The formal approach to this wonderful Gothic Revival house. I didn't buy the booklet (£5) as we would have read it once and it would have joined countless others gathering dust here. However, this was the home to four generations of the Gibbs family, who were astute businessmen. They made good business decisions during the Peninsula War and having strong links with Spain helped their cause. Then they made an immense fortune importing Guano from South America (a tricky business to move it as it had to be stored on the decks - should it get damp in it whilst in the hold, it would expand and literally break a ship apart.
Above and below - the way we first saw it, having approached across the parkland. The estate is built on the side of a valley, and the house looks out across its beautiful parkland.
Fabulous crisp carving used on this cupboard. Not attributable to one craftsman, but as supplied by the London company involved in the house interior.
Above and below. The Library, with its beautiful vaulted ceiling, many books and a wonderful collection of imported ceramics.
Apparently the Gothic style was considered by the deeply-religious Anglo-Catholic William Gibbs - he was a Tracterian connected with the Oxford Movement - to be the only possible architecture, linked to Pugin's 'return to the faith and social structures of the Middle Ages'.
What stunning carving on this display case (sorry it's a little blurred).
Flash photography wasn't allowed, and I am quite pleased with this quiet composition.
Summoned by bells!! Staff here must have had a busy time answering all this lot!
The Butler's domain.
Trophies in the Billiard Room.
One of the bedrooms.
A stunning piece of turning on this mahogany bed support.
Stuffed birds - the armchair travel of their day. How one could satisfy ones curiosity about the creatures of foreign parts without moving an inch. Darwin had much to answer for.
I thought this vase was stunning.
A later "extension" was the Chapel, which was enormous, and like the side chapel of a Cathedral!
I think this painting must have been of George Abraham Gibbs - 1873 - 1931.
Beautiful rhododendrons in front of the house (apologies for barbed wire fence!)
Above and below, views as we walked around the estate.
One of the state-of-the-art (at that time) stables.
Rhodies and less fence . . .
The Orangery, which had a pot of white Azaleas either side and their perfume was truly amazing. You could float on it.
Above and below, rows and rows of tulips.
Part of the wonderful walled garden.
Apple cordons. How to have lots of different apples in a small space . . .
One final look at the house and it was time to leave . . .