Friday, January 29, 2010

Stourhead Continues Some More

by Ann Lethbridge
Fascinatingly, at one point in time, Stourhead had its own hermit.

Now this picture of some ruins in the grounds is probably not it. The guide says the hermitage is no longer there.

But I had fun imaginingt some bearded elderly gentleman earning a living by sitting in this structure, just so those living in the house could say, there is a hermit living at the bottom of my garden.

And if you can have a temple and a parthenon and a gothic cottage, why not have a hermit?

That is it for the garden. There is a walled garden. There is also a tower. Since we wanted to see the house, we decided to save them for another day. And so, you will have to wait for those too.

Stourhead House





No, no, this is not it! This is just the gate.

But you knew that, didn't you?


Imagine driving up to the Stourhead house in your carriage or phaeton. Such an impressive entrance.

The gate was built in 1799 and was a replica of an earlier gate set between the village and the stable yard.

As you can probably tell I did not take the above picture, but I did want you to see the front of the gate. By this time my camera was misbehaving - I had to buy a new one, and so a couple of my pictures didn't come out.

I did want to share this one with you. Over the years I have seen lots of gatehouse, but I did think this was one of the prettiest I've ever seen.

There are a lot of things about Stourhead that makes one want to say that. But the reason I was so excited to find this gatehouse was that it is how I imagined the gatehouse in "Captured for the Captain's Pleasure" would look. Only I added a bedroom in the eaves.

Yes I know that title makes you think of ships and ocean, but there is a fair bit of dry land too. In that book, the house itself is burned down, but fortunately Stourhead while it did suffer a major fire in the early nineteen hundreds, much of the interior was either saved or replicated.





















A wide drive sweeps in a curve up to the house. It is bordered on the right by Spanish chestnut trees.

To give you an idea of the size and age of these trees, my husband kindly offered to stand next to one.

Did I say offered?

Well he suffered through it anyway, bless him.


Where is the house, say you?


But first we have to park our car in the garage. Ahem, take the carriage to the stable.

We will start there, next time. I promise you, it is worth the wait.


Until next time, Happy Rambles.