Category Archives: England

Agatha Christie, an American Connection

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.

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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!

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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?

An Agatha Christie Day

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

From the lower path
From the lower path

Mallowan bought the house in 1938 as a holiday home.

From the garden above
From the garden above

Here are a few pictures of the inside.

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.

related posts

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/agathas-greenway/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/miss-christie-revisited/

Cotehele, views in the grounds

Cotehele has beautiful grounds, with broad vistas of the river Tamar – which forms the border between Devon and Cornwall, off in the distance. cote2

The house is built from grey granite, lovely in sunshine but perhaps a little foreboding on a grey winter day.

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But there are always fresh sights opening up.
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They have a large variety of daffodils, some very old with wonderful fragrance.
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Plenty more spring flowers.
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And I don’t know how many favourite flowers a girl is allowed, but these are some of mine.
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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.

The Great Hall at Cotehele

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.

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Looking Through the Squint

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.

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The Bears Hut at Killerton

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!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

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.
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Join in with the challenge if you can find your pictures, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/weekly-photo-challenge-reflections/

Dawlish trainline, checking for progress

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.

Dawlish is a quaint little seaside town ful of old -fashioned charm.

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.

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/teignmouth-my-last-day-off/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/starting-and-finishing-with-boats/

The workmen at Dawlish told me that the completion date for repair of the train track and sea wall is just before Easter, good news for locals and visitors alike.

Signs of Storms

The UK has been caught inthe grips of storms for several weeks, with high winds, floods and coastal damage. Many people have lost their homes and businesses, train lines are closed and seemingly indestructible sea walls have been destroyed.

My little city is ten miles from the sea and mostly high enough to be safe from floods so other than getting soaked a few times I’m fine.  I’m very lucky, the weather has only prevented trips out with my camera and meant that I had a nerve racking drive to Hampshire last week.

At the weekend, in a brief dry spell I walked the dogs in the cemetery and found a number of fallen trees. It surprised me how shallow conifer roots are, I hope they replace them soon.

This dear little tree is my favourite in the cemetery and I’m pleased that it’s survived with just one broken limb.damson

Don’t tell, but it’s a damson and no-one else seems to pick its bountiful fruit. Perhaps they’ll plant some more!

Spring is on it’s way!