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Sandringham Estate

Norfolk, England

Greetings! The next adventure took us to Sandringham House, the private home of Queen Elizabeth II. Beginning in the 16th century, the Sandringham area passed through two families: the Cobbes who held the land from 1517 and then the Hostes who took over ownership in 1686. The house and land passed through a few more hands before Queen Victoria purchased the house in 1862 for £220,000 as a country residence for her son The Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, the future King Edward VII, who then put in another £60,000 to make it more "habitable."

Sandringham is classified as a "country house" (still not understanding the country part) and encompasses approximately 20,000-acres. Queen Elizabeth II's father and grandfather both passed away in the house. Queen Elizabeth II spends most of the winter at Sandringham. Sandringham is one of two private residences of the Queen, the other being Balmoral in Scotland (where the Queen spends most of her summer). You can tour the gardens at Balmoral, but you are not allowed inside of the house. Sandringham House was opened for the first time to the public in 1977 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Fun fact time: Sandringham has a total of 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. Can you imagine the upkeep and cleaning ALL of those rooms?!? Another fun fact, Queen Elizabeth II has a thing for jigsaw puzzles, who knew? There was one out on a table in the Saloon and according to our guide, there are "cabinets full of jigsaw puzzles for Her Majesty." The Queen is officially in residence at Sandringham from around Christmas until early February. She usually leaves after the anniversary of her father's death on February 6th. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were just at Sandringham the previous week and they enjoy having tea just outside of the small drawing room. The tour guide mentioned to us that Prince Phillip lives on Sandringham, since his retirement from royal duties.

Sandringham: https://sandringhamestate.co.uk

Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside of the house.

Sandringham front:

Rear entrance:

Horse sculpture of "Estimate" the Queen's favorite horse. And behind the horse is a tree planted by Queen Victoria.

The Church, St. Mary Magdalene. If people-watching interests you, one can line the pathways to the estate to watch the royal family walk from the house to the church for Christmas services on Christmas Day.

War Memorial:


Grounds and Gardens:

I really enjoyed Sandringham House. It definitely feels more "homely" than the royal palaces. You can tell the Queen respects and enjoys the traditions of the royal family. The estate is absolutely beautiful and I particularly enjoyed walking the grounds and gardens. They are phenomena! It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the house during Christmas with all of the members of the royal family in residence.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 00:03 Archived in England Tagged st. queen norfolk family royal ii mary estate elizabeth magdalene sandringham Comments (1)

Penrhyn Castle

National Trust Property Llandygai, Bangor , Gwynedd, North Wales

In addition to visiting Caernarfon Castle on our first full day in Wales, we also visited to Penrhyn Castle. Penrhyn Castle is a National Trust property in Bangor, Wales. The castle occupies a strategic position between two rivers on the route from England to Bangor and the Isle of Anglesey. There has been a house on the property since medieval times. The house was designed by Thomas Hopper and constructed from 1820-32. The house belonged to the Pennant family who made their wealth originally in sugar plantations in Jamaica and then in the slate quarry business locally. Apparently the Pennants ran the quarry business in a very unpopular fashion which led to strikes in the early 1900s. The family's bitter legacy is not completely forgotten by the locals.

Penrhyn Castle: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle

The Grand Hall:

The Library:

The Drawing Room:

The Ebony Room:

The Grand Staircase:


The Chapel:

The Dining Room:

The Breakfast Room:

The Kitchen:


Chapel ruin in the gardens:


I really enjoyed Penrhyn Castle and gardens. The room docents were very friendly and helpful. My favorite room was the Library (no surprise there, ha!). The chapel was also lovely, simple but lovely. The gardens were also fantastic. Onto Wales Day 2....

Posted by LCP 23:01 Archived in Wales Tagged family jamaica castle national wales sugar trust bangor penrhyn pennant Comments (1)

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