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COUNTRY LIFE

AUGUST 20, 2014 EVERY WEEK


Discover your perfect weekend home
I promise I will do my best: 100 years of the Brownies
How Nancy Lancaster created the country look
The painting that inspired Proust
Why theres nothing like messing about in boats
Kingston House
.
High Street
Nettlebed
.
RG9 3DD
Tel 01491 641113
nettlebed,brightsofnettlebed.co.uk
OXFORDSHIRE
Te Old Gaol
.
Strand
Topsham
.
EX3 0JB
Tel 01392 877443
topsham,brightsofnettlebed.co.uk
DEVON
York House
.
61-63 Leigh Road
Wimborne
.
BH21 1AE
Tel 01202 884613
wimborne,brightsofnettlebed.co.uk
DORSET
608 Kings Road
London
.
SW6 2DX
Tel 0207 610 9397
kingsroad,brightsofnettlebed.co.uk
LONDON
Showrooms open Tuesday to Saturday
BRIGHTSOFNETTLEBED.CO.UK
Brights of Nettlebed present an evening talk and book signing by Lord Spencer
the Brights of Nettlebed showroom in Wimborne Minster, Dorset
, Wednesday 17th September at 7pm
^et proft of book sales and seat bookings by Brights Of ^ettlebed will be donated to Vholechild, a charity devoted to improving the lives of children worldwide.
Each book purchase of KIllers Of Te KIng at 20 secures two seats. Additional seats can be secured at 3 each
to a wiring well, on bold column supports with four ancillary columns, on concave sided platform bases with brass feet.
Inspired by a William IV original. Length 135 to 178 x Vidth 72 to 74 x Height 30 in. 17,220
Many styles of hand made dining chairs in stock. From lef to right, prices 433 - 630
|ackson-stops.co.uk
People
Property
Places
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Savi||s Internationa|
Annabe||e Dud|ey
adud|ey@sav|||s.oom
+44 (0}20 3581 3563
OUT8TANLINC COUNTPY HOU8L IN PPIVATL PAPKLANL 8LTTINC
s.n uon.ro in voooio, r sc.nv, ir.:v
F|orenoe: 35 kms, S|ena: 50 kms, P|sa: 94 kms
D|n|ng room 2 ||v|ng areas study fu||y ftted k|tohen 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms
oourtyard 1 bedroom guest house tenn|s oourt vegetab|e garden automat|o gate
pr|vate we|| w|th |rr|gat|on system 427 s m 4,600 s ft}
Abo t 7.5 acres G ide 2.2 mi||ion
4DBO GPS NPSF JOGP
Savi||s Internationa|
Annabe||e Dud|ey
adud|ey@sav|||s.oom
+44 (0}20 3581 3563
OUT8TANLINC COUNTPY HOU8L IN PPIVATL PAPKLANL 8LTTINC
s.n uon.ro in voooio, rusc.nv, ir.:v
F|orenoe: 35 kms, S|ena: 50 kms, P|sa: 94 kms
D|n|ng room 2 ||v|ng areas study fu||y ftted k|tohen 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms
oourtyard 1 bedroom guest house tenn|s oourt vegetab|e garden automat|o gate
pr|vate we|| w|th |rr|gat|on system 427 sq m 4,600 sq ft}
About 7.5 acres Guide 2.2 mi||ion
savi||s.co.uk
4DBO GPS NPSF JOGP
Savi||s Wands orth
Rob|n Ohatw|n
rohatw|n@sav|||s oom
020 3581 3560
Harvey and Whee|er
Gareth Mart|n
gareth@harveywhee|er oom
020 8693 4321
APCHITLCTUPAL 8LN8ATION
uu:wicn vi::.ov, :onuon sv:+
2 reoept|on rooms 7 bedrooms 5 bathrooms garden
off-street park|ng sw|mm|ng poo| 392 sq m 4,222 sq ft}
EPO rat|ng = D
Guide 5.5 mi||ion
4DBO GPS NPSF JOGP
Savi||s Wandsworth
Rob|n Ohatw|n
rohatw|n@sav|||s.oom
020 3581 3560
Harvey and Whee|er
Gareth Mart|n
gareth@harveywhee|er.oom
020 8693 4321
APCHITLCTUPAL 8LN8ATION
uu:wicn vi::.ov, :onuon sv:+
2 reoept|on rooms 7 bedrooms 5 bathrooms garden
off-street park|ng sw|mm|ng poo| 392 sq m 4,222 sq ft}
EPO rat|ng = D
Guide 5.5 mi||ion
savi||s.co.uk
tw|tter.com/struttandparker
facebook.com/struttandparker
struttandparker.com
W||tsh|re, Ma|mesbury
An lisroiical anu unique Corsvolu Nanoi
House anu gaiuens.
About 4.5 acres
Reoept|on ha|| Draw|ng room ||brary
K|tohen/breakfast room Abbots ha|| Games
room 5 Pr|no|pa| bedrooms Further seoondary
bedrooms ||v|ng room 3 Bath/shower rooms
Exoept|ona| gardens and grounds |no|ud|ng
forma| gardens, r|ver gardens and herb garden
A rare opportun|ty to purchase an Abbey
House |n the heart of Ma|mesbury
Tetbury 6 m||es Kemb|e Stat|on 8 m||es
O|renoester 12 m||es
Luke Morgan
Oountry Department
020 7629 7282
Sam Trounson
O|renoester Offoe
01285 653 101
JSA: Sav|||s
O|renoester Offoe
01285 627 550
JSA: Sav|||s
Oountry Department
020 7016 3820
5DPR5 LAN, 5TYNINC 2,350,000 FRHDLD
A t|lumph ol contempo|o|y |esldentlo| o|chltectu|e, thls mode|n home ls spoclous, lnvltlng ond o ne exomp|e ol lts |lnd. Cove|lng two oo|s on
o qulet |one, lt |oo|s out ove| the Sussex 0owns p|ovldlng plctu|esque vlews to enjoy l|om the |ltchen ond bed|oom. lo|t ol the NlSC0 8|lghton
8losphe|e Rese|ve, the house ls equlpped wlth e|ect|lc so|o| pone|s on the |ool whlch ls p|onted wlth o |oco| seedmlx, ensu|lng thls house
comp|lments lts beoutllu| su||oundlngs.
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tw|tter.com/struttandparker
facebook.com/struttandparker
struttandparker.com
West Sussex/Surrey border, Rusper
N|co|a Craddock
Oountry Department
020 7629 7282
Edward Jackson
Horsham Offoe
01403 246 790
About 14.3 acres
Ha|| 3 Reoept|on rooms Study K|tohen/
breakfast room 5 Bedrooms 2 ensu|te}
2 Further bathrooms lndoor sw|mm|ng poo|
2 Bedroom oottage Oonverted barn Tenn|s
oourt Tr|p|e garage Paddook Wood|and
Beaut|fu| gardens |ake EPO rat|ng E
A de||ghtfu| country house set |n |dy|||c
park|and and |akes|de grounds.
Horsham 4 m||es Three Br|dges Stat|on
8 m||es |ondon Br|dge 35 m|ns, v|otor|a 40
m|ns} Gatw|ok 10 m||es
Gu|de Pr|ce 3,950,000
tw|tter.com/struttandparker
facebook.com/struttandparker
struttandparker.com
Matthew Rothery
Sevenoaks Offoe
01732 459 900
R|chard Sm|th
Sevenoaks Offoe
01732 459 900
About 5.65 acres (2.29 ha|
|ot 1: P|ann|ng perm|ss|on for oonvers|on of
a former hop barn to an |nd|v|dua| res|dent|a|
dwe|||ng of about 5,500 sq ft
|ot 2: Farm bu||d|ng su|tab|e for stab||ng w|th
so|ar Pv
|ot 3: A graz|ng paddook w|th |nd|v|dua| aooess
A un|que res|dent|a| deve|opment
opportun|ty s|tuated |n an |dy|||c rura|
sett|ng.
H||denborough stat|on 5 m||es Sevenoaks 6
m||es Roya| Tunbr|dge We||s 10 m||es |ondon
32 m||es Gatw|ok a|rport 24 m||es
Kent, Ch|dd|ngstone
Oomputer generated |mage
Oomputer generated |mage Oomputer generated |mage
MMXIV Sothebys International Realty Apliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terrace of the Country House of Dr. jaeggi, used with permission. Sothebys International Realty is a licensed trademark to Sothebys International Realty Apliates, Inc. An
Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity . Each opce is Independently Owned and Operated except opces Operated by Sothebys International Realty, Inc.
HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS
Beachfront home in a private enclave at Te Dunmore
Resort. Tis fully furnished home ofers 4,464 sf of living
space, 4 BR, 3.3 baths. Homeowners have access to the
resort amenities, concierge and management services.
$8,230,000 US. Nick.Damianos,SothebysRealty.com
Damianos Sotheby's International Realty
+1 242.376.1841 | SIRbahamas.com
SARASOTA, FL
Villa Solstice, one of the Gulf Coast's most amazing homes.
Experience this tropical resort set on two waterfront lots
providing incredible water views. Complete with a lagoon
pool, pool house, boat dock and fshing pier. $13,800,000.
Cheryl Loemer. Cheryl.Loemer,sothebysrealty.com
Premier Sotheby's International Realty
+1 941.302.9674 | Premiersir.com/id/KQ4BYR
LAUREL HOLLOW, NY
Rare 7 BR, 6 bath residence set on 7.2 award winning acres
on waterfront overlooking Cold Spring Harbor. Beach
and mooring rights. Cold Spring Harbor SD#2.
MLS# 2633838. $2,788,000. Margy Hargraves and
Pamela Doyle. margyhargraves,danielgale.com
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
+1 631.692.6770 | danielgale.com
MCLEAN, VA
Riverfront estate on 3.4 acres of Virginia Gold Coast.
Barrel vaulted, domed ceilings with 17th century freplace,
Pelion stone foors imported fromGreece. River Room's
foor to ceiling arches overlook 378' of Potomac frontage.
Indoor pool opens to terrace. $9,993,000. Penny Yerks.
TTRSotheby's International Realty
+1 703.760.0744 | ttrsir.com
MONTECITO, CA
Prima Luce, a Tuscan-style country villa with panoramic
ocean &Montecito Valley views. 3 BR, 8 bath home with
guest house, pool, impeccable landscaping and two 3 car
garages. WEB: 0113818. $23,300,000. Harry Kolb.
Sotheby's International Realty
Montecito Coast Village Road Brokerage
+1 803.432.2300 | sothebyshomes.com/santabarbara
OSPREY, FL
Artistically crafed and beautifully designed to enjoy the
breathtaking views of the lake and golf course fairway, this
extraordinary residence sits gracefully on a private
cul-de-sac within Te Oaks Club. $3,430,000.
Joel Schemmel. Joel.Schemmel,sothebysrealty.com
Premier Sotheby's International Realty
+1 941.387.4894 | Premiersir.com/id/MXN7ZP
RYE, NY
Privately set on 1.48 acres, this Hampton's Shingle style
center hall Colonial on Milton Point ofers over 9,200 sf
of luxury living space. MLS: 4408022. $7,993,000.
Ellen Stern and Laura DeVita.
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty
+1 914.967.4600 | juliabfee.com
MILL NECK, NY
Goose Point. Lakefront Country Manor on 18+acres
surrounded by nature preserves. Designed by H. T.
Lindeberg, separate carriage house, 8 car garages, indoor/
outdoor pools. Masterpiece listing. SD#3. MLS# 2670811.
$7,930,000. Bonnie Devendorf &Charles Brisbane.
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
+1 316.739.4800 | danielgale.com
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY
Tis 4,044sf elegant traditional, just 1,030' fromthe ocean
in a premiere location ofers the best in beach living. 3 BR,
4 bath home is perfect for entertaining in style. Heated
gunite pool. WEB: 0037413. $6,830,000. Beate V. Moore.
Sotheby's International Realty
Bridgehampton Brokerage
+1 631.613.7316 | sothebyshomes.com/hamptons
MILL NECK, NY
Villa Toscana. Beautiful Mediterranean Mansion is
impeccably renovated ofering impressive entertainment
spaces. Pool, pool house, tennis court and 2 spacious
garages. Masterpiece Listing. SD#6. MLS# 2678807.
$11,800,000. Bonnie Devendorf &Margaret Tratumann.
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
+1 316.739.4800 | danielgale.com
LAUREL HOLLOW, NY
Gracious Colonial sits majestically on shy 3 acres of pristine
woodlands. Spacious sunroom, wine cellar, 4 freplaces,
in-ground gunite pool, surrounded by specimen plantings
all add to the grandeur of this beautiful home. $2,449,000.
Kathleen Pisani. kathleenpisani,danielgale.com
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty
+1 316.339.9499 | danielgale.com
NORTH HAVEN, NY
Angel View, one of a kind, ultra private water viewestate
on 6.3 acres, 300' direct waterfront, private access to
beach. Saltwater gunite pools w/ waterfalls, 6 BR, 6 baths,
2 half baths. WEB: 0036481. $63,000,000. Harald Grant.
Sotheby's International Realty
Southampton Brokerage
+1 631.227.4913 | sothebyshomes.com/hamptons
SAN DIEGO, CA
23 minutes fromSan Diego Airport, this 7,213 sf home is
situated on an elevated 2.67 acre with cool breezes and
panoramic views, 3 BR, 6.3 baths, guest quarters and 4 car
garage. Horse stable and 2 riding arenas.
$1,643,000-$1,993,000. Mariane Abbott.
Pacihc Sotheby's International Realty
+1 619.301.2432 | buysdhome.com
NEW YORK, NY
123 East 70th Street Mellon House. Beautiful 40' wide
townhouse with exquisite garden, 3 exposures, high
ceilings, 3 8 BR, wine room, elevator. WEB: 0018793.
$43,000,000. Louise C. Beit.
Sotheby's International Realty
East Side Manhattan Brokerage
+1 212.606.7703 | sothebyshomes.com/nyc
NEW YORK, NY
110 East 78th Street. Tis stately 4-story house features
high ceilings, 2 wood burning freplaces, large windows,
4 BR, 3 baths, roof deck, planted terrace. Premier location.
WEB: 0019304. $10,000,000. Meredyth Hull Smith.
Sotheby's International Realty
East Side Manhattan Brokerage
+1 212.606.7683 | sothebyshomes.com/nyc
NEW YORK, NY
Trophy Soho Penthouse lof with striking Downtown
views. Features a 2,300 sf terrace, dramatic glass atrium,
freplace, 3 BR, 3.3 baths, 2,741 sf interior. WEB: 0019377.
$10,393,000. Christopher S. Poore and Eyal Dagan.
Sotheby's International Realty
East Side Manhattan Brokerage
+1 212.606.7676/7712 | sothebyshomes.com/nyc
sir.com
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Petworth 4 miles, Midhurst
5 miles, Pulborough 9
miles (London Victoria 75
minutes), Haslemere 13
miles (London Waterloo
53 minutes), Chichester 14
miles, London 55 miles.
Main House:
Vaulted Entrance/Dining
hall, Drawing room, Sitting
room, Kitchen/Breakfast
room, Utility room,
Cloakroom, suspended
walkway leading to the
Main bedroom with en-
suite bathroom, 3 further
bedrooms, family bathroom.
