Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Cannons Ashby and the Last of Summer

Am I still harping on about something that was 6 months ago and 2 seasons past? Am I being quintessentially (love that word) British and talking about the weather?

Well, yes, yes I am. The sun might be out in the South  - but it is frickin' freezing out there and we have more snow on the way. So I have bundled on some woolly tights, a thick cotton frock, a knitted cardy and a shawl shaped into a scarf. I have a new crochet stitch to master and something warming with pastry for tea. 

No wonder I am thinking about some of our days out in the warmer months.

 On this particular day, the weather was warm, but muggy, we had got lost on the way and my mood was not the best. So, the cool interior of this Elizabethan mansion pleased me no end. There are some places I walk into and think "Yep. I could most certainly live here".  Canons Ashby is one of those places. Originally built around 1550, using stones from the Priory that was there - a victim of the Reformation perhaps? -  it has been added to over the years but has remained unchanged since the early 1700's.

Isn't this place beautiful? Just from the outside? Yet another winner from the National Trust.

The rooms were welcoming and beautifully set out. I love it when I feel as though the occupants of the room have just stepped out to get something and they shall be back in a sec, if I just wait around long enough.

This has yet to happen. Much to my disappointment.

There was plenty of dark wood to be had, stairs that lead to no where and a stunning old piano. Thankfully, this is an NT property that you can get up close and personal to. Hurrah! I loathe guide ropes.

I am a lover old fire places. Not for their decoration normally, although it is not to be sniffed at, but for the scorch marks. I makes me think about all the fires that have burned there and who might have warmed themselves by it. 

Cannons Ashby also treated me to some original Tudor interior decoration in the guise of painted wood panelling. Discovered during the restoration, they are bright, clear and numerous.

A lot of the mansion is pretty dark - which was less than pleasing to my little camera. But the replica Victorian dress, chucked across a bed, and boots at the end of it - as if freshly kicked off by the owner -  got me over my eugh-stupid-camera!!! huff.

The one place that had excellent light was the amazing kitchens. Which I failed to take any photos of on account of getting into a long conversation with one of the guides. They were huge, with flagstone flooring and plethora of copper pots. And a Grandfather clock.

After sheltering from a colossal thunderstorm (t'was nice to be rid of the muggyness, even if the first clap made me physically squeak) in the tea shop and indulging in one the best slices of Vicky Sponge I have ever had, we headed down a wooded path to an ancient church across the road. 

Which had beautiful white walls, stone arches and separate pews for ladies and gents.

And ample opportunity for me to take a picture of my big ol' moosh.

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