My last post from Greenway focuses on the garden. A lovely relaxing place, like most gardens it’s at it’s best in high summer but still plenty to see in April. Views of the river Dart are ever present and often make you stop and draw breathe.
Here are a few photos, click for a larger view and enjoy!
The volunteers at National Trust properties are a mine of information and very friendly. When I went into the library at Greenway I was immediately struck by a frieze/mural high on the walls, so I listened and joined in with another visitor asking the volunteer about it. Apparently the house was requisitioned by the army in WW2 and the painting was done by an American soldier.
The mirror also has a tale behind it. There was a painting on the wall where it now hangs, of Churchill and Roosevelt together. When the war was over and the family were able to reclaim their home, they found the continuous gaze of the pair somewhat oppressive and painted over it!
I’m sure the mural has been restored over the years, but I’d love to know who the soldier was and if he’s still around. Any ideas from my lovely American readers about how to find out?
This weekend I have visited the home of Agatha Christie, Greenway in south Devon. Greenway is set on the banks of the river Dart with fabulous views to Dittisham and Dartmouth, just a few miles from her birthplace Torquay. Dame Agatha and her second husband Max
Mallowan bought the house in 1938 as a holiday home.
Here are a few pictures of the inside.
Living room towards the hall
Still in tune, visitors are welcome to play
Agatha, back left looking over her family
While we were in the library we listened to a recording of Agatha’s son saying that it was his favourite room in the house. I think it was mine too it was very homely and packed with collections from around the world.
I’ll show you more of the collections and the wonderful gardens in a separate post. Meanwhile some upstairs photos and the back door with painting that I think is of Max.
Cotehele has beautiful grounds, with broad vistas of the river Tamar – which forms the border between Devon and Cornwall, off in the distance.
The house is built from grey granite, lovely in sunshine but perhaps a little foreboding on a grey winter day.
But there are always fresh sights opening up.
They have a large variety of daffodils, some very old with wonderful fragrance.
Plenty more spring flowers.
And I don’t know how many favourite flowers a girl is allowed, but these are some of mine.
I only had time to see a small part of the beautiful gardens at Cotehele, so I must go back later in the year. Perhaps then I’ll take a woodland walk to the river bank. Click on any photo for a clearer view.
Cotehele is a Tudor manor house built between 1485 and 1539, high above the banks of the river Tamar in Cornwall. It was owned by the same family- the Edgcumbes,for six hundred years and is one of the best preserved Medieval manors in the country. They rebuilt the original 13th century property, before creating an even grander home a few miles away at Mount Edgcumbe, so Cotehele was little used and hardly changed over the centuries. The house became National Trust property in 1947 in lieu of death duty.
Today I’m showing you some of the armoury to be fond in the Great Hall.
And some other items I liked.
I’ll be back in a few days with some more photos of the house and garden.
I’ve had a really lovely weekend, full of creativity and sunshine. Yesterday I went to a National Trust property just over the border in Kernow – Cornwall. They say that Cotehele probably originated around 1300 but most of the building took place in the late 15th century. I’ll post some more photos later but meanwhile here’s a little squint. A squint is a small peephole built into a wall, so that that owner could look down on other rooms to check what people were up to, they were often added in mediaeval times. At Cotehele this on looks down on the Great Hall.
In 1808 Sir Thomas Acland built a rustic summerhouse for his wife Lydia in the grounds of their estate at Killerton. Two generations later, their grandson shipped a bear over from Canada and kept it as a pet. The summerhouse became the Bear’s Hut and has been known as that ever since. Now it’s the highlight of a visit for children, on Saturday I sheltered from a shower of rain, but I’d like to have a tea party there!
I may have lots of reflection photos, I may not. Fact is my photos are now in such a muddle I haven’t a clue! I think I would need to take a week’s leave to organise all my images now I’ve got a new laptop. Before I could always find any picture I’d taken in the last 12 years quite easily. Not anymore!
This one popped out so for now it’s the only one I’m posting, I may be back in a day or two.
For the 100 word challenge for grown ups this week I wrote about the storm damage to the trainline at Dawlish. I’ve since been to see how things are going, but it was no surprise that I couldn’t get very close. Here are some phone pics.
The damaged line closed for now
The walkway under the bridge is too dangerous, see the ruined sea wall.
Each concrete section weighs about 4 tons
Concrete sections to repair the sea wall
Looking west, work is taking place 24-7
Dawlish is a quaint little seaside town ful of old -fashioned charm.
The river runs through the town, the place to feed teh ducks and black swans
The home of the famous black swans – Fifi probably came from here!
Cream tea, ice cream, pasties and cakes!
Real ice cream with a dollop of Devon clotted cream on top!
The train journey west continues to Teignmouth and from there you can get a ferry to Shaldon. I ‘ve posted about both in the past.