Guest Cottage:
Kitchen, Main bedroom
and mezzanine level single
bedroom, Bathroom.
Outbuildings: Garaging,
Tree house, Garden store.
West Sussex Selham, in the South Downs National Park
Guide Price 1,595,000
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On Sale: 8th October Booking and copy deadline: 19th September
5 Read by over 250,000 in over 60 countries 5 38,275 copies sold with
Country Life 5 Additional 14,000 copies distributed through frst class
airline lounges, 5* hotels, private members clubs globally, private airlines
and the City of London 5 78%ABC1 readership 5 45%will fund their
purchase with cash 5 3 month shelf life
*ABC Jul-Dec '13/ NRS Jan -Dec '13 / NMR Jan- Dec 2012/CL Reader Survey
Cori//cou, Iroucc,USA,
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For US aovertlslng please contact Kate 8uckley: 845-516-4533 buckley@buckleypell.com
For more lntormatlon please contact Loulse Mattbews:
020 3148 4210 loulse_mattbews@lpcmeola.com
Tamarisk Way, WiIIowbayne Private 5ea Estate, West 5ussex
1,750,000 l 4 6edrooms
A Srunning 6eochlronr properry siruored on rhe highly sorr olrer privore
Willowhoyne seo esrore. Hoving 6een redesigned ond relur6ished ro on
exrremely high srondord rhe occommodorion now ro|es lull odvonroge on
6orh loors ol rhe seo views ond rhe oword winning gorden, designed 6y
Anne-Morie Fowell, o Chelseo Flower Show Cold winner.
www. wo o l l e y a n d wa l l i s . c o . u k
To be |nc|uded 23rd October: A two stone Kashm|r sapph|re r|ng. Est|mate 80,000 - 120,000
$1 ,19,7$7,21 72 &216,*1 -(:(//(5<
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October 23rd 201+
MarielleWhiting@woolleyandwallis.co.uk | +44(0j1722 424595
MIII SLreeL, LudIow, ShroshIre SY8 1BB. TeI: o18q 8;z1z
enquIrIesQrowIeshneurL.co.uk | www.rowIeshneurL.co.uk
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wwwalitexcouk
Come and see us at RHS Wisley Flower Show on stand
COUNTRY LIFE
VOL CCVIII NO 34, AUGUST 20, 2014
Photographed by Martin Hunter
Tessa, elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Peter Cooke of Ballyvoy Lodge, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland,
is engaged to be married to James Wills, second son of Mr and Mrs Anthony Wills of Laggan Farm,
Bowmore, Isle of Islay. Tessa founded Indigo Ivy (www.indigoivy.com), a tweed clothing company, in 2012.
Miss Tessa Cooke
www.countrylife.co.uk
20 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Contents August 20, 2014
Polperro, Cornwall,
photographed by B. Lawrence/Alamy
All you need is pug: wedding season is in full swing and dapper gentlemen Doug and Mo
were the toast of their owners nuptuals, held at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
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Brownies
The main point of
Brownies is to have fun
and make
friends
A centenary of
girl power,
page 60
This week Every week
32 Cover story Nicholas Hytner`s favourite painting
The director chooses a Vermeer that inspired Proust
34 Parish church treasures
John Goodall investigates a saints shrine at the Church
of St Michael, Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire
38 Having a rare old time
At Hunting Brook, Co Wicklow,the collections of an Irish
plant hunter are stylishly displayed, finds Kirsty Fergusson
46 Cover story We did mean to go to sea
Teach a child to sail and youll instill a passion for life. Flora
Howard speaks to those who started young
52 An island rescue
The Irish Heritage Trust has restored its first property, Fota
House in Co Cork. Jeremy Musson reports
57 Home is where the ha-ha is
Steven Desmond explains the ha-has enduring appeal
60 Cover story A century of good turns
Tessa Waugh discovers that, although the Brownies are
100, the values girls learn from them remain the same
64 Smooth operator
Mark Hedges admires the moving works in Simon Gudgeons
Dorset sculpture garden
68 Honey to the bee
Last summer, Kate Bradbury was involved in the release
of 49 Swedish short-haired bumblebee queens in Kent
70 Cover story The country-house look
Clive Aslet explores how Nancy Lancaster changed the
English country house forever
74 Only the beautiful need apply
Bobby Pawson drives the stylish new Aston Martin Rapide S
76 Kitchen garden cook
Melanie Johnson enjoys garden-fresh creamy sweetcorn
78 Pieces of eight: fasks
Hetty Chidwick chooses the best vessels for a hunting tipple
82 Cover story Escape to the country
Arabella Youens picks out the weekend hotspots that make
braving the traffic totally worth it
22 Town & Country
Framing the landscape: art in West
Yorkshire
26 Notebook
All you need to know this week
28 Letters
29 Agromenes
30 My Week
Nigel Farndale fails to impress his
wife with his gardening skills
36 In The Garden
Alan Titchmarsh thinks bigger is better
when it comes to pots
80 Property Market
Penny Churchill unveils two of the
beauties of the Irish Midlands
86 Performing Arts
History is hot, says Michael Billington,
but how much is purely fiction?
88 Books
The Girl with the Widows Peak and
Village of Secrets
90 Exhibition
Huon Mallalieu welcomes a show that
affirms Richard Wilsons true place
92 Art Market
Huon Mallalieu explores a sale of
domestic furniture
94 Bridge and Crossword
95 Classifed Advertisements
104 Spectator
Lucy Baring never seems to have any
luck camping
104 Tottering-by-Gently
Sailing
You never grow
tired of
uninterrupted
horizons.
I feel very
privileged
Dee Caffari grew up
to be the first
single-handed,
non-stop round-
the-world yachts-
woman, page 46
Short-haired bumblebee
Dungeness is the best
place in Britain
to be a bumblebee
Nikki Gammans is thrilled with
the early results of the project to
reintroduce the species, page 68
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 21
Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU. Telephone 020 3148 4444 www.countrylife.co.uk
PPA Specialist Consumer Magazine of the Year
Editor Mark Hedges
Editors PA Rosie Paterson 84428
Telephone numbers are prefixed by 020314
Emails are name_surname@ipcmedia.com
Editorial Enquiries 84444
Deputy Editor/Travel Editor
Rupert Uloth 84431
Managing Editor Kate Green 84441
Architectural Editor John Goodall 84439
Gardens Editor Kathryn Bradley-Hole 84433
Fine Arts & Books Editor Mary Miers 84438
Property Editor Arabella Youens 84432
Features Editor Flora Howard 84446
Deputy Features Editor Emma Hughes 84436
Luxury Editor Hetty Chidwick 84430
Editorial Assistant Katy Birchall 84444
Art Editor Phil Crewdson 84427
Deputy Art Editor Heather Clark 84422
Designer Emma McCall 84423
Freelance Designer Grace Cullen
Picture Editor Vicky Wilkes 84434
Deputy Picture Editor Alison Thurston 84421
Chief Sub-EditorJane Watkins 84426
Deputy Chief Sub-Editor
Annunciata Walton 84424
Sub-Editor Victoria Marston 84425
Photographic Library Manager
Justin Hobson 84474
Property Correspondent Penny Churchill
Managing Editor Countrylife.co.uk
Holly Kirkwood 84429
PR Manager Anna Gurr 85405
Editor-at-Large Clive Aslet
Managing Director Paul Williams
Publishing Director Jean Christie 84300
Group Property Ad Manager
John Gaylard 84201
Deputy Property Ad Manager
Laura Harley 84199
Country Johanne Calnan 84208;
Nick Poulton 84232; Lucy Hall 84206
International Gayle Stevenson 84209,
Louise Matthews 84210
Antiques & Fine Arts Manager
Jonathan Hearn 84461
Head of Market: Country & Shooting
Rosemary Archer 82610
Brand Manager
Kate Barnfield 82622
Business Development Manager
Kay Wood 82652; Lindsey Webster 82646
Head of Luxury
Yasmin Sungur 82663
Classified Sales
Steven Woollett 82690
Advertising Production Stephen Turner 82681
Classified Production Joanne Hope 82624
Inserts Mona Amarasakera 83710
Advertorials and sponsorship
Carly Wright 82629
Marketing Manager Claire Thompson 84301
US Representative Kate Buckley 00 1 845 516
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S
UMMERS nearly over for Defras
new Secretary of State Liz Truss
in more ways than one. Stage two
of the four-year pilot badger cull in
west Gloucestershire and west Somerset is
due to commence soon. Forget Gaza, Iraq
and fracking; far more irrational vitriol will
gush forth on this topic. The fact that Miss
Truss presents a rather different image to her
predecessor Owen Paterson, whose mere
presence violently irked the animal-rights
lobby, will not diminish the unpleasantness.
In fact, Miss Truss voted for the badger
cull and sympathises with farmers whose
home-bred cattle have contracted bovine
TB despite no animals having been moved.
She will be supported by her sensible Farming
Minister, George Eustice, but shed have to
be superhuman not to feel the pressure.
The worst intimidation is of the blame-
less inhabitants of these two areas. Last
year, locals suffered intruders in gardens
and their dogs being let outthe work of
so-called animal lovers. A village shop
received hate mail. Many locals support
the cull in principletheres a view that
badgers are already less prevalent as are
TB casesbut they dread the protestors who
cannot, realistically, be policed. Official
reports concede that protestors affected
the much-criticised process in 2013.
Contractors who were ill-equipped to deal
with the searing hate fled and hair-trap-
ping at badger setts was tampered with.
There are faults on both sides. Natural
Englands (NE) checking of shooters cre-
dentials was inadequatesome assess-
ments were done by telephoneand
a percentage resisted monitoring and didnt
fill in forms properly. There were signifi-
cant differences in shooting efficiency.
A small percentage of badgers took an
unacceptably long time to die, which begs
the question why, if there was time to
count the minutes, they werent put out of
their misery.
No wonder targets were missed. They
shouldnt have been set in the first place
and the report suggests theyre unwork-
able. Field workers in Somerset misidentified
one in four setts. Key areas were missed
in the cull. The difficulty of counting a shy,
nocturnal animal was demonstrated by
NEs shifting estimates of badger popu-
lations which varied by 1,500; one animal
was hair-sampled 16 times. There was no
evidence to support the theory that badgers
are sentient enough to either stay in their
setts or migrate during culling.
Miss Truss will never appease the diehards,
but she can improve processes. Expensive
experiments with vaccinating badgers
surely traumatic for themare under way, but
a cattle vaccine is light years away. Culling
remains the only practicable way to control
TB in wildlife and, until thats accepted,
cattle will be shot in their thousands.
Hold your nerve
on badgers, Liz Truss
THE COUNTRY
LIFE FAIR
September 2728
Fulham Palace, London SW6
To buy tickets, telephone 0844 453 9268
or visit www.countrylifefair.co.uk
www.countrylife.co.uk 22 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Beautiful Yorkshire in the frame
A
SUSPENDED picture
frame isnt what youd
expect to come across
in the middle of the West
Yorkshire moors. However, thats
exactly whats being installed on six
sites across Gods Own County dur-
ing this year and next. Its all part
of Framing the Landscape (www.
framingthelandscape.co.uk), a project
that has been devised by artist
Ashley Jackson, who is renowned
for creating moody, ominous, wild
watercolours of the moorlands of
Yorkshire. His aim is to get more
people, especially children, painting.
Throughout his career, Mr
Jackson has been passionate about
finding new ways to encourage people
Town & Country Edited by Kate Green
Above: Artist Ashley Jackson has
installed frames across the West
Yorkshire moors to encourage
amateur painters. Left: Above
Wessenden by Ashley Jackson
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 23
For all the latest news, visit countrylife.co.uk
C
h
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to take up art and to engage with
the countryside. All artists in their
early days use their hands to make
a frame to look through, but when
they take their hands away to start
drawing, the frame has disappeared,
he says. I thought if we could place
frames among the landscape, it would
help to focus the mind onto whats
inside that frame: many people look,
but only a few see.
That last biblical phrase is physi-
cally engraved on the bottom of each
of the frames. He explains: People
look at the tree, but they dont see
the leaves; they look at the land-
scape, but they dont see the shadows
of the clouds racing over. The frame
limits your eyes to see whats inside
it, giving the mind a chance to take
everything in.
