Sunday, 25 August 2013

Athelhampton House & Gardens Pt. 2, Dorset

Alfred Cart de Lafontaine built the formal gardens in 1891.
Francis Inigo Thomas designed four ham stone courts in the Elizabethan style. The Great Court, after 100 years has evolved into a unique topiary spectacle containing twelve giant pyramids standing over 30 feet high.
Water forms a recurring feature, with fountains and pools throughout the characteristic themed compartments of the garden, that link creating a labyrinth of rooms.

walking along the river on  the more wild side at the bottom of the garden

and then back through this tunnel into the formal areas again

the side of the house

and the Dovecote which was very messy inside
Hope you enjoyed both the house and the garden

Monday, 19 August 2013

Athelhampton House & Gardens Pt. 1. Dorset

This is an interesting and fascinating house. Stairs, nooks and crannies and doors everywhere

The earliest parts of the house are Tudor, and built in 1485. After becoming almost derelict, the house was restored and transformed in  the 1890's by Alfred Cart de Lafontaine. 
The Great Hall is an exceptional example of early Tudor architecture with heraldic glass, linenfold panelling and carved roof timbers. The house also contains an outstanding collection of English furniture from Jacobean to late Victorian.
Thomas Hardy was a frequent visitor to the house and panted a watercolour of the house, referred to as "Athelhall" 
at age 19.
Athelhampton was acquired by the Cooke family in 1957 and is still  a family home.

First we visit The Barn restaurant and enjoy a very good meal, although we had to wait a while to be served, as a large party of folk from Holland arrived just before us

In we go

First into the Great hall

Notice the black circle on the cheek in the portrait
It is tar to cover a bullet hole

One has a choice of doors to go through everywhere

Notice the ceiling and the panelling

The wine cellar

The King's anti-room
(all great houses had a room fit for a King - who may or may not have visited)

The bed chamber

I do like this bedside book case

Note the four poster bed is attached to the ceiling

more stairs

The main staircase

Ladies Victorian wardrobe

The Yellow Room

Solid Copper bath tub

Dining Room

Billiard Room and Library

In the next post we will visit the world famous gardens