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Bamberg

Smoked Beer and a Christmas Market

While we were in Nuremberg we opted to take the short train ride to Bamberg to spend the day there. I really enjoyed Bamberg, it was really a charming city even if the weather didn't necessarily cooperate.

Bamberg is a quintessentially medieval German town in Bavaria. A large part of the town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bamberg was founded in 1004 by Emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on 6 May 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081.

Here are a few pictures of the town:
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Bamberg Cathedral was completed in the 13th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
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Heller Haus was the birth place of Joseph Heller, a local businessman, historian and art collector. Heller bequeathed a huge art collection to the Bamberg State Library. In front of the house stands the statue of of Empress Kunigunde.
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The New Residence of the Bamberg Prince-Bishops was constructed in the seventeenth century.
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The Old Town Hall:
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Bamberg Christmas Market:
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And the whole reason we went to Bamberg was for the smoked beer! No trip to Bamberg would be complete without a trip to Schlenkerla Brewery. Records first mention Schlenkerla "House of the blue lion" in 1405. The brewery is run by the Trum family and are on the 6th generation.

Schlenkerla: https://www.schlenkerla.de/indexe.html#
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Bamberg was such a cool city and I would love to go back!

On to the Nuremberg Trials...

As a side note, here is a link to a new internet radio station with a focus on travel bloggers, COLLAGE TRAVEL RADIO: https://live365.com/station/collage-Travel-radio-a95388

Posted by LCP 01:18 Archived in Germany Tagged beer market town germany cathedral christmas old hall smoked bamberg hellerhaus Comments (1)

Vilnius Day 1

Lithuania

On our first full day in Vilnius we hit the ground running. We managed to see the Gate of Dawn (which was just outside of our AirBnb), Cathedral Square (Vilnius Cathedral and Palace of the Dukes) Gediminas Tower (which provided great views of Old Town Vilnius and the New Town area), the National Museum of Lithuania, St. Anne's Church, Bernardus Park, and The Bastion. We also managed to walk through Užupis, which is a Bohemian, artsy area of Vilnius.

But before we get to all of that, we ate breakfast at Gusto Blynine, which was right outside of our AirBnb and specialized in pancakes and crepes. It was a really cute restaurant, take a look at the fun decor!
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Walking right outside of our AirBnb was The Gate of Dawn. It was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Of ten city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains, today. The Chapel in the Gate of Dawn contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, believed to have miraculous powers. For centuries the picture has been one of the symbols of the city and an object of veneration for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants.
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We took a stroll through Town Hall Square and made our way to Cathedral Square, where we went to Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas' Tower, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the Palace of the Dukes. Cathedral Square was very cool and laid out quite well.

Vilnius Cathedral, the Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius, is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. The coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place within the church and many famous people from Lithuanian and Polish history are buried inside its crypts and catacombs.

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From the Cathedral, we did a short hike up the hill next to the church to reach Gediminas' Tower. The Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first wooden fortifications were built by Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. The three-floor tower was rebuilt in 1933 by Polish architect Jan Borowski. There are spectacular views of Old Town Vilnius and New Town Vilnius from the tower.
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These are some views from the tower of Old Town and New Town which are separated by Neris River.
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Next, we looped around to the National Museum of Lithuania. This was a fantastic museum and the docents were really friendly. There were some great displays and artifacts here. The museum also had great information on this history of the Lithuanian people.
Museum website: http://www.lnm.lt/en/
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After the National Museum of Lithuania we stopped at a really cute bagel shop for a quick bite before walking to St. Anne's Church, which is a beautiful red brick church.
Bagel shop
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St. Anne's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town, on the right bank of the Vilnia River established around 1495-1500.
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St. Francis of Assisi (Bernardine) Roman Catholic Church is co-located next to St. Anne's Church. The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard is a Roman Catholic church in the Old Town of Vilnius.
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After touring Bernadine Church, we took a casual stroll through Bernadine Park, near the church.
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We rounded out the day by strolling through Uzupis, the Bohemian part, of Vilnius and finding The Bastion.
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The Bastion is part of the Vilnius Defensive Wall, often called “barbican”. It is a Renaissance-style fortification characterized by its original construction. It consists of a tower installed in the city defence wall, underground gun ports and a connecting corridor, which turns into a 48-metre long tunnel. The Bastion was built in the first half of the 17th century by the German military engineer, Friedrich Getkant.
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Onto Vilnius Day 2...