The first frame was placed on
Wessenden Moor, a picturesque area
near the village of Marsden, and is
strategically sited just off the Pennine
Way, making it accessible to walkers.
The area is part of the National Trusts
Marsden Moor estatethe Trust
has been a major supporter of the
project and is particularly interested
in its educational potential.
The second frame was hung at
Hardcastle Cragsanother National
Trust site, north of Hebden Bridge
on Yorkshire Day, August 1. Future
locations will move the project out
into the rest of the county; a frame
is planned for Brimham Rocks later
this year and for the Holme Valley,
Roseberry Topping and Cusworth
Hall near Doncaster in 2015.
The locations are all different,
says Mr Jackson. The landscape
at Hardcastle Crags is filled with
trees; Wessenden has the moors
with fells lying down as if theyre
big mammals basking in the sun.
They all have something different
to see through that frame.
Andrew White
Good week for
Swimming
Cleveland Pools in Bath, the UKs
oldest surviving lido, is to be res-
tored and reopened thanks to a grant
from the Heritage Lottery Fund
St Trinians
The Stephen Perse Foundation in
Cambridge, inspiration for Ronald
Searles fictional house, is to accept
boys at junior level next term and
at senior level in 2018
UK tourism
A record number of visitors flocked
to Britain in the first six months of
the year; they made 16.41 million
trips, an increase of 8% on 2013
Bad week for
Punters
A swan nicknamed Asboy is terror-
ising visitors to the River Cam in
Cambridgehis father, Mr Asbo,
had a similarly bad reputation
James Blunt
His 2005 hit Youre Beautiful has
been voted the most annoying music
played to callers left on hold, says
a survey by Face for Business
Polo fizz
Veuve Clicquot, which has sup-
ported the Gold Cup at Cowdray
for 20 years, has announced that
the sponsorship is to end
N
ORTON CONYERS, the house said to have inspired Mr Rochesters Thorn-
field Hall in Jane Eyre, has won the 2014 Historic Houses Association (HHA)
Restoration Award, sponsored by Sothebys. Charlotte Bront is supposed to have
visited the 17th-century manor near Ripon, North Yorkshire, in 1839 and heard
the family legend about a mad woman kept in an attic. She wrote: It was three storeys
high, of proportions not vast, though considerable: a gentlemans manor house.
Norton Conyers has been in the Graham family since 1624. The current owners,
Sir James and Lady Graham, began restoring the property in 2006 and will be
reopening the house to the public next year. They have enhanced the lawn, rookery, battlements,
staircase and Mad Womans Room and the library has been furnished to resemble Mr Rochesters
study. Discoveries during the restoration process include a staircase to the attic, Tudor painted
boards and a 1760s wallpaper. Great care has been taken to respect the history and development
of this historic house, says HHA president Richard Compton. For enquiries about weddings at Norton
Conyers, telephone 0113284 3500 or visit www.weddingsatnortonconyers.co.uk
The judges also commended three buildings: The Grotto at Painshill Park, Surrey; The Orangery
at Weston Park, Shropshire; and Encombe House, Dorset.
V
ISITORS to the first COUNTRY LIFE
Fair at Fulham Palace, London SW6,
next month will have the chance to win a diamond
from the fair sponsor, Boodles, the Bond Street jeweller
founded in 1798. Visitors who buy the Boodles Diamond
ticket, which costs 35 and includes fast-track entry
for one adult and two children aged 12 and under, plus
a glass of Champagne or alcohol-free
cocktail from Mr Foggs of Mayfair, will
automatically be entered into a draw to
win one diamond on either day of the fair
(September 2728).
The same applies to purchasers of the
Palace COUNTRY LIFE ticket, which costs
125 and includes VIP hospitality. Ticket
holders in both categories will receive
a glass of Champagne on arrival and, on
each day, one of those glasses will bear the
crucial lucky sticker announcing them as
a winner. Advance tickets start at 23 (0844
453 9268; www.countrylifefair.co.uk).
Mr Rochesters house wins
Diamond opportunity
at COUNTRY LIFE fair
Norton Conyers
in North York-
shire and its
Mad Womans
Room will open
to the public
next year
www.countrylife.co.uk 24 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Town & Country
RAH & Co deer-hide products will
be on sale at the COUNTRY LIFE Fair
T
HE wife of a deer manager and
stalker in Dorset has set up
a parallel business creating bags
from deer hide. Rosemary Hobrough
originally wanted a venison-sausages
businessWe have a shared deer
interest, but wanted to do our own
thing to maintain marital harmony
so she attended a butchery course
and was astonished to find the hides
being thrown away.
Theyre so beautiful, she says.
The UK deer population stands
at about two millionand growing.
Television chefs have done a won-
derful job promoting venison and
interior designers antler products,
but now is the time to champion the
hides. Deer leather is soft, flexible
and light and fallow hides are par-
ticularly pretty.
The decline in the British tannery
business means Mrs Hobrough is
currently using red deer products
from New Zealand and UK fallow
hides tanned in Europe, but hopes
to rejuvenate the industry here.
Prices start at 10 for coin purses;
a fallow-hair Kindle case is 55 and
iPad cover 90.
Mrs Hobrough, who will be exhib-
iting at the COUNTRY LIFE Fair as
RAH & Co, is also planning a range
of cushions and handbags and is in
the process of developing a website
(www.rahandco.com).
T
HE continuing ill feeling between anglers
and canoeists could come to a head in
court. The Angling Trusts legal arm has issued
canoeing organisations with a letter before
action, demanding that they stop publishing
information that suggests canoeists have a legal
right of way on non-tidal waters. The trust points
out that canoeists already have 2,000 miles
of waterways open to them and suggests they
should deal with landowners for any other access.
The trouble stems, in part, from a thesis
by the Rev Douglas Caffyn, in which he invokes
Magna Carta in suggesting there is a public right
of way on rivers. However, this has been refuted
by Defra, which says that canoeists must negotiate
voluntary access agree-
ments with landowners.
The Angling Trust com-
plains that canoeists can
disturb fish and stir up river-
beds. Our members have
often tried to make agree-
ments with canoeing clubs for greater access,
with reasonable conditions to protect the water
environment and avoid interference with fish-
ing, explains chief executive Mark Lloyd.
However, these offers are repeatedly rejected,
because the canoeing governing bodies insist
that such agreements must allow unlimited
access or that permission is not needed.
A
FEW places are available on a charity ride through
some of the most poignant sites of the First World
War. The Battlefield Centenary tour, organised by rescue
charity World Horse Welfare, takes place on September
1220, starting with visits to Waterloo and Mons.
The riding begins at Maubeuge, with a visit to the poet
Wilfred Owens room and grave, and passes through
Maretz, Vermand, Sancourt, Saint-Crpin-aux-Bois and
Villers-Cotterts.
There will be museum and battlefield visits with his-
torian Brig John Smales, accommodation is in gtes, hotels
and gypsy caravans and travel to and from the Continent
is via Eurostar. Registration costs 200 with the commitment to raise a further 2,200. Anyone
interested in participating should contact Frances Plume at World Horse Welfare (01953
497210; www.worldhorsewelfare.org).
Dont hide
this handbag
Fight for riverbanks steps up
Anglers and
canoeists are
continuing
to battle over
access rights
to waterways
Ride through the battlefields
Follow in the hoofprints of First
World War heroes on a charity ride
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 25
H
OW fortunate I am: my favourite picture
gallery is in the city where I live. The
National Gallery hasor had until recently
much to recommend it. Architecture by William
Wilkins, whose Greek Revival details are scholarly
to a fault (the fault being that the building is too
reticent to command Trafalgar Square); galleries
of different moods, from rich to austere; excellent
temporary exhibitions; and a sound policy on
cameras. Visits to the Louvre may be interrupted
by a tap on the shoulder to persuade you to step
aside while someone snaps wife or girlfriend in front
of the painting youve been enjoying, making it
impossible to see the works for the pop of flashes.
Good for the National Gallery. No photography there.
Well, now its given in. London is suffering a selfie
epidemic. You cant walk down one of the West End
thoroughfares without colliding with a person who
has stopped abruptly in order to pose in front of his
mobile phone. Now, the narcissists will be at it in the
National Gallery. A temple to the eternal values of
great art has capitulated to the publics craving for
ephemerality and showing off. Couldnt the gallery
have created a selfie room, hung with reproductions?
Nobody in the selfie-taking world would have
known the difference. CA
T
HE tail end of Hurricane Bertha made for
an exciting start to Bosham Junior Sailing
Week in Chichester Harbour. Honor, 13, who had
hitherto viewed boats as a convenient conveyance
to sunbathing opportunities, was crewing for her
friend Phoebe. Their first foray onto the water was
more a foray into the water. All the boats in their class
capsized within minutes and they were rescued along
with their Tangfastics sweets supply (very important,
apparently). The boat was found later. Far from this
signalling the end to these youngsters racing careers,
it was deemed the most thrilling thing to have hap-
pened all summer and, by the end of the week, com-
petition was high for merit mats and trophy plates.
Back on terra firma, Honors younger siblings
were on ponies, creatures that have the capacity
to eject you as effectively as Bertha had their sister.
Our friend Catherine beautifully organised the
Cowdray Hunt Pony Club Junior Camp. I can say that
confidently because everyone was smiling at the end
of the four days of cross-country, showjumping and
riding without stirrups. Rufus was in a ride with all
boys and they were actively encouraged to cheer and
whoop. Even a girl called Ocean was smiling, despite
breaking her arm. Yes, shes called Ocean because
her parents are very keen sailorstheyre reconsider-
ing Plan A for summer activities. RU
Into the blue
Country Mouse
The selfie surrender
Town Mouse
Bronze bust of
Mary Berry by
Anne Seymour
Damer, 1793
A
FEMALE sculptor who proved an inspiration
to 18th-century women is being celebrated in an
exhibition at the great tastemaker Horace Walpoles
Gothic castle, Strawberry Hill in Twickenham,
Middlesex. Anne Seymour Damer, a cousin and god-
daughter of Walpole, was born into a life of privilege,
but turned to sculpture when her life fell apart after
the husband she wed in a loveless, arranged marriage
went bankrupt and committed suicide.
She modelled friends, family, their animals and lead-
ing figures such as Nelson in marble, terracotta and
bronze, and was a member of Georgiana, Duchess
of Devonshires fashionable set. In his will, Walpole
arranged for her to work at Strawberry Hill after his
death. The exhibition, which includes a rare set of her
prompt copies of plays, runs until November 9 (020
8744 1241; www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk).
The Grey by Michelle McCullagh, which can be seen in The Horse in Art,
the annual exhibition by the Society of Equestrian Artists, held at the
Mall Galleries, London SW1, on September 26 (0207930 6844; www.
mallgalleries.org.uk). All worksof racing, hunting, native ponies, working
horses, sculptures, pencil studies and much moremay be viewed
on the societys website (www.equestrianartists.co.uk).
Sculpture returns
to Strawberry Hill
Head studies of Cavalier King
Charles spaniels by Mary Browning,
from the Kennel Club Art Gallerys
current exhibition of paintings of
Cavalier and King Charles spaniels,
which runs until January 9, 2015,
with both contemporary works and
paintings by notable dog artists
of the past, including Cecil Aldin
and Maud Earl. The Kennel Club
has a lavish collection of dog paint-
ings that can be viewed by appoint-
ment (0207518 1064; www.
thekennelclub.org.uk/artgallery).
C
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Town & Country Notebook Edited by Emma Hughes


