Friday, 7 September 2012


You know by now that I love a good National Trust property. 

I like the smell of them. The age of them. The gardens and the walls of them. The history of them.

When we rocked up at Nymans, I knew nothing of the place. Just as well there was a handy plaque. How awesome? A lot of evacuees had their education disrupted by WW2, and I love the idea of some of being here, in such a beautiful place, learning and having some stability.

Some of the house was destroyed by fire in 1947, but has been left as was. Which I adore. 

I love it when things are left open to the elements and nature always seems to make things more beautiful when left to it's own devices.

Mmmmm. Old bricks. I kinda like them too and the way they have been left.

Not only does it have a fabulous exterior, but it is a welcoming abode also. The gardens are vast, and we did not have time to go round them. 

The gardens are so lovely that they have been open to the public since the 1930s, before the whole thing was given over in the 50s.

Something I have developed a penchant for of late, is trying to take my own photo in old mirrors. I like to think about who lived in the house and looked at their reflection.  I especially love them when they have that mottled greyness to them from their age.

Something I have noticed about NT properties recently is the relaxation on photography (no flash) and also how open they have become. A few years back, in my experience, it was all "please, not photos" and glorious displays roped off.

All the places I have been to over the Summer (an abundance of posts to come!) were far more accessible.

You get much more of a feel for a place when you can wander about, not touching, but getting near to the objects of the people who used to live there.

I am all for conservation and the protection of carpets and the like. I really am. But all the places I have been to recently have left me feeling a lot more fulfilled by my visit than they ever did before.

I take a lot of inspiration from old interiors. I am never too sure if NT places are modelled on, perhaps, old photographs of how a certain room used to look, if they have been left in situ since a property was donated to the nation, or if they are just simply stuffed full of personal artefacts by the present day custodians.

Either way -  I liked this room in particular. A lot. It looked comfy, creative and welcoming. As though the former inhabitant had just stepped out to get some tea. I like to think of them laying on the sofa and listening to music. Or sitting by a crackling fire, reading a book.

I have noticed that folk back them often had a writing room -  or at least a specific desk. I like this idea very much. I am thinking, perhaps, an old lidded school desk shall have to suffice for now.

Until my lottery win ship comes in at least.


  1. I have never been but it looks gorgeous, just my sort of place/ Lovely photos which show an atmosphere.

  2. That is a really lovely room. It's got everything. A real fire, a cosy sofa, the window seat with nearby drinks tray and the writing desk. Just perfect.
    Lisa x

  3. What a beautiful house :) I could just see myself relaxing on that sofa!! x

  4. lovely pictures. i want the china... and agree about the weathered look too. x

  5. What a lovely place, it looks far more livable than most and I especially like the bits that have fallen into ruin.

  6. How lovely and those windows are heavenly. I can't visit these places myself, much as I'd love to, so I really appreciate your sharing them with us, thank you. I'm with you on the writing desk, I have an Edwardian bureau myself and I adore old foxed looking glasses. I bought an antique dressing table...oh, the luck, 50 quid, squeal!....recently and the man apologised for the marks on the glass and suggested I had them repaired...not bloody likely was my reply, I think he thought I was peculiar.
    I have to say I'd have a terrible urge to just move in if I visited these places, they'd have to shove me out the doors come closing time.

  7. I know precisely what you mean about liking (adoring!) the smell of certain older buildings. I'm the same way, too - and not just with buildings and homes, but also garments, books, furniture, you name it. A pleasant perfume of a piece or place's age always helps endear it to my heart even more.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. That room does look so inviting and comfy - and really light and airy too. I could also spend a happy few hours in that library.

  9. I love Nymans too! I saw on the TV that 'Country Life' has a photo archive from the 1800s, with lavish Hello-style photo shoots of stately homes, and NT/EH often use these to plan their room layouts. That would be such a cool job- finding photos and then making up the rooms to look the same.

  10. I work at Sissinghurst, home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. Vita wrote or contributed to the handbook of the WLA. We have a library which has changed a bit recently and now is a better reflection of a picture from Country Living. It now has a sofa covered in fabric recreated from that photo and is there for people to use and soak up the atmosphere.
    I am not sure how all properties decide how to 'display' their rooms, i imagine that many are just as they were left. It is really great to see less and less do not touch signs at NT properties!
    Love to see you at Sissinghurst sometime!

    1. Hey there! I visited Sissinghurst this summer too :D

    2. and you didn't pop in for tea and cake :(
      maybe next time!

    3. Alas - I don't think we did - it was very hot when we visited (which narrows it down to about 1 in 25 days this summer!)

    4. if you come to Sissinghurst again, i live on site in a house that housed land girls (a fact that makes me happy everyday!). Come round for a cuppa and a slice of cake!!

    5. Oh my! What an invite! Thank you! 1)I am envious of you living on site. 2) am envious of you living in a house where Land Girls once stayed. I would love to know more? Please pop me an email if you have a change - x

  11. I love a good NT property as well, I think they often use photos to set up rooms. They are definitely trying to throw of the stuffy image and getting a lot more family friendly as well. If you're ever in Wiltshire, check out Avebury Manor - it's been specially designed so that visitors can touch and interact with the rooms.

  12. NT, love it, we've been to a few this Summer too. I love the odd sign that someone still lives in and uses the rooms, a wire coat hanger poking out from under a bed, modern reading material on an antique bedside cabinet, fantastic!

  13. What a marvelous place. I love the photo of you in the mirror, too, what a neat idea. Makes me rather embarrassed that the only photo I can recall taking in a mirror in the last year or so was in the women's bathroom in a bar. Hee! That aside, I love how the rooms are arranged, it does look inviting, like you could just pick up with a cup of tea and a book (or knitting).

  14. Oh I love a National Trust property too!! I always drag my other half along, and bless him, he generally goes along with it (as long as I will let him go in some guitar shops at a later date).

    Looks great, nice photos.

    Miss P xx

  15. Aahhh, I miss going round these places so much (not so easy with two littluns in tow...) - this one looks particularly ace, and I completely agree about the lounge too. I can just see myself sitting on that sofa, eating cake and crocheting. Loverly!


I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to comment away!


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