, Worn by Ellen Terry

Lady Macbeth Beetle Wing Gown, Re-woven  

Beetle Wing Dress Worn by Ellen Terry

Re-Woven Beetle Wing Dress Worn by Ellen Terry

In 2006, the fragile knitted dress with the beetle wings, which had been preserved as part of Terry’s spectacular collection of theatre memorabilia, was falling apart. Beetle wings were regularly found lying at the bottom of the display case. Henry Irving’s, Macbeth, ran for more than six months to packed houses and the costume was re-used on many later tours also. It bore the scars of being tramped on by others, snagged on scenery, and torn from the jewelry Terry wore on stage. 

Ellen Terry Beetle Wing Gown

Working on Ellen Terry’s Beetle Wing Gown

Beetle Wing Gown Worn by Ellen Terry

Close Up of Beetle Wing Gown Worn by Ellen Terry

With donations to the National Trust, a 110,000 pound restoration was met and the dress is again on display at her home at Smallhythe Place. Most of the money came from visitors’ donations at her 16th century, chocolate-box cottage, at Smallhythe Place. An antique dealer in nearby Tenterden, donated additional beetle wings….. which the beetles shed naturally. The gown arrived at the studio of specialist textile conservator, Zenzie Tinker, in Brighton. She soon realized that she was dealing with the remains of two identical dresses, that had been patched together, when both were too badly damaged to wear.  Hundreds of beetle wings were repaired by gluing green-dyed Japanese tissue paper on the reverse side of the gown, and then stitching the beetles in place!

Ellen Terry led a remarkable life becoming one of the premier actresses of her day, admired for her beautiful voice, sensitive interpretations and striking appearance, right up to the end. Her death mask, on display, in her home proves it! She was very generous with her money, tried to help everyone, and was loved by all! Who could fault her?  Visiting Smallhythe Place, in Kent, will be an honor you never forget! Enjoy! See you next time!

PS, For pictures of the cottage at Smallhythe Place and the garden, see previous posts.

Who IS Ellen Terry?

Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry

Exactly who is Ellen Terry? Visiting her home, Smallhythe, on the National Trust Register in The UK, this is what I learned…………..

Ellen Terry was the Lady Diana of her day. Everyone wanted to be around her, everyone wanted to marry her. She was the rock star of Shakespeare and the theatre! She was beautiful! She could do no wrong in the eyes of her fans.  And like many stars she led a scandalous life! Upon her first retirement from the stage in 1867 she was one of the most sought after leading ladies of her time!

Born into a theatrical family, and along with her siblings, Terry began training for a touring company under the guidance of her father. At the age of eight she made her stage debut as Mamillius in “A Winter’s Tale” in London on April 28, 1856, with Queen Victoria in attendance. She also played comedy and burlesque, as well, and she and her sister, Kate, soon became the major breadwinners of the family. In 1864, when she was sixteen, she married the famous painter, G. F.  Watts, who was thirty years older than her. She was infatuated with his fine house and lifestyle and he was infatuated with her. He paid her mother and father a stipend since they would lose money when she retired from the stage upon their marriage. The so-called marriage ended within a year and they separated. He admitted that his primary concern had been to keep her off the stage, since it was considered a lowly profession.The most successful aspect of their marriage were the two paintings of her that he painted. The famous image in “Choosing depicts Terry deciding between earthly vanities, represented by showy camellias that she smells, and the nobler values, represented by the violets held in her hand.

"Choosing" by G.F. Watts

“Choosing” by G.F. Watts

Watts continued to pay her parents as long she as she agreed to be chaste.  She soon went back to the stage. So much for shrinking violets!