www.countrylife.co.uk 26 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Words of the week
Apophthegm (noun)
A short, pithy saying
Quiddity

(noun)
The essence of something
Sorbile (adjective)
Drinkable
Britains
best
pubs
Time to buy
Judes Ice Cream
ERALLY, parents steer
their children towards the
family business, but for Chow
Mezger and his older brother Alex,
the reverse was true. When Alex
announced his intention of fol-
lowing in his ice-cream-maker
a decade ago, he received
a letter from Theo urging him to pursue a more
sensible career. His plea fell on deaf ears and,
shortly afterwards, Chow, who was playing for
London Irish, caught the bug, too. He was sent
a similarly stern missive, but, like his brother,
took no notice: It sounds cheesy, but learning
a trade from your parents is a rare privilege.
Judes (named after Theos wife)
began life in the empty dairy
barn next to the familys Hamp-
shire home. When he retired
in 2002 after years working
in the City, Dad wanted to do
something with his hands
something real.
The starting point
may have been tradi-
tional, but the company
was in the vanguard
of the salted-caramel
revolutionAlex was
wowed by it during a holiday in France. As far
as we know, we were the first people to make
ice cream flavoured with it in this country.
Back then, salt was still a bad word!
And although Judes is now sold
in Waitrose and favoured by top chefs,
some things never change for the Mezgers.
We still get excited about seeing the tubs
in shops. If Im ever in one that stocks
us, Ill always rearrange them on the
shelf so they look really neat.
(01962 711444; www.judes.co.
uk) Judes is also avail-
able at Whole Foods and
Ocado, priced at 4.69
per 500ml tub
In
G
ood
Taste
Quiz answers: 1) Brief Encounter 2) E. M.
Forster 3) Black 4) The Severn and the
Avon 5) E
Quiz of the week
1) Carnforth station in Lancashire will
forever be associated with which film?
2) Who wrote A Room with a View
and Howards End?
3) What colour are Snoopys ears?
4) Which two major rivers meet in the
Gloucestershire town of Tewkesbury?
5) In Morse code, which letter of the
alphabet is represented by a single dot?
100 years ago in
COUNTRY LIFE
August 22, 1914
T
HERE is the right ring about
that announcement issued by
the Marylebone Cricket Club that
Owing to the war, and inasmuch
as every sound man in England
will be engaged in some service
for his country in her hour of need,
no cricket will be played at Lords
in September next. The cricket
clubs have been adhering to their
fixture lists as long as possible,
realising that the abandonment
of matches would mean a curtail-
ing of the salaries of the profes-
sional players, ground men and
other at the very moment when
their circumstances were most
straitened. They realise that every
sound man will be engaged in some
service for his country, but those
whose service cannot be active are
best able to be of use by doing what
they can to maintain the normal
conditions of life.
The Bow Bar,
Edinburgh,
Scotland
Just off the Royal
Mile and a couple
of minutes walk
from the castle,
in cobbled West
Bow, this is a welcome and
relaxed retreat from the more gim-
micky places that attract the
Festival crowds. The compact
oblong rooms antique advertising
mirrors, leatherette wall banquettes
and plain wooden chairs on bare
boards are a loving 1980s re-cre-
ation of how the very best Edinburgh
pubs used to be in their 1950s hey-
dayminus the clouds of smoke,
of course. Chat is the thing here,
fuelled by a magnificent choice of
drinks: there are more than 200 malt
whiskies, a great range of other spirits
and bottled beers and eight cask-
conditioned ales served through
tall Aitken founts. The owners do
a few lunchtime snacks. Dogs are
welcome.
(0131226 7667)
Alisdair Aird is editor of The Good Pub
Guide 2014, out now from Ebury (15.99)
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L
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Peppermint linen
tassel pumps,
95, Mandarina Shoes
(01307 819488; http://
mandarinashoes.co.uk)
La Rochelle
lanterns, from 37.50,
Annabel James (http://
annabeljames.oxatis.com; 0845
548 0210)
Palmeral windbreak
in white/green,
195, House of Hackney (020
7739 3901;
www.houseofhackney.com)
Country Life, August 20, 2014 27 www.countrylife.co.uk
Exhibition
Until November 23
The other side of the
medal, The British
Museum, Great Russell
Street, London WC1.
A thought-provoking
collection of medals
made in Germany
by artists
working
during the
First
World
War (020
7323 8299;
www.british
museum.org)
Show
August 2225
Chilterns Craft
& Design Show,
Stonor Park, Henley-
on-Thames, Oxford-
shire. Browse hand-
made homewares from
up to 250 British crafts-
people. Tickets 7.50 on
the gate (01425 277988;
www.thecraftshows.co.uk/
henley-on-thames)
Horse trials
August 21-24 Blair
Castle Horse Trials,
Blair Atholl, Perthshire.
Scottish-flavoured inter-
national eventing and
country fair (right). Admis-
sion from 11 (www.
blairhorsetrials.co.uk;
01796 481543)
Festivals
August 2324 The
Oxford Wine Fes-
tival, the Oxford
Union, Oxford,
Oxfordshire.
Sample hun-
dreds of award-
winning and rare
wines, plus live jazz
and food. Tickets 19.50
(www.oxfordwinefestival.
org)
Aug 2325 Suffolk
Villages Festival
Renaissance, Baroque
and classical music
performed in a sel-
ection of historic East
Anglian churches. Single
concert tickets from
10 (01206 366603;
www.suffolkvillages
festival.com)
Day out
August 24 South
Devon Hunt Moorland
Ride, setting off from
Holwell Lawn, Widde-
combe, Dartmoor. 10am
start. Novices about five
miles, more experienced
riders about 15 miles,
with a break for refresh-
ments. Adults 20,
children 10 (info@
southdevonhunt.
co.uk)
Book now
October 16Novem-
ber 23 The Marriage
of Figaro, London
Coliseum, St Martins
Lane, London WC2.
Mozarts comic master-
piece. Tickets from
94 (www.eno.
org)
The nature of things
Seaweeds
T
HE sea retreats with
the ebb tide and her-
ring gulls forage among
the emerging reef. They
fly up high, then drop
bivalves onto the shingle
beach, evolution or experi-
ence having taught them
the optimum height from
which a broken shell can
be achieved and the nutri-
tious contents easily rem-
oved. Others wade into the
rockpools, too: summers
visitors shod in flip-flops
and jellies, trying not to
skid on flaccid seaweeds,
using upturned shrimping
nets as wobbly walking
staffs. Rockpooling is
something enjoyed by all ages, but how many
of us examine the seas varied flora, along
with its tide-captured fauna?
Peacocks tail, dabberlocks, sea whistle, dead
mans bootlaces and the evocative, Monty Python-
ish landladys wig are some of the folk names
given to the 650-odd seaweeds found on British
shores. Whereas land plants have roots, sea-
weeds are algae and have a holdfast to anchor
themselves to rocks or the seabed. Easily
identified species include air-bubbled bladder-
wrack and egg wrack, saw-edged toothed wrack
(pictured, top and right) and thongweed or
sea spaghetti (bottom and left). Soon, with
the returning tide, they will shun flabby limp-
ness and again become hula dancers under
the surf. KBH
Unmissable
events

