Saturday, June 27, 2009
1. Founded around 1140 as a Cistercian monastery, having been one of the most learned and wealthy monasteries for four hundred years. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536-41 it came into private ownership, and has been a charming country house ever since. The house is famous for its plaster ceilings, fine pictures and furniture. The gardens from late 18th C. and the highest powered fountain in England are all well worth a visit.
2. Started as a hunting lodge built in 1616/17 by the 13th Earl of Northumberland, in the Georgian period it was the country seat of the glamorous Lennox sisters. Notable are the State Apartments, with an Egyptian State Dining Room, grand Yellow Drawing Room and a breathtaking Ballroom. The walls are lined with fine collection of paintings (including a number from Van Dyck, Reynolds, Stubbs and Canaletto). Certain outdoor activities are also famous nearby.
3. King Edward I of England built it in the late 13th century, later to become a parliament. A long siege here during the Wars of the Roses inspired a stirring song. During the Civil War (1642-48), it was a Royalist stronghold.
4. Designed by Sir Charles Barry, visitors can trace the steps taken by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon when in 1922 with the Egyptologist Howard Carter he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. The parkland by 'Capability' Brown is spectacularly beautiful, featuring magnificent lawns, a walled garden, glasshouses and a fermery.
5. Was founded in 1120 for defense with walls six metres thick and in the 14th century the castle was transformed into a palatial home. During the English civil war Cromwell's troops demolished it. Scott was inspired to set a novel here. The Penny Magazine - July 31, 1835 had a long article about it.
Forde Abbey, Goodwood House, Harlech Castle, Highclere Castle, Kenilworth Castle