View from the top car park.
Past the forest.
Down the drive and through the gateway...
... to a medieval European styled house. The architecture reminds me of the village of Vulgaria in the story of "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang." I half expected to see Baron Bomburst or the child catcher appear from a doorway!
Once inside the house our first stop was the main hub in grand home:
The butler's pantry.
The kitchen complete with a selection of "fake foods" and "meat" turning on the spit.
Following a"one way system" we were guided into a series of rooms displaying all kinds of ephemera. Apparantly Lord Armstrong used his house as a "shop" and invited dignitaries were "encouraged" to purchase various items or buy into one of his many ventures!
He had a keen interest in lighting of all kinds, many of which were avant garde for that time period. A display of various light fittings.
Stained glass windows dotted around the place.
The gun room containing shootind paraphernalia, riding boots and assorted hats.
From here we carefully negotiated a series of very steep steps to gawp at the plunge bath!
The Dressing Area.
A design detailing the whole plan and functioning of this area.
The plunge bath, big enough for Pip to swim in!
Imagine soaking in a lovely hot tub and then relaxing on the lounger by the window.
Soon it was time to venture upstairs. This house is great regarding access for people with disabilites and so Dave was able to join us via a lift. The bedrooms were named according to colours, so there was a blue, green, red, yellow and white room. I did not take shots of all the rooms but here are shots of those that I did:
The bed and chaise lounge in the green room.
The mantlepiece in the green room.
The canopied bed in the red room and ...
... the lady-in-waiting's room off this bedroom. It was a very small but pretty room, with a bed, wash stand and ...
... fireplace and desk with a chair.
The white room, this was a typical "girlie" room for that time period.
There was however a sad story attached to this room and the owner, a young girl of 18 years died of meningitis. A full length portrait of her resides in the very beautiful marbled room.
The marbled room and the very ornate fireplace which was never used to actually heat the room as the floor had underfloor heating! (DH civil engineering note: the fireplace is made from 10 tons of Italian marble, and had to be fixed with a steel frame to the solid bedrock behind, this back wall is a rock face)
View from the fireplace.
Our last stop was a room set for afternoon tea and a very apt reminder that we too needed a refreshment stop! So we made our way out of the house and into the courtyard for a coffee, juice and cake stop. My joints were swollen and sore and I had an awful banging head. A very kind lady heard me commenting about my feeling unwell and offered some painkillers from her car!
Buoyed on by the caffeine and medicine hit we were able to take the kids on a short walk from the car to the visitor centre and look at some more art installations:
Benedict pretending to be a zombie from minecraft! You can see the world upside down from in here!
Despite a few hiccups as in health issues for the aged parents and mum having minor meltdowns trying to corral the gang, make sure no one has been left behind and that non of the displays were touched by tiny hands, all in all it has been a good day. Here is a funny video encapturing a hilarious moment between Benedict and myself ... a reminder to me that parenting is worth all the hassles!