Taken from
Preserving by
Emma Macdonald
(20.00; www.
nourishbooks.com).
Photography
Toby Scott, 2014
Time to make
Boozy cherry and walnut
mincemeat
Vine fruits that are soaked in sherry
for several days make this a heady
mixture and its all the more deli-
cious with juicy cherries and crunchy
walnuts. Perfect for baked apples
and mince pies. The longer you
leave it to mature, the better
Ingredients
250g/9oz firm cooking apples,
peeled, cored and grated
275g/9oz glac cherries, halved
100g/3oz walnuts, roughly
chopped
500g/1lb 2oz mixed dried vine fruit
375g/13oz Demerara sugar
100g/3oz shredded beef or vege-
table suet
1tspn ground mixed spice
300ml/10fl oz sherry
(Makes about 1.8kg/4lb)
Method
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl
and stir well together. Cover the bowl
and leave to macerate for 48 hours. Stir
the mixture occasionally as you pass.
Sterilize enough jars in the oven so
that they are ready to use.
Pack the mincemeat into the warmed,
sterilized jars, taking care not to leave
any air bubbles. Cover immediately with
a waxed disc and a dampened cello-
phane round or a lid. Label and store
in a cool, dry, dark place.
Leave to mature for at least 2 weeks
before using. Refrigerate after opening.
Illustration by Bill Donohoe
www.countrylife.co.uk 28 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Letters to the Editor Mark Hedges
COUNTRY LIFE, ISSN 0045-8856, is published Weekly by IPC Media, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU, United Kingdom. Country Life Subscriptions, PO Box 272 Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16
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cannot be liable for the safe custody or return of any solicited or unsolicited material, whether typescripts, photographs, transparencies, artwork or computer discs. Articles and images published in this and previous issues are available,
subject to copyright, from the photographic library: 0203148 4474. INDEX: Half-Yearly indices, listing all articles and authors, are available at 40 each, and the Cumulative Index, listing all articles on country houses and gardens since
1897, at 40 each (including postage and packing) from Paula Fahey, COUNTRY LIFE Picture Library, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU. Cheques should be made payable to IPC Media Ltd. If two Half-Yearly indices
from a single year, and the Cumulative Index, are required, the total price will be 80.
Letter of the week
Make hay while
the sun shines
Ragwort defence
I
FIRST visited Yorkshire Lavender Farm (July 30)
in 2012, en route back from a trip to research
lavenders for a new Anglo/Mediterranean insect and wild-
bird garden that I was designing. A specialist told me
the most suitable ones were Hidcote, Grosso, Rosea, Vera
and Little Lady. Little Lady is special, she said, bec-
ause when its planted either side of a pathway, it will
brush against your ankles to release its hormones.
When I arrived home with my array of small potted
lavender samples, I spent the next few months getting to understand their dif-
ferent perfumesrather on a par with wine tasting.
The advice I received at Terrington has paid off. My back garden is now flourish-
ing and is a haven for visiting insects. I have even been told that my garden would
be a valued entrant for the Beeston &
Chilwell Open Gardens Scheme 2015.
I carried out another experiment with
my front garden this year, removing the
existing turf and sowing wildflower
seeds. It turned out to be a wild success.
Here are two recent photographs
of both gardens. Tag, my English wire-
haired fox terrier (right), is sunning
himself in the foreground.
Marysia Zipser, by email
Contact us

