Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Longleat

Don't forget to enter the Harlequin Holiday Give Away. Go to my website to find all the authors participating and all the wonderful Prizes.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful houses I have visited, though each has its own charm, is Longleat. Now I have to say, I did not visit the zoo or the safari or any of that stuff. As always my interest is the house and the grounds and any interesting tidbits of family history.

It was quite misty as we drove in and I loved this view of the house from high on the hill. I could almost imagine myself in a coach and four to attend a house party given by the second Marquess of Bath. More likely I'd been lighting the fires, but ah well, it is fun to dream.

It is not possible to take pictures inside the house, since it is still the property of the Marquess of Bath, unlike so many other of the great homes which their noble owners could no long afford to keep. I for one am glad that some have managed to find ways to retain their ancestral homes.

Longleat has seven libraries with over 40,000 books some of which go back five centuries to when the family first built the house. I can pretty well guarantee that they don't own one of my books. No hard feelings though.

The wall covering in the dining room was particularly interesting, because it was so unusual, tooled Spanish leather made in Cordoba around 1620. Furniture and paintings fill magnificent rooms and it was a pleasure to walk through them.





This is a picture of the wisteria which climbs the orangery wall and the next view is of the orrangery itself.  We have seen several of these in various blogs, but this is a very large and beautiful one at the back of a formal garden.

It was the second Marquess of Bath who spanned the Regency era and into the Victorian age, he brought much of the house up to date at that time and of course it has been renovated since.