Posted by LCP 01:08 Archived in Lithuania Tagged of town square new cathedral old st dawn gate hall bastion vilnius lithuania gemeninas annes Comments (2)

Haddon Hall

Bakewell, Derbyshire

As part of our trip to the Peak District, our wonderful AirBnb host recommended we check out Haddon Hall. It was originally not part of our plan for the Peak District, but I can't resist a good hall, manor, house, castle, etc. Haddon Hall is an English country house on the River Wye near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Again, I'm not sure I understand "country house" as the description of the house, it is like a castle. Haddon is often referred to as a "fortified manor house." Haddon Hall is the seat of the Duke of Rutland (who also owns and lives at Belvoir Castle). The Duke's brother, Lord Manners, lives at Haddon and we were told the family was entertaining later that evening. The hall was thought to have been originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The oldest part of the Hall is King John's Wall (pictures below) thought to date back to 1195 and modified in 1370. Haddon Hall has been in the Manners family since 1567.

Haddon Hall: https://www.haddonhall.co.uk

We were on a self-guided tour of Haddon Hall. There was a brief discussion on the house in the Banqueting Hall when we arrived. We entered the Hall under the North-West Tower, and then walked through the Lower Courtyard.

River Wye:
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Lower Courtyard:
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Then, we made our way to the kitchen.
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Food preparation table worn down:
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Much loved cutting board:
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Three kitchen sinks. Live fish may have been kept in one of the basins:
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Next was the Bakery, with dual ovens:
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The Butchery:
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The Buttery:
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The Dole cupboards were in between the Bakery and the Butchery. These wooden "dole" cupboards were filled with food and leftovers from the kitchen and placed outside in the evenings so people passing by could take some of the food without having to ask. Apparently the phrase "on the dole" comes from the Dole cupboards. I've never heard the phrase before.
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We walked to the Banqueting Hall next. This one one of my favorite rooms in the house. There was also a fire going, so that may have had something to do with it ;). Fun fact about the table, apparently when the family was finished eating the table would be opened up for the dogs to clean off. There were even dog gates at the bottom of the steps, which I didn't get a picture of because I didn't realize they were dog gates.
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The Minstrel's Gallery in the background of this picture dates back to the 15th century.
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One of the windows in the Banqueting Hall:
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The tapestry on the wall is said to have been a gift from Henry VIII. The tapestry was probably made during the reign of King Edward IV in the 15th century.
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We then moved into The Parlour, or for us commoners, the Dining Room. This room had extensive intricate woodwork. I tried to get a few pictures but I am not quite sure they capture the level of detail.
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Ceiling:
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Example of the detailed woodwork:
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In the window recess of the Parlour:
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Carved figures in oak paneling, possibly Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York.
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View from the Parlour:
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Onto the Great Chamber:
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Window recess in the Great Chamber:
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The Earl's Apartment. There was a small fireplace in the corner of the room and several royals who have visited Haddon signed their names here.
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The Long Gallery is probably the most famous room in the house. The room would have been used as what us commoners would call an indoor track so one could still exercise without having to endure the elements outside. The Long Gallery was also used for less strenuous activities such as gaming and needlework and probably also for balls. The windows are really unique in this room. The diamond shaped panes are set at different angles giving it a wavey appearance which maximizes the use of daylight.
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Ceiling:
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Window pane:
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We walked through a few Ante-rooms with beautiful tapestries on the walls. Tapestries were a sign of wealth.
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Our final room was the State Bedroom. There is no bed in the State Bedroom, but there is a billiards table. The state bed was moved to Belvoir Castle and sits in the Picture Gallery there. Also, I took a picture of what the room would have looked like back in the day.
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Oldest Part of Haddon Hall, King John's Wall:
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The Chapel was really interesting. The frescoes on the wall are thought to have been commissioned in the 15th century.
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The gardens at Haddon were beautiful. The weather wasn't very cooperative, but I managed to get out during breaks in the rain to take a few pictures. I really enjoyed the different levels of gardens.
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Haddon Hall is definitely one of my absolute favorite Halls that we have visited in England. The gardens were beautiful and the hall had a somewhat "homely" feel to it. On to Chatsworth House...

Posted by LCP 01:58 Archived in England Tagged of district peak hall duke manners vernon bakewell haddon belvoir rutland Comments (2)

Oxburgh Hall

Norfolk

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Oxburgh Hall, a moated country house, entrusted to the National Trust in Oxborough, Norfolk. The house was constructed around 1482 by Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and remained a home to the Bedingfeld family for over 500 years. The house has survived a fire during the Civil War, neglect, and a threat of demolition. The Bedingfeld family was devoutly Catholic, and the house is famous for its secret Priest Hole. A Catholic priest may have had to hide within the small disguised room in the event of troops raiding the house. The room was reached via a trapdoor, which when closed, blends in with the tiled floor. The house also known for the "Oxburgh Hangings,"needlework created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury (aka Bess of Hardwick) between 1570 and 1585. These needleworks were created while Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England on Elizabeth I's orders.

Oxburgh Hall: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall?PlaceMapClick=254

Oxburgh Hall, A fortified manor house:
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We were on a self-guided tour which started in the South Corridor and led into the Saloon:
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Antwerp Cabinet:
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From the Saloon, we entered the West Drawing Room, followed by the West Staircase:
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Artifacts in West Drawing Room:
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Ceiling:
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Staircase:
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Lion on the staircase banister:
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Wallpaper along staircase:
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After the West Staircase, we came to my favorite room in the manor, the Library:
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Secret servant door in Library:
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View from Library:
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From the Library, we were led into the Dining Room and then the North Staircase:
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North Staircase:
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From the North Staircase we walked through the Lobby into the North Bedroom and the Boudoir.
Lobby:
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Portrait of a Carmelite nun:
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Area above North Bedroom fireplace:
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The Boudoir:
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After the Boudoir we wanted into the Marian Hangings Room, which display the Oxburgh Hangings. This is where the embroideries and needlework that were created by Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, were presumably moved after 1973. Mary, Queen of Scots, was not imprisoned at Oxburgh. She was considered a threat to the throne by Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I kept Mary, Queen of Scots, captive under the watchful eye of the Countess of Shrewsbury's husband, the Early of Shrewsbury who held Mary at several of his properties throughout England: Tutbury Castle, Sheffield Castle, Sheffield Manor Lodge, Wingfield Manor and Chatsworth House, which are all located in the interior of England halfway between Scotland and London. The embroideries arrived to Oxburgh in 1761 as a marriage present for Mary Browne, of Cowdray Park, to Sir Richard Bedingfeld and were used as bed hangings in the King's Room and remained there until 1973.
These scissors reportedly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots:
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Following the Marian Hangings Room, we went into the King's Bedroom. This room really wasn't a bedroom, it was more for show, according to the docent. The room is located right above then archway at the entrance to the hall:
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Off to the side of the King's Room was the secret Priest Hole:
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Next we took a small staircase to the Queen's Room and to the Roof:
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Views:
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The concluded the tour of the manor. We opted to find the Chapel and take a Woodlands Walk.
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception and St. Margaret:
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Woodlands:
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Gardens on the side of the manor:
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Oxburgh Hall was a lovely manor. The cafe served the most delicious honey and ginger scones! We had a great time touring this property and would most definitely return.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 10:06 Archived in England Tagged of priest queen norfolk national i mary hall elizabeth trust catholicism scots oxburgh Comments (1)

Wimpole Estate

A unique working estate in Royston, part of National Trust

Hello! Welcome back! Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few weeks - we finally came down with the "English cold" which as we were told, usually strikes around the six month mark following your arrival and lingers for several weeks. I would say that is an accurate timeline for sure.

So, in this week's post, I'm going to summarize our trip to Wimpole Estate in Royston. I have wanted to go to Wimpole for a while now. Wimpole, as well as many other sites here, are National Trust properties. National Trust was founded in 1895 as a charity to preserve and protect dozens of properties, and sites throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust also includes conservation. The National Trust oversees: "780 miles of coastline, over 248,000 hectares of land, over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments gardens and parks and nature reserves, and finally, close to one million objects and works of art," according to its website. We signed up for a membership, which is pretty reasonably priced (you can usually recoup your membership costs after visiting three or so sites and you get free parking at most sites). There is another similar yearly membership, English Heritage. English Heritage overseas "over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of an empire to a Cold War bunker," according to its website. We chose National Trust because most people here we have talked to have that one, while some have both. We do plan to get an English Heritage membership at some point, but we went with the National Trust because it has more parks and gardens, and more properties. I've included links below to both, if anyone has an interest in looking at what each has to offer as far as properties and sites.

National Trust: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
English Heritage: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk

Wimpole Estate encompasses the property and the Hall, which we would call the house. Wimpole took ten years to build, begun in 1640 and completed in 1650. It is considered a "country house" located in Cambridgeshire (fun fact the "-shire" that the end of words here is pronounced "sheer" don't say "shire" as you will get some looks here...speaking from experience). Ownership has passed through many important hands over the years, including: Sirs, Earls, a Duke, a Baron, a Lord, and a Viscount. The final owners were Captain George Bambridge and his wife, Elsie Bambridge. Elsie Bambridge was the only surviving child of Rudyard Kipling, who was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. The Bambridges then bequeathed the estate to the National Trust in 1976. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the Hall in 1843. There is a portrait of Queen Victoria above the fireplace in the Grand Dining Room, which she reportedly said was a " a perfect likeness" of herself.

We went on a self-guided tour of the Hall which consisted of two stories plus the basement area. We began in the Entrance Hall, followed by the Ante-Chapel, the Inner Hall, and the Saloon. The Saloon was a fantastic room with big bay windows to view the gardens and landscape behind the Hall. I could definitely see myself sitting in this room taking my coffee and reading a morning paper while staring out into the gardens. The Yellow Drawing Room was next and did not disappoint, probably one of my favorite rooms. It was built for entertaining and has a unique shape and decor to it, yellow fabric-lined walls. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert reportedly enjoyed this room during their visit and the Queen supposedly wore a yellow bird of paradise silk dress which would have matched the room's decor. We then went through the Red Drawing Room, the Book Room, Library, Long Gallery, South Drawing Room, Ante-Room and the Breakfast Room. Rounding out the first floor were the Grand Dining Room and Grand Staircase. Mrs. Bambridge had converted the Grand Dining Room into a kitchen which consisted of three rooms and a corridor. The National Trust converted this room back into a dining space in 1990 to reflect the room's original purpose. We reached the second floor via the Grand Staircase, and were led into the Lord Chancellor's Bedroom. There is a rather gaudy and ornate red and gold bed in this room, an eighteenth century state bed is what the placard said, which happens to be an elaborately decorated or carved bed...go figure. Next, we went into the Lord Chancellor's Dressing room, which had a smaller twin-sized bed in it. We then came to the Vestibule which led into Mrs. Bambridge's Study, a small little room where Mrs. Bambridge could view the front of the house. The Study led into Mrs. Bambridge's Bedroom, she definitely had a thing for pink and chintz. Right outside of her bedroom, was the Print Room which contained some of Captain Bambridge's collection of prints, but Mrs. Bambridge converted the Print Room into a bathroom suite in 1958 and installed a pink toilet, which is the first thing you see as you walk into the room. Next, it was downstairs to the basement. Here we saw the Bath House. This was interesting because it was designed in 1793 by John Soane and was reportedly used for health benefits, rather than cleanliness and could hold almost 3,000 gallons of water! Apparently group bathing was a thing, not sure I understand the health benefits of that. It kind of reminded me of a very large and deep hot tub in its own room. We then went into The Chapel which was used by both the families who owned the Hall and the servants. It was beautiful. The interior was painted in the 1720s by James Thornhill who used "trompe l'oeil" (trick of the eye), which is a painting technique that uses realistic imagery to create an optical illusion, making objects appear three dimensional. The paintings and the ceiling were beautiful and so interesting, I suspect the "trompe l'oeil" helped with that. We then walked the corridor to the Housekeeper's Room, Butler's Pantry and Steward's Room. The Housekeeper's room was quite large, we were quite surprised by the size of the room actually, compared to that of Mrs. Hughes, the housekeeper in Downton Abbey (a good comparison for all of the Downton Abbey fans). We exited the Hall and walked around the gardens. Much to my dismay, Capability Brown also left his mark on the gardens here (he left his mark at Kimbolton). The day we visited, the weather was rainy and windy, typical English weather, so we didn't get a lot of pictures.

Wimpole Hall
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View with your back to the Hall
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Church next to the Hall, I believe still in use
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Back of the Hall
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Gardens in the back of the Hall
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Ruins viewed from the back of the Hall
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Wimpole Hall was a lovely house. There is also a working farm on the property that we will have to visit next time.

Onto the next adventure...Poland and Slovakia!

Posted by LCP 23:52 Archived in England Tagged gardens england house national farm estate hall trust wimpole royston Comments (1)

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