A Little More England! Kingston Lacy
June 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
For the record, I took around 3,000 photos on this trip, which is insane. But I am told by almost all good photographers I know that the key to getting a few great shots is to take A LOT of them. So, I did. And I am not saying that these are all great photos, but I am trying to up my game a tad.
And now back to England. The first leg of the trip was focused on the areas surrounding Bath and one of our first stops was farther south in Dorset, at Kingston Lacy (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/), which was built to resemble an Italian palace. For all I know that was “tacky” in the day, but I find it to be pretty today. And from the 17th century until 1981 it was the Bankes family home. (In case you are at all interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankes)
We arrived on a rather dreamy day…cloudy enough to get the “English” feel, but with just enough sun and blue skys here and there to make you want to walk your legs off to enjoy the house and grounds.
The walk leading up to the house kind of surprised me. Why? Because as an American who spends a lot of time seeing really big developer’s houses all over the place, this house actually seemed reasonable in size. I know this is nuts, but I have always felt that many houses are just too big these days — especially for their lot sizes — and this is estate pretty confirmed my beliefs. Is it large? Yes. But it contained a family and a staff and is sited on 8,500 hectares. (Which is a lot of acres. Please don’t ask me to do the math. I’ve been doing it all day.) And the combination of the scale of the house with the size of the property felt Just Right.
Some of my favorite moments…
Amazing ceiling in the center hall. One interesting fact I learned on this trip: Many times, more “violent” paintings — animals killing each other, for example — were placed in staircases, as they were not considered “polite” for sitting rooms. (And this center hall definitely delivered on that trend.) I tend to agree, but generally I am not one for violent art anywhere in the home. That said, when you are talking Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian and Brueghel, I suppose one can relax the rules a touch.
I do love the amount of carving and plaster that can be found in this building — and many others that we saw. This one, though, just cracked me up, as I am pretty sure that I make this face at meetings sometimes. And when on the phone with my Dry Cleaner.
As imposing as the more public spaces can be, this place still felt like someone’s home. And this bedroom really drove that home. When I walked in, all I could think of is how my Grandmother would have loved this room. And the reading contents were pretty excellent as well…
And, to make good on that Manor House Thing, some other shots…
OK, this one is blurry…but that lady was just constantly in my way!
And then there is the back of the house, which leads to the wonderful grounds…
Yeah…this is the payoff. But there is more…
(I want to paint my closet this color…or at least find a lipstick in this shade.)
Yes. This is a headstone for a pony. Next to it was one for “a dear friend”, which I am hoping was also not human…or Silvertail must have been some pony.
You have no idea how long it took us to figure out that these sheep “looked different” because they were shorn. (I thought they were goats at first. You can see it, right??)
Sure…we pretend to be in The Country at the beach, but no matter how many herbs we grow, we are helpless city folk. I am hoping that we are slowly educating ourselves on these matters. Which, in addition to just being outside, having fun and seeing new things, is kind of the point of the whole affair.
Until next time: know your shorn sheep from your goats!
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)