(photographs welcome)
Post: Letters to the Editor, COUNTRY LIFE Editorial,
Blue Fin Building, 110, Southwark Street, London
SE1 0SU
(with a daytime telephone number, please)
Email: countrylife_letters@ipcmedia.com
IPC Media reserves the right to edit and to reuse
in any format or medium submissions to the letters page of COUNTRY LIFE.
Making
your mark
I
WRITE to defend David Townsends hand-
ling of his ragwort against the wrath of Deborah
Willingale (Letters, July 23 and August 6). We also
have a wildflower meadow that is cut and baled for hay
by a local farmer who has horses and cattle. We dig
out any ragwort before haymaking and, in 15 years,
there has never been a problem.
We have a smaller field, kept as a wildlife pre-
serve, in which the ragwort is allowed to flourish,
with a cull every third year. There is a thriving com-
munity of cinnabar moths, butterflies, bees and insects.
Irene Baker, Carmarthenshire
A very special Little Lady
The writer of the letter of the week will win a bottle
of Pol Roger Brut Rserve Champagne
I
N the letter on ragwort (August 6),
there was a reference to haymak-
ing. In Ulster and, I suspect, Scotland,
we dont make hay, we save it.
My own experience with hay began
as a five year old, framping loose hay
that was brought in on a horse-drawn
float, having been worked with pitch-
forks and built as cocks in the field.
The advent of the grey Ferguson
TVO (tractor vapourising oil), fol-
lowed by hay kickers and pick-up
balers, allowed farmers to deal with
much greater acreages of hay. What
has remained the same is the time
factor; one simply cannot rush the
process. It takes time for the sap
to leave the grass.
It appears that few people under
the age of 50 really understand good
hay. It should be rattling and moving
in the swathe prior to baling.
The present technique of spreading
out the grass with a rotary kicker
is, initially, a useful method. However,
the grass should then be put in rows
and turned at least once each day.
The rows allow the ground between
to dry out and provide a dry base for
each subsequent turn.
I had the good fortune (not luck)
to save some hay this year, cut on
June 14 and baled on June 21 without
a spit of rain. What a pleasure to catch
the aroma as I walk past the shed and
consider what an astute
observer the bard was.
John C. K. Magowan
DL, Northern Ireland
J
OHN GOODALLS
article (August 6) in
the consistently interest-
ing Parish Church Trea-
sures feature states that
medieval masons didnt necessarily work anonymously
but that they might be wealthy and desirous of remembrance.
In the medieval building hierarchy, the master mason was
often the de facto architect, engineer, leading craftsman and
general contractor, to use modern terminology, all rolled into
one. Skilled in their knowledge, the master mason, as William
Campiun certainly was, and other individual masons would
all have signed their work with their individual masons mark.
These marks were often placed on the face of stone blocks
hidden from view, but had a quality-control element in that
individual stones and who worked them could be identified
during construction. The marks were simply formed using
the basic masons tools, so usually consisted of a series
of straight lines incised into the stone in a particular
pattern, as in this example from more modern work (above)
on which all the masons on the job signed one visible stone.
The Worshipful Company of Masons, one of the City
of Londons ancient Livery Companies, has recently reintro-
duced a Register of Masons Marks for those working in the
trade today. This has been enthusiastically taken up, not only
by the Companys sponsored apprentices and students, but
also by time-served masons working all over England and
particularly in cathedral stone yards. These craftsmen will
thus ensure that they, too, have not worked anonymously.
Peter Johnson, Surrey (Past Master, Masons Livery Company)
Country Life, August 20, 2014 29 www.countrylife.co.uk
A
S summer and harvesting move
towards their end, its a good time
for country people to take stock.
In many ways, we have considerable
improvement to report. No one seriously dis-
misses agriculture and food production as they
did in the 1990s. A tumultuous world with
an ever-growing population in which food
supplies are threatened by political upheaval
and increasing extremes of weather has
reminded even the most determined urbanist
of the prime necessity of feeding our people.
Lord Camerons words no government is more
than nine meals from revolution ring more truly
now than ever.
Partly as a result, the
threatened assault on the
countryside by the planning
reforms originally proposed
has not materialised. Electoral
realities have forced the
Government to accept that
protection of agricultural land,
the green belt and our rural
landscape is politically essen-
tial. Indeed, there is now a considerable degree
of consensus across the political divide, which
bodes well for the stability and continuity of the
planning regime under any future government.
Further, although the bounty of this years
harvest is likely to continue to depress the price
of many crops, that must be seen against the
longer-term pattern of better returns. Farmers
are more confident in the future and, as a result,
the businesses that depend upon them are also
in good heart. It would, therefore, be easy to con-
clude that all is well, but that would be to ignore
the serious questioning of farmers, farming
practices and methods of food production that has
become increasingly widespread. Only the irre-
trievably hidebound dismiss these campaigners,
characterising them as the green blob and cast-
ing doubt on their motives and credibility. Those
who really care for working farmers and our rural
communities take these concerns seriously.
We have to, for example, accept that all is not
well in the meat industry. The horsemeat scandal,
the revelations about chicken production and
concern about the use of growth promoters and
antibiotics, particularly in imported meat, have
rightly caused real anger. The considerable
majority of producers who provide good-quality
meat and insist on the highest welfare standards
should be angry, too, as its their businesses
that are threatened by the bad practices of the
few. The savage cuts sustained by Defra have left
us exposed to malpractice and the new Secretary
of State will need to be tough in her demands for
resources if we are to restore consumer confidence.
It is these manifest failures
that have caused a second
serious problem in the country-
side. The fact that there are
clearly things that need to be
corrected has opened the way
for extremist groups of all
kinds to lambast agriculture
and the rural community on
everything from badgers
to raptors and genetic modi-
fication. Sadly, we who care about rural England
have to admit that we have been ineffective
in responding to these pressures. As a result,
their hijack of the badger cull has precluded
sensible debate and elevated Brock to a cuddly
animal status against which reason can play
no part. We have also failed to counter those who
insist that no raptor in any circumstance may
be killed and allowed the absolutists to make all
the running. Worse still, we have got nowhere in
putting the scientific case for genetic modifi-
cation and European agriculture remains handi-
capped in its essential role in feeding its people.
When harvest is over, Defra, the NFU, the CLA
and the whole food industry must act decisively
on the publics fully warranted concerns. That
done, well have some chance to counter the
irrationality we have allowed to take centre stage.
The good, the bad
and the urgent
Make someones week,
every week, with a
COUNTRY LIFE subscription
0844 848 0848
COUNTRY LIFE
AUGUST 27
A sting in the tale
R
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R
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G
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Why terriers are
top; swan upping
with Clive Aslet;
the secret life
of snipe; Lanca-
shire`s hidden
gem; and at home
with Clare Mackie
Follow @agromenes on Twitter

When harvest
is over, the whole
food industry must
act decisively on the
publics concerns


E
ACH day, I walk the bridle-
ways in the beautiful Vale of
White Horse. I see a huge variety
of wildlife including foxes, red kites,
hedgehogs, dazzling dragonflies
and woodpeckers.
I was, however, very surprised
indeed to come across a scorpion.
Research informed me that, although
not indigenous to Britain,
scorpions have been
introduced and sur-
vive in the wild. They
have adapted to suit
a wide range of environ-
mental conditions.
Scorpions number about
1,750 described species, but only
about 25 of these are known
to have venom capable of killing
a human. I decided not to test fate
and left my scorpion in peace!
Susan Le Sueur, Oxfordshire
I
WRITE to comment on Clive
Aslets Town Mouse column, but
not in criticism of him directly.
He mentions that the BBC sent a lim-
ousine to take him from Ramsgate
to Margate (August 6)a distance
of five miles, according to the AA Route
Planner. Couldnt Mr Aslet have taken
a taxi or driven the five miles?
The BBC never seems to learn.
No wonder the licence fee is so high.
I would write to the corporation, but
I fully realise that I would get no sense
out of it.
Gordon G. Lestrille, by email
Dont broadcast it
www.countrylife.co.uk 30 Country Life, August 20, 2014
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:

C
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M
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T
HIS school holiday,
we thought wed give
our eldest son a taste
of various workplaces: watch-
ing MPs at work, having a tour
of the Lloyds building and
spending a day sitting in on trials
at the Old Bailey. The latter was
fascinating, as criminal courts
are the stuff of human drama,
even if some barristers are more
entertaining than others.
We nearly fell asleep listen-
ing to one droning on about
possession of firearms, a subject
that ought to have been riveting.
I mentioned our trip to a friend
who also has a teenaged son.
He felt inspired to try it. After-
wards, he emailed me to say:
At one stage, Felix leaned over
to me in a rape trial and whis-
pered: I mean, Dad, how much
does that guy look like a rapist,
hes all fidgety and sweaty and
his hairs all long and greasy,
he just looks 100% guilty.
My friend had to explain to his
son that the man he was pointing
to was the foreman of the jury.
P
erhaps joining the Royal
Navy would be a noble call-
ing for one of our three boys,
as it was for their grandfather.
However, I realised the other
day what a tough job it can
be, even when an enemy ship
isnt firing its 16in guns at you.
A commander friend of ours
was looking forward to spend-
ing the school holiday with his
sons, only to be told he was
being posted abroad for three
months instead.
With modern communications
it must, at least, be easier for
service families, I suggested.
Not necessarily, he said. In the
old days, husbands and wives
would write letters and only
include good news. Now,
because its so easy to email
or talk on the mobile, you get
to hear everything thats going
wrong. The dog is ill, the Volvo
failed its MOT, the garden is
infested with aphids. It can
be bad for morale.
And its much worse for
a frontline solider because he
can find himself talking about
domestic matters to his wife
half an hour after being involved
in combat. Lately, the Army has
limited mobile use in such
contexts, to avoid damaging
juxtapositions. They also give
soldiers a week of decompres-
sion in somewhere like Cyprus
before sending them home.
Presumably, it would have
been better for all concerned
if theyd been able to do this
during the First World War.
Instead, an officer would find
himself in the mud and carnage
of the trenches one day and sip-
ping tea with his family in
a Kensington drawing room the
next, unable to talk about his
terrible experiences and with
his wife unable to relate to his
angry silence.
As this month sees the 100th
anniversary of the start of the
First World War (so much for
August being the silly season),
I thought I would quote from
this sermon by Bishop Winning-
ton-Ingram, who, in 1915, made
a passionate demand for the
men of Britain to band together
in a crusade to kill the nations
enemies: To kill the good as well
as the bad; to kill the young men
as well as the old; to kill those
who had shown kindness to our
wounded as well as those fiends
who sank the Lusitania Next week: Wendy Holden
to kill them lest the civilisation
of the world should itself be killed.
Can you imagine a modern
day Anglican bishop having that
much fire in his belly?
I
n a previous My Week,
I wrote about an obituary
in my wifes old girls mag-
azine. Imagine my trepidation
when I opened a letter the other
day and read: You mentioned
in COUNTRY LIFE your disbelief
at my mothers maiden name
of Pine-Coffin. It turned out
the reader wasnt annoyed.
Far from it, he said his
mother would have
been delighted.
She often chuckled
that the only time
a letter of hers was
published was when she had
written to point out some
inaccuracy in an article by
Wilfred Death.
The son shared some of the
other idiosyncrasies of that glori-
ous surname. At Mayfield, a lay
sister was asked to arrange col-
lection of two Pine-Coffins (his
mother and aunt) and two hearses
appeared instead of a taxi.
I
n the spring, my wife made
hurtful remarks about my
motley-looking cuttings garden,
so I said: Fine then, that stretch
can be yours to do with as you
will. Annoyingly, shes since
grown a magnificent combination
of vegetables and sweet peas.
I still have full responsibility
for the rose garden, however,
which, I have to say, has been
spectacular this year, especially
the shades of red, cream and
pink. I resisted the urge to ask
her opinion, but then finally
blurted out: What do you think?
It looks like Barbara Cartlands
boudoir in there, she replied.
Ouch.
Guilty as hell
Nigel Farndales most recent
novel, The Road Between Us,
is available now
My week Nigel Farndale
Choose a spectacular
enough specimen and
a single rose can be
considered quite the
grand gesture