In 1868 while separated, but not divorced, she eloped with blossoming architect and designer Edward William Godwin, who also was married at the time. She again retired from the stage and moved to rural Hertfordshire with him, to a house he had designed. In 1869, her daughter Edith was born and her son Edward, in 1872. She gave them the last name Craig to spare them the stigma of illegitimacy. Surrounded by mounting debt, (Godwin liked very nice things), Terry returned to the stage in 1874. Godwin turned his efforts to designing theatrical costumes and scenery to be near her. Terry’s return to the stage was wildly popular, this time in the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice, which brought her the highest fame of her career. Godwin left her, and since his wife had died, he married a young and upcoming designer from his office. During this time Terry had many admirers, both for her theatrical skill and her great beauty.

Watts filed for divorce, accusing Terry of adultery. In the meantime she had met fellow actor,  Charles Clavering Wardell, known by his stage name, as Charles Kelly. Many knew of Terry’s “invincible power”, as she was known as “the most fascinating woman in the world, when she cares to throw her spells around.” Many were dubious of the relationship between her and Kelly, but after her official divorce from Watts, Kelly married the “high strung, flighty,” Terry. Her mother called her “mad Ellen” saying, “She is greedy of praise. Yon can not lay it on too thickly, as long as you apply it with the brush and trowel.”

In 1878, Terry joined the  theatrical company managed by Henry Irving, who had assumed ownership of the Lyceum Theatre. Her relationship with Irving, which she always claimed was purely professional, lasted for over twenty years while playing opposite him in many great Shakespearean plays, as heroines such as Ophelia, Lady Macbeth, Viola, Queen Katherine, Juliet, and Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing.

It was obvious that there was more money to be made, more kudos to be gained, by acting with Henry Irving than there was by acting with her own husband. Kelly turned to “social” drinking with friends that understood him, although he never admitted to being an alcoholic. Terry went on tour to America, and they separated. When Terry announced her return to England in 1885, Kelly promptly died.

During all this time Terry’s children traveled with her and when she was not working they lived at rural Smallhythe Place, her country home. There is so much more detail of her life and that of her children’s, that I can not get into here, but it can be found in a book by  Joy Melville, called, Ellen Terry. What a complicated and sad, sad, life they lived! I suggest you read it, it is sooooooo good!

In 1906, a tribute was produced at the Drury Lane Theatre in London for Terry’s Golden Jubilee. Still so popular with her audiences, her fans lined up days ahead, for a one day matinee featuring Terry and her children and and other famous actors. It was noted that from noon until six pm, thousands of Londoners filled Drury Lane with a “riot of enthusiasm, a torrent of emotion, a hurly burly of excitement, and thunders of applause. They cheered until hoarse, laughed on the verge of hysteria, and sang Auld Lang Syne in chorus, not without tears.” The Times noted, “ For half a century, Ellen Terry has been appealing to our hearts. Whatever the anti-sentimentalists say, that is the simple truth. She is a creature of full-blooded, naive emotions that excites those emotions in us.” 

In 1907, she returned to the stage in the United States, and while in Pittsburgh, married the American actor, James  Carew. Terry continued to work into her sixties and seventies, sometimes appearing with her daughter, Edith Craig. There’s so much more to that story!!!!! Read the book!!!!!! She separated from Carew in 1910.

Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry

In 1925, Terry was named a Dame of the British Empire, and in 1928 she died from a heart attack at her home in Smallhythe on July 21st. Her obituary read, “ The death of Dame Ellen Terry has been received with universal sorrow. In the history of the English stage no other actress has ever made herself so abiding a place in the affections of the nation.”

Her daughter, Edith, was committed to preserving her mother’s legacy. She opened the family home as a museum and then turned it over to the National Trust in 1947, upon her death from coronary thrombosis. There is a Shakespeare Festival, held in the converted barn and on the grounds, every year in honor of her mother.  

Don’t you want to peek inside her cottage at Smallhythe with me? Let’s do it then! Enjoy!

Inside Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden, Kent, UK

Inside Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden, Kent, UK

Isn’t this just the coziest cottage? Next we’re going to see Ellen’s famous dress!!!! You won’t want to miss it! See you then!

Inside Smallhythe Place, Country Home of Ellen Terry

Inside Smallhythe Place, Country Home of Ellen Terry

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