Friday, 21 August 2015

Polesden Lacey

If you think this might be in England, you are dead right.  And why might you ask, are you doing a post about a place in England?  Well, we have come back again.  Which also explains my silence for the last week or so.

After we got back from the UK earlier this year, we received an invitation to a wedding - my cousin's daughter was getting married.  After much umm-ing and ahh-ing we decided to go.  The wedding was last Saturday, and I'll tell you about that in the next post. 

This post is about a magnificent country manor house owned by the National Trust which is near Dorking, in Surrey, called Polesden Lacey.


Polesden Lacey was owned by Mrs Greville from 1906 until her death in 1942 when she bequeathed it to the National Trust.  It was extensively and lavishly modernised and redecorated during her lifetime.  She was a renowned society hostess, regularly entertaining royalty.

It was a grey bleak day, and we decided to view the house after we had been for a walk.  It was a good move as it rained in the afternoon.

The grounds were spectacular with loads to see.  Tree lined avenues and grotesque statues...

 
Lovely shady spaces for a quiet half hour, or an active one on the croquet lawn behind, and pretty bridges...

 
These steps led up into a lovely wooded area.  I can just see Edwardian ladies going for a stroll on this lawn.

 
And this is the front lawn.  Those are deck chairs where you can sit in the sun to admire the view.

 
There was a walled garden with heaps of lovely flowers.

 
These probably grow like weeds in the UK, but I am not familiar with them.  Top left is Echinacea,  which I didn't realise had such big flowers.  Top right I think is a Penstemon - loved the beautiful colour of these little bell shaped flowers.  Bottom left is a mystery, but look at the stems of the flowers - such a pretty blue.  Bottom right I have seen every where since I arrived - such cheerful balls of yellow fluff.
 
The garden wall had this little circular "window" with a spectacular view into the distance.  Like looking through a telescope.

 
And the sweet gardener's cottage.  It is now available for holiday lets.

 
The house itself was huge, and stuffed full of stunning antiques and collectibles.  I have selected a few special pics to show you. 
 
These tapestries are hanging in the upper level of the foyer.  They are large, and I can't imagine trying to make one, let alone three.  There are tapestries throughout the house.
 
 
This hallway took my breath away.  Lined with paintings and display cabinets full of gorgeous china and figurines.

 
And a stunning ceiling.....

 
This is main reception room, aptly called The Gold Room.

 
Everywhere you look there is gold leaf.

 
And another beautiful ceiling.

 
Despite the opulence of the Gold Room, I think my favourite room was the Tea Room. 

 
The windows look out onto the lovely garden, and on a sunny day, I should think it would be a sunny room.  The dress is a copy of one of Mrs Greville's tea gowns.  It took 3 years and 2000 volunteer hours for 34 members of the National Association of Decorative Arts Societies to recreate this gown.  It has 5000 sequins on it.
 
There were loads of pretty things in the house, but I absolutely fell in love with this sweet little 18th Century French heart shaped table.  The notes said that the lid lifts up and there is a mirror and two drawers inside.

 
Downstairs in the ironing room which was functional, not opulent, I spied this - a 1906 hand crank Singer.

 
And this.  An early vacuum cleaner.  Invented in 1910, you worked it by hand by pumping the concertina shaped drum.  Apparently it wasn't all that successful and pumped lots of the dust straight back at you.  LOL

 
Hope you enjoyed our little stroll through history together.  If you get a chance this is a place well worth going to visit.

5 comments:

  1. Ha,ha! Would you believe my brother lives a twenty minute walk away in Great Bookham! There used to be performances of Shakespeare in the open-air theatre at Polsden Lacy. I remember watching A Midsummer Night's Dream there - in drizzle! I've never visited the house, but walked in the park many times. There is also a Jane Austen connection; I like to think it's the inspiration for Netherfield. Enjoy your holiday.

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  2. Hello Dasha! Lovely photographs of a magnificent house. I visited it earlier this year and I really enjoyed looking round. The paintings in the long gallery were fabulous! Have a wonderful weekend! Christine x

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  3. Hi Dasha wow what beautiful pics thankyou for sharing and how lucky you got to go over there again,i bet you are glad now that you went xx

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  4. I had such a nice visit with you today...thanks for sharing... Xox

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  5. Thank you! What a treat! I'm so glad you got to see this lovely home. Parts of it remind me of the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. But the US has few such homes, and England seems to have so many. I love that tea dress -- just stunning. The yellow flowers you were wondering about are yarrow. I love the photo of the steps going up to the wooded area -- the trees with their branches skirting the ground are surely imitating (or vise versa?) the ladies with their sweeping skirts :)

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