The dog is ill,


the Volvo failed
its MOT
it can be bad
for morale


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www.countrylife.co.uk 32 Country Life, August 20, 2014
M
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View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer
My favourite painting Nicholas Hytner


The people in this townscape are tiny,
apparently insignificant. The sky, the water,
the buildings dwarf themso why is the painting
so intensely human? Maybe, I used to think,
because it implies multitudes instead of displaying
them: Delft throbs with invisible life. But a couple
of years ago, I read Proust and finally got the
point. The little patch of yellow wall is so
fabulously well painted that it is precious in itself.
Every touch of the artists brush is imbued
with such genius that even a wall is alive
with what I can only call grace

Sir Nicholas Hytner


is Director of the
National Theatre
John McEwen comments on View of Delft
View of Delft,
about 1660/1,
by Johannes
Vermeer
(163275),
38
1
2in by
44
1
2in Royal
Cabinet
of Paintings
Mauritshuis,
The Hague
T
HE famous passage Sir
Nicholas refers to is in the
final volume of A la recherche
du temps perdu. The fictional scene
derives from a visit, in 1921, Proust
paid to a Dutch exhibition in Paris,
which included View of Delft, the
most beautiful picture in the world.
He was frail and suffered a frighten-
ing giddy fit on his stairs, but at the
show, he had the arm of the critic
Vaudoyer, whose review had particu-
larly commended View of Delft for
a little patch of yellow wall like some
priceless specimen of Chinese art,
of a beauty that was sufficient in itself.
In the novel, Bergotte, an ill and
elderly writer, thinks he knows View
of Delft by heart, so is irked not to
remember the patch of yellow wall
when he reads Vaudoyers review.
He drags himself to the exhibition and,
while contemplating the picture, begins
to feel very unwell, but his over-riding
thought is thats how I ought to have
written, I ought to have made my
language precious in itself like this
little patch of yellow wall with a slop-
ing roof. He then collapses and dies.
The Proust biographer George
Painter locates Vaudoyers patch
to the left of the left-hand turret
of the watergate on the right of the
picture. But its identity remains
a challenge to scholars as there are
other patches to choose from.
Vermeer only painted two outdoor
scenes, but no topographer before
him had played with sunlight and
shadow and no one since has achieved
such moving effect, literally and
emotionally, as he does here.
www.countrylife.co.uk 34 Country Life, August 20, 2014
The Church
of St Michael,
Stanton Harcourt,
Oxfordshire
Parish church treasures
The cult of saints
Photography by Paul Barker and text by John Goodall
J
UST to the north side of the altar
at Stanton Harcourt is this remarkable
stone canopy. Its an extremely rare
survival of a medieval shrine, part of a 14th-
structure that formerly housed the relics
of the St Eadburghor Edburg or Edburga
abbess of Aylesbury (or possibly Adderbury),
who died in 650. Her reliquary presumably
stood within the canopy.
The shrine is thought to have been brought
here in the 1530s from its original home in
the Augustinian Priory at Bicester. It served
at Stanton Harcourt as an Easter sepulchre
in which Christin the form of a conse-
crated hostcould be physically entombed
and resurrected during the Easter liturgy.
The canopy is raised on a 16th-century
base. Like all grand medieval furnishings,
its conceived as a miniature work of archi-
tecture. Several purbeck marble columns
support richly decorated arches and an internal
vault. At the corners of the canopy are full-
length figures and around the top is a frieze
of male and female heads, perhaps represent-
ing petitioners to the saint.
The display of heraldry helps date the monu-
ment prior to 1312. Preserved on the stone-
work are extensive traces of medieval paint.
Other fragments of the shrine survive else-
where in the church.
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www.countrylife.co.uk 36 Country Life, August 20, 2014
In the garden Alan Titchmarsh
A
S an addict of the
television programme
Grand Designs, Im
always a little disappointed
in the fact that the area surround-
ing the ambitious construct-
ionsbe they of traditional
or modernist styleare almost
always left unkempt by the time
of the reveal.
Its understandable; the owners,
having spent all their energies
(and always a far greater
amount of money than they
budgeted for), need to get their
breath back before tackling the
landscape. And yet, when they
do make a bit of an effort,
they invariably opt for a few
containers on the beautifully
constructed terrace that now
surrounds their property.
At that moment, for some
unknown reason, their good
taste and sense of proportion
seem to fly out of the window.
Big pots, little pots, plastic pots
and those of brightly coloured
ceramics sit side by side with
little thought given to scale,
proportion and style in relation
to the property itself.
What do you suppose has
happened? Have the owners
exhausted their imaginations
along with their bank balance?
It seems the only explanation.
But it points up the importance
of container style in relation
to propertysomething we all
need to remind ourselves of from
time to time.
For a start, less is more. And
big is best. Small containers
usually have less impact and
Making an impact: the art of successful pot planting is to scale
up and be boldthe larger the pot, the more water it will hold
they also require watering on
a wearyingly regular basis
twice a day at least in hot
weather. The larger the pot, the
more slowly the compost within
it will dry outan important
consideration if youre out all day.
Other practical considerations
need to be borne in mind, too.
I love terracotta long-toms planted
up with domes of lavender, but,
in high winds, they blow over and
smash, so Ive resorted, instead,
to tapered square tubs of zinc
(narrower at the bottom than the
top) which are less fragile and
which complement the grey and
purple of Imperial Gem lavender.
I now plant this in preference to
Hidcoteits habit and richness
of flower colour seem to have
the edge over that old favourite.
Lead tubs are best of all in terms
of durability and anchorage
(nothing short of a Force 12 gale
would even shake them). Camellias
(which I have to grow in con-
tainers of ericaceous compost,
thanks to my chalky soil) do well
in them, even when they grow
large and put up quite a sail.
Ive never had one of them blow
over. But lead is expensive and
the newer kind of faux lead
containers that are lighter in both
weight and price are hard
to distinguish from the real thing,
especially if the lip (where the
glass-fibre fabrication is most
obvious) is disguised with a mulch
of gravel or pebbles.
When it comes to choosing
a planting medium, I like to use
a mixture of John Innes No.2 and
peat-free multipurpose compost,
the combination of the two offer-
ing the ideal medium. The John
Innes provides welcome weight, for
stability, and hangs on to its nut-
rients longer, but the addition of
multipurpose compost leavens the
loam and prevents it becoming
rock hard. Monthly feeding bet-
ween June and September helps
keep all plants in tip-top condition.
As to the inhabitants, thats
entirely up to you, but I like
statement foliage plants such
as palms, tetrapanax and fatsia,
which, to my eye, often provide
visual impact more effectively than
a mixture of summer bedding.
That said, in spring, nothing beats
a generous planting of single-
colour tulips. Which reminds
me, bulbs really need to be ordered
now, to be sure of getting the
variety you desire.
Lavender is an easy enough shrub to grow in the garden and makes
a very good low hedge, one of the few that flowers and looks
compact for many years. If its left unpruned, however, it will soon
wander about on increasingly ungainly woody shoots at the base,
with a tuft of leaves and flowers on top. Theres
no cure for this latter state, so prevention is the
key. When the flowers have faded, resign your-
self to the patient task of cutting them off,
complete with stalk, back to the rounded form
of the shrub. Neatness is restored. SCD
Horticultural aide memoire
No. 34: Trim lavender
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Good taste
and sense
of proportion
seem to fly out
of the window
big pots, little pots,
plastic pots


Four plants for 30
Get four mixed hardy
plants, selected for you from
the COUNTRY LIFE nursery and
delivered to your door, for 30.
Visit www.countrylife.co.uk/
nursery for your special offer.
Less is more and big is best
Next week: Vintage roses
My Secret Garden, by Alan
Titchmarsh, is published by BBC
Books (25)
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Having a rare old time
Hunting Brook, Co Wicklow, Ireland
Choice species from far-flung places contribute to the rarefied
collections of an Irish plant hunter, stylishly displayed
in his hillside garden, finds Kirsty Fergusson
Photographs by Marianne Majerus
www.countrylife.co.uk 40 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Preceding pages: Swathes of Geranium psilostemon Mount Venus provide a frothy edging
to intensively planted beds. Clockwise, from above left: Dahlia australis; Lilium African
Queen; poppies, lupins, alliums and Viola Inverurie Beauty under the Aralia trunks;
a sea of Mount Venus geraniums and Alchemilla mollis; and Sanguisorba menziesii
S
OME people are born gardeners
and some become gardeners
(others, of course, have gardens
thrust upon them). Jimi Blake
definitely belongs in the first category.
His earliest memories are of a bedroom
filling daily with a growing collection of cacti
and a mother who encouraged his infant
green fingers.
Tinode, the family home, is a country
house close to Blessington in Co Wicklow,
which sits high on an east-facing slope,
its face turned to green woods and farm-
land and the impressive profile of the
Wicklow Mountains. Here, in the family
garden, Jimi was given a small polytunnel
in which he raised cuttings and grew annuals
for hanging baskets and flowers for drying,
trotting down to the main road to set up
a stall in order to raise money for new
seeds and plants.
Years later, having studied horticulture
at Glasnevin, Irelands national botanic
garden in Dublin, followed by some 10 years
as head gardener at Airfield, on the citys
outskirts, the opportunity arose for him
to acquire 20 acres of Tinodes wooded and
fallow slopes. His sister, June, who is an
equally skilled plantswoman and runs
a nursery on an adjoining plot of land, had
discovered, when investigating the deeds,
that the granite stream running through
Jimis narrow, wooded valley was called
Hunting Brookand, thus, the new garden
was named.
Twelve years on, Hunting Brook has
become something of a rallying point for
curious and adventurous gardeners, as well
as those seeking to make a more spiritual
connection with the ancient wisdoms of the
several standing stones and sacred spaces
that inhabit the meadows and woods
beyond the stream.
There was never a grand plan for the
garden. Having first built a timber house
in just seven weeks, Jimi left on the day
of its completion to go plant-hunting
in China with Seamus OBrien, the curator
of Glasnevins sister arboretum, Kilma-
curragh in Co Wicklow. Three dawn
redwoods, Metasequoia glyptostroboides,
grown from seed collected on that journey,
now stand 10ft tall in the woodland garden,
among mature beeches, oaks, larches and

Hunting Brook has


become something
of a rallying point for
curious and adventurous
gardeners


sycamores. On Jimis return, the former
potato field, in which his house now stands,
evolved week by week into a garden.
An early decision to plant aralias has
worked well: they create an almost tropical
feel to the damp and densely stocked beds
on the approach to the house, which, con-
sequently, has something of a jungle-hut
appearance. Most are Aralia echinocaulis,
but, hidden away, are one or two specimens
of A. vietnamensis, collected as seed by
Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of the renowned
Crg Farm Plants nursery, in Wales.
The views up and down the steep and
curving drive are full of colour from early
summer until the first frosts. Repetition
provides the necessary and careful structure.
Geranium Anne Thomson sweeps down
the edges and tall clumps of Miscanthus
Hermann Mssel add elegance and height.
Compact hummocks of Euphorbia x pas-
teurii (less stocky than the better-known
E. mellifera) and the smaller E. stygiana
provide rounded, evergreen continuity.
Senecio cristobalensis lends a touch of
mid-height exoticism and Rhamnus fran-
gula Asplenifolia (which might be mistaken
at first glance for a cut-leaf Japanese acer)
supports the action at the rear.
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 41
www.countrylife.co.uk 42 Country Life, August 20, 2014
In between, moving up the hill towards
the woodland fringe, robust and strongly
coloured perennials reflect the enthusiasm
of their gardener for fearless experiment and
thoughtful combinations. Its little surprise
to learn that, when working at Airfield
in the late nineties, Jimi was given the
opportunity to visit Great Dixter, East
Sussex, where a meeting with Fergus Garrett
made a deep impression. Dont feel restricted
by tradition, get a good team going and
listen to their views and remember, there
are no rules about colour are among the
nuggets of wisdom he recalls.
Above: Ficinia truncata Ice Crystal, a South African sedge of frosted appearance.
Facing page: Back to nature: sunshine filters through the mossy and well-watered
Tinode woodland, showing the other, wilder side of Hunting Brooks gardens
An uncomplacent eye open to possibilities
is always present in a good garden. At Hunting
Brook, not only shrubs and perennials, but also
the most cherished and well-established trees
are liable to be shifted to a better spot, even if
it takes a year or two to reach the decision.
As we talk, a largish Acer pectinatum ssp.
pectinatum, grown from seed collected
on the highest mountain in Vietnam and
obtained from Crg Farm, is en route to a new
position, with several rhododendrons and acers
making a similar cross-garden journey.
I dont draw plans, says Jimi, but I do spend
long hours thinking how will this look
in six months time, in 50 years time?.
Im well aware that my obsession with
plants could lead to a muddled or dotty
appearance, so Im starting to get rid
of things Ive planted, even trees. I dont
want to end up with a big, dark garden.
Hunting Brook is a garden of two halves,
two characters. A short step from the surging
borders, brimming polytunnels and a swarm
of potted new arrivals, seeds and bulbs,
the path disappears into a hanging wood.
Its a sheer-sided, beech-clad, fairy tale
of a wood, traversed by simple steps, a wind-
ing path and wooden bridge. Among the
tree-trunk columns, the banks are filled
with Solomons seal and epimediums and
act as an informal nursery for Jimis ferns.
By the rushing stream, in a small glade
stands a giant table of rough-hewn slabs
of fallen beech set with massive, dribbling
candles and provided with mossy log stools.
Its a setting that would do justice to a wedding
feast for Titania and Oberon. The enchant-
ment continues with the revelation of
a ringed embankment speaking of an Iron
Age settlement, deep within the furthest
reaches of the wood.
The meadow above the wood opens out
on to the wide, mountain-fringed landscape.
A mown path winds through ox-eye daisies,
knautias and astrantias planted by Jimi,
towards the standing stone of Tinode. Here,
lying in the grass, close to the rustling woods,
surrounded by wildflowers and the hum of
insects, Jimi finds the peace to absorb the
most important lesson of all that his garden
has to offer. To come here is to understand
that Hunting Brook is a fusion of relationships
between the land, the natural life it supports
and me. Im not the most important thing
in this garden, but part of a bigger process.
Hunting Brook is now a place where Jimi
can share the lessons hes learned with others
and a classroom barn has been added, close
to the house. He likes to take students to visit
other gardens in the region, believing one
of the best things you can do for your garden
is to get out of it, as often as possible.
Hunting Brook Gardens, Lamb Hill,
Blessington, Co Wicklow, Ireland (00 353
87 285 6601; www.huntingbrook.com).
June Blakes Garden and Nursery are
at Tinode, Blessington (00 353 87 277
0399; www.juneblake.ie)

In a small glade
stands a giant table
of fallen beech set
with massive,
dribbling candles


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`'I'1L1''`L `1L''' IL'`
E''LI 'L1 '```L'L`1
Country Life, August 20, 2014 47

Sarah Ayton
DoubIe OIympic goId medaIIist (pictured left
at the Extreme Sailing Series 2014)
My brother Daniel and I started sailing
on the Queen Mary Reservoir in Middlesex.
We enjoyed making new friends and thats
been the thread throughout my sailing career.
Racing was important as I was competitive.
I won the Mary Ellen race around the club,
which was a big deal because I was 12 and
my brothers name was already on the trophy.
On the water, its about believing in each
other, supporting someone if theyre having
an off-day. Sailing is a great example of how
teamwork will achieve the job. It teaches you
how to interact and your shared experience
unites you. The Ben Ainslie Racing Challenge
is my next goalits amazing that Ben has
put this together for the Americas Cup,
which is the pinnacle of our sport.
We did
mean to
go to sea
Teach a child to sail
in the right way and youll
instill a passion for life,
as Flora Howard hears from
those who started young
Robin Knox-Johnston
Round-the-worId yachtsman
I built a canoe when I was 14, but it
wasnt until I joined the Merchant Navy
that I learned to sail, as, in my time, we
had to know how to sail the lifeboats.
My first three years were spent on a
cadetship, a normal cargo ship on which
the deck crew was replaced by cadets. We
carried a whaler and two dinghies for
use in our leisure time in port and thats
where my love for sailing stems from.
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www.countrylife.co.uk 48 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Dee Caffari
First singIe-handed, non-stop round-the-
worId yachtswoman
My parents owned a motorboat that we used
like a caravan on water at weekends and
in school holidays. I first tried sailing
at university and fell in love with the chal-
lenge of harnessing the power of Nature,
being able to use the wind and being effi-
cient with the sails to go fast.
The power of Nature is not to be under-
estimated and is beyond our control, but
seeing marine life and birdlife in their own
environment is very special. You never grow
tired of the uninterrupted horizons with
no ambient light, allowing you to see the
stars, and the spectacular sunsets and sun-
rises are amazing. Many people never see
such sights, so I feel very privileged.
Elisabeth Luard
Food and traveI writer
All youll ever need to know about sailing,
said my paternal grandfather, is port to the left,
starboard to the right and duck when someone
shouts boom. Wemy brother and Ialso
learned how to tie a reef knot, coil a rope
shipshape and stay upright in the galley,
my favourite place.
Gramps volunteered for the Royal Naval Air
Squadron in 1914, flew balsa-wood contraptions
over the trenches in the First World War
and retired as Air Chief Marshal at the end
of the Second World War. He sailed a racing
yacht, Dragon class, out of Cowes with his
grandchildren as crew, weather permitting.
My brother has been messing around in boats
all his life and, when in temporary possession
of a sailboat in the blue Aegean, offers me free
passage in return for giving good galley.
Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence
If you can instill a love of sailing into a child, it will be in their blood forever. My father
gave me the initial interest, on a GP14 on the Medway in Kent, and my uncle, John
Russell, instilled in me a love of the west coast of Scotland and of the joy of going from
somewhere to somewhere in a boat and arriving in a new place.
He was one of the great instructors and took me on a much bigger boat in the Western Isles
where I found the feeling of being on open water, propelled by wind rather than engine,
thrilling. He had me involved and steering right from the start, which is essential for child-
ren. One day, we were going very fast and there was a loud bang. Wed hit a rockfortun-
ately, just bouncing over itand it taught me the valuable lesson of not being complacent.
For a long time, I put sailing (for pleasure) to one side, but when my seagoing time
in the Navy ended, I came back to it. It also took me a long time to find a wife who
loved it as much as I do!

If you instill a love of sailing


into a child, it will be in their
blood forever

You never grow


tired of uninterrupted
horizons. I feel very
privileged


www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 49
Mike Perham
Youngest, singIe-handed round-the-worId saiIor
I learnt to sail when I was about six.
My parents brought a little 14ft dinghy
called Blue Jay and I remember sitting
in it as my dad put everything together on the
drive for the first timenaturally, we had
to practise sailing on dry land first (above).
Once wed figured out which parts
attached to others, we sailed on Stanborough
Lakes in Welwyn Garden City. This was
my first time on the water and, at first,
I really didnt like it when the boat heeled
over, but as I became more comfortable,
I started to thrive on the feeling of the wind
on my face and the rush of water under-
neath the hull.
As I started sailing more often, it began
to feel more and more natural. Id be able
to shut my eyes, relax and let the boat tell
me where it wanted to go by the feeling it
gave me and the sounds it made. At that
point, I knew Id learnt how to sail.
Olly Hicks
AtIantic rower
Since I can remember, Ive been attracted to the
waterponds, streams, lakes, puddles or oceans
especially slipways or marshes, the littoral zone, I think
its called, which have always been a place of wonder.
We grew up taking holidays on the Suffolk coast and
at my grandmothers farm in Derbyshire. In landlocked
Derbyshire, there was a large lake on the farm that was
out of bounds which, of course, made it all the more exciting.
In Suffolk, we had plenty of opportunity for waterborne adventures, especially on the
boating lakethe Meare at Thorpenesswhere you could explore the islands of this shallow
waterway, created as an adventure playground for children at the turn of the