England

Calke Abbey at Christmas

To get in the mood for Christmas we decided to head out to Calke Abbey, a Grade I listed National Trust property in Derbyshire. This was my second visit – you can read about the first visit made in 2011 here. This time, because it’s the winter season, a lot of the house is out of bounds but it is making an effort by decorating the areas that are open, though as we visited early in the day we didn’t get the full effect of the lantern trail and other light displays. Whilst walking around the grounds we also came very close to some deer and spent a long time taking photographs of them – some of those shots are below.

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Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe is an English Heritage property that was built by William, Lord Hastings, who owned Ashby de la Zouch Castle. Like that castle Kirby Muxloe Castle was built around an existing manor house around 1480.

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Ashby de la Zouch Castle

Ashby de la Zouch Castle is an English Heritage property in Leicestershire, the ruins of a castle dating from the 15th century. The town of Ashby de la Zouch got its name from the Le Zouch family who owned the manor of Ashby in the 13th and 14th centuries. By 1472 William, Lord Hastings was transforming this manor into what would have been a magnificent castle that you can still appreciate from its remains.

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The Alnwick Garden

We had assumed when booking a combined ticket for Alnwick Castle and garden, that the gardens were part of the castle, but in fact they are also an attraction in their own right and a registered charity created by the Duchess of Northumberland.

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London Architecture – Part One

These buildings on Courtfield Road in Kensington, now very nice looking flats, were built by J.R. and W.H. Roberts in May 1880 and designed by Walter Graves. The section pictured would have been the “lesser rooms” with the nicest section facing the gardens at the back (which I didn’t think to investigate at the time). You can find the original floor plans and more details here.

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London Plaques – Part 3

Here’s another post about some of the plaques to be found around London. The first is on the site of the Westminster office of the Penny Post, on Gerrard Street, the first building to operate as a post office in Westminster in 1794. The London Penny Post itself was established in 1680 to deliver mail around London for, you guessed it, one penny. The Two Penny Post was established in 1801.

 

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Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

We enjoyed our first trip to Wicken Fen so much that we decided to make a return trip. It is one of the first properties that the National Trust took on, in 1899, and is host to over 9,000 species of wildlife.

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St Maurice’s Church, Ellingham

On a recent holiday in Northumberland we based ourselves in the village of Ellingham, staying at the Pack Horse Inn (highly recommended – lovely staff, fantastic food). After checking in we decided to take a walk through the very small village and came across St Maurice’s Church.

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Coggeshall’s Architectural History – Part Two

As a follow-up to part one, this post is focusing on some of Coggeshall’s religous buildings, past and present. The first of these is Christ Church (previously known as the Congregational Church). Built in 1710 by Independents, some of whom had been ejected from the Church of England, by 1989 it had combined with the Methodist and Baptist churches.

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The Albert Pub, Victoria

Named after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort, the Albert Pub in Victoria is a Grade II listed building noted for its exterior decor. It’s built on the site of an earlier pub called The Blue Coat Boy and was built in around 1862. Many of the features, including the wrought iron balconies, are original.

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