National Trust Property - Cambridgeshire
Greetings! We just took a visit to Anglesey Abbey and Lode Mill. This is another National Trust property. I really enjoyed this property, maybe even more than Wimpole Estate, another National Trust property, which we visited a few weeks ago.
When we first entered, we walked on a wonderful trail through various gardens. I have several pictures below, but I'm not quite sure they do the gardens justice. The variety and types of plants were just beautiful and the weather certainly couldn't have been better. I would imagine in another few weeks more things may be in bloom and the trail would be stunning. After about a 20 minute trail walk we came to Lode Mill.
Views from the trail:
Lode Mill dates back to the Domesday Book. The Domesday Book was a land survey of England and Wales, known as the "Great Survey," and was ordered to be completed by William the Conqueror. The survey was completed in 1086. No other land survey of the scale of the Domesday Book was attempted again until 1873 with the Return of Owners of Land, also known as the "Modern Domesday." (There's the history lesson for the day!). The mill remains an active water- mill today for grinding flour and you can buy the famous wholemeal flour from the mill or the shop near the entrance of the property. We were able to tour the mill and go about the different floors. There were many small steps, more like ladders, to get to the different floors and as one who falls up and down stairs, I was nervous, but I had no issues. The view from the mill was quite fantastic.
Inside of Lode Mill:
After the mill, we continued on the trail walk and came to the house, Anglesey Abbey. Anglesey Abbey is believed to date back to 1135 and was established as the hospital of St. Mary's by Henry I. It was converted to a priory of Augustinian canons in the thirteenth century. When Henry VIII began to dissolve monasteries in 1536, monastic life came to an end at the Abbey. The Abbey passed through a few more hands before being purchased by Huttleston Broughton, later known as the 1st Lord Fairhaven, and his brother Henry in 1926. Over the next 40 years, Lord Fairhaven added onto the Abbey and accumulated an impressive collection of art work. Lord Fairhaven's mother was the American oil heiress, Cara Leyland Rogers, who may have influenced his artistic tastes, and his father was very successful as well, having amassed a fortune in American railroads. Lord Fairhaven had a fantastic collection of art work of Windsor which showed the changing landscape over the years. The paintings were located in a two-story gallery in the Abbey. I believe I recall one of the volunteers mentioning that the house has one of the largest (if not the largest) collection of art work of any National Trust property. There was also a very interesting wooden piano on the first floor of the gallery. Lord Fairhaven was apparently a very precise person; he had dozens of clocks and several grandfather clocks throughout the house. One of the volunteers told us a funny story about Lord Fairhaven...the butler of the house would come down and announce the cocktail hour at 7:50pm. Everyone would have a salty dog cocktail, which is a cocktail of gin, or vodka, and grapefruit juice, served in a highball glass with a salted rim. At 8:00pm the butler would then announce dinner and guests had exactly three minutes to make it to the dining room or forfeit dinner. If you arrived at 8:04pm in the dining room, you were out of luck. So, the entry time to the house is a nod to the precise-ness of Lord Fairhaven. The rooms in the Abbey are definitely smaller and cozy and there are many more hallways and pathways compared to Wimpole. I enjoyed the vaulting throughout the house, especially in the dining room. I also appreciated the Jacobean architectural style of the Abbey. The gardens were beautiful here, pretty much what I think of when I think of English gardens. It would be great to picnic here or to just come for a stroll. After we finished the house tour we, walked through the Rose Garden and the Formal Gardens before joining the trail again and exiting. I would definitely visit Anglesey again!
A nod to Lord Fairhaven's timeliness:
His mother, Cara:
Inside of the Abbey:
Onto the next adventure!