Exploring Elton Hall

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Until a year or so ago, Ed and I were National Trust members for a while. We liked making the most of our membership and hence every weekend break, local holiday or camping trip included visits to various stately homes and such like. I got bored of this routine after a while, especially as my knowledge of English history was limited and I struggled to get enthused about which Tudor or Stuart king did what. That changed recently after we started watching episodes of The White Queen upon Ed's request. The history, names etc. started to click and I once again started taking interest in local historic pursuits. Nearby Elton Hall was open over the bank holiday weekend and following my newly revived interest in English history, we decided to pop over for a nosey.

The Elton Hall estate (like those of most English stately homes) is magnificent. The manor is part Gothic and dates back to the 1500's. The manor also housed an exhibition of the King James Bible that weekend which was interesting. The things that stuck with me from that exhibition were that Henry VIIIth had bad writing and couldn't spell! We enjoyed wandering the house, admiring its grand (yet slowly decaying) interiors, imagining the fabulous dinners that were hosted in the grand dining room over the centuries and also checking out more recent photos of the Proby family (lucky people!).

The Proby family continue to live on the estate and use parts of the manor house. I was hugely envious of their wonderful and ancient library housing books relating to Oriental arts and classic literature. I could lose myself in one of those rooms for hours. Outside, I noticed a horse carriage that was once used by Lord and Lady Craysfort at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Isn't it grand how the other half lived (live)?

After taking in the house, we roamed the vast and beautifully kept  gardens with quirky topiaries and vast stretches of echinacea and lavender. I was so grateful to have enjoyed such a lovely sunny day in late summer, given how the last year turned out. For these historic exploits, I wore a quirky shift dress from Shoppers Stop in Bangalore, a much loved purchase from our last trip to India. Its cheerful juxtaposition of bright prints, button embroidery and pom-poms has made it a summer favourite. Also, for the very first time, I wore my DIY Marc Jacobs Mouse Flats!

It was lovely way to conclude a very busy bank holiday weekend (that started with the Peterborough Beer Festival, included trips up north and lots of housework/garding etc). What did you do over the long weekend? Any places that you'd recommend exploring? Ann x

Wearing: Shoppers Stop Dress (you can find similar styles of Etsy), DIY shoes, Marc Jacobs Cross-body bag and Givenchy sunglasses

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Photography by Edward Chandler


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