Tag Archives: Devon

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/

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!

chaenomeles

Killerton Spring

The weather forecast got it wrong this morning, so I walked the dogs and then took my camera to Killerton to make the most of the unexpected sunshine. I’ve taken you before, for the Christmas decorations and a fashion exhibition, but this time I wanted to see how the grounds were looking in their spring costumes.

The Magnolia blossom was spectacular

Everywhere you look, flowers both woodland and cultivated

Shrubs and assorted loveliness!

Killerton is a National Trust property a few miles east of Exeter, I hope you enjoyed your spring walk.

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.

Just Because . . .

Just because it’s been a long Monday at work

because it’s no longer January

because in twenty four days it will be March

because I’m not walking to and from work in the dark

because the days are getting longer

and that means spring

and that means summer

and that means the colour, form  and fragrance

of flowers and butterflies

bees and damselflies

and sunshine

because of all these things

I’m bringing you . . .

Pictures from a few years ago taken at a popular TV gardeners home plot, deep in the heart of Devon. I expect it’s changed since then, but it will still be lovely, relaxed and packed with variety. The clue is in the initials, if you visit she may even be there pottering.

Click for a bigger view.

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Sunday Gave Even More

After leaving Branscombe, its beach and the lovely St Winifreda’s church, we drove back through Sidmouth and continued west up to Peak Hill. On the right is a free car park, the edge of Mutters Moor, a lowland heath where the walks have stunning views. There was a lot of mud and puddles on Sunday. muttersmoor1

Sunny gorse, pinecones and last years beech leaves next to this years new shoots.

Our Lady of the Woods had fallen, undermined by the flood. muttersmoor5

There were magical reflections. muttersmoor7

And after an hours walk we found ourselves nearly back at the start, when we had the first hint of something splendid. muttersmoor8

This is always a beautiful view, but today the light was perfect, changing every minute and to make it even more special, a family of ponies, Dartmoors I think.

Sunday January 19th, the day that kept on giving.

Click on any photo for a bigger view.

Marianne has begun a new challenge where you take one trip every month, near or far, and take photos or write all about it. Join her here http://eastofmalaga.net/2014/01/20/new-challenge-one-trip-every-month/

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Sunday Kept on Giving

After leaving the beach at Branscombe yesterday we went up to see the church, St Winifreda’s. church1church2

Partly Saxon, but mainly Early English and Norman, there are some interesting and unusual features to be seen. churchc

Like the Jacobean carved oak gallery above. And below, this 18th century three tier pulpit. The first tier is for reading lessons, the second for prayer and the top is for delivering sermons. I’ve never seen one before, have you? church8

St Winifreda’s has some beautiful little details to admire.

Just two of the windows were stained glass, but richly coloured. churcha

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Every pew had hand stitched hassocks, some in memory of parishioners, but also one for every monarch in English history. These are the most recent, Victoria, Edward V11, George V and GeorgeV1

I thought this little niche memorial to Branscombe people lost in WW1 and WW2 was very special. church9

All in all , it’s a very special church.  I like its simplicity, solid wood and stone floors and that it is so very ancient, how many hands have touched those old stones? branscombe

These pretty stone and thatch cottages are just along the road and that’s where I’ll leave you today!

A little magic

Yesterday at Branscombe

The weather forecast got it right, yesterday was a blue sky day that shouted come and see me. So off we went, heading east to Branscombe, a little village on the coast between Sidmouth and Beer. A few years ago Branscombe hit the headlines because a huge container ship, the MS Napoli ran aground there spilling its cargo along several miles of coast line.

All is pristine now and once the long single track lane to reach Branscombe has been successfully navigated, it’s the perfect spot for some winter sun.

Sunday was a day that kept on giving, more tomorrow!