This is another Mansion. We leave Wales tomorrow and the weather is showery, so better to be rambling around an old house I think.
This one was sold after neither the last owners two children produced children of their own. Sold to the Catholics to use as a private school and this helped some of its survival. It had stunning 17th century paintings in the gold room’s ceiling and walls, but the ladies being very naked and suggestive, the Nuns had them covered so as not to give the growing girls impure thoughts. The Nuns living rather austere lives themselves, continued to use the original kitchen as it was, rather than update anything and so it’s one of the oldest kitchens still in working order until they left. The Govt took over the private schools to integrate them and realising this property was of national interest didn’t keep it as a school so it came into National Trusts hands. Imagine pulling off the boards and finding that!
To give an idea of the scale of the house this is a pic of the ‘Orangey’. Yep believe it or not, this building, well half of it I should say, was built to put the oranges in during the colder months of the year. Hence the big windows. The other side of the building is part of the Stables complex. Of course you needed a lot of space for stables and all the bits for keeping horses. The gardens were not as impressive as some we’ve seen, but still beautiful and like all the other ‘big’ houses providing most of, if not all the kitchens needs.
I have to say joining the National Trust was perfect for us. Each of these places is around $15 pp up to $40pp and it cost us just under $100 each to join (all NZ$) so we had unlimited access to all these properties and free parking which is often another $5. It also bought to our attention all these places that we could read about and decide if it interested us or not and so plan our time as we went around the country. I guess if you weren’t interested in old houses or gardens you might not get value for money but it also gave you a history of the place with volunteers telling you the stories that went with each property and the surrounding district. Not only did it cover Nthn Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales but also valid to use in Italy and NZ until August 2015. Boom!
…and so ends our time in Wales as we leave early in the morning. We head across to stay a night in Bath before another night at Johns and fly out Sunday morning. On our way to Croatia and another very different part of our journey. Meeting family from NZ, which will be fun. We’ve never felt homesick or lonely but it will be nice to discover this neck of the woods WITH them. Tony and Duane have left their babies at home in charge of their other babies! Lindy will be meeting two of her babies, Marinka and Holly en route, and I know she will be looking forward to that.
More importantly we will be reconnecting with our Croatian side. Some old and new faces.
I hope you guys have been practising your Croatian cause the only word I seem to have remembered is…zijveli! And I’m probably saying that wrong. Right Tanja? Haha!