Monday, June 29, 2009

Blarney House

by Ann Lethbridge
It's not everyone who gets to sit on the floor in a Smiths' bookshop in Bluewater and have their photo taken with their book. All right, so the staff did look at me as if I was mad, but what the heck. My sister in law was just as thrilled as I was. And we went on to repeat the event in Waterstones.

I left bookmarks in every copy while I was there. So now I am wondering if anyone found one.

But to return to our topic for the day.

This is Blarney House. Built in 1874 it is by not stretch of the vivid imagination anything to do with the regency. But the guide was welcoming and the history fascinating. But what made it perfect was the Irish Government's decision to allow the owners to keep their home. Rather than have the equivalent of the National Trust take it over, an organization I respect highly, Ireland decided to help the original owners keep their home and live it in by a financial grant to help with upkeep on the condition that they open it to the public for a percentage of time each year.

Our guide informed us that the family sleep in the beds in the bedroom, that the dog hairs are quite the problem, and that they battle with the dust. Charmingly domestic.

The interior contains a lot of history about the family, a joining of the Jeffries and the Colthursts. It contains artifacts dating back through the ages. The house itself would make a wonderful centrepiece for a gothic novel, with its turrets and towers. The grounds were lovely and the weather turned gorgeous just for us.

Unbeleivably, next week is July and we will interrupt our trip to Ireland with our regular programming.

Until next time Happy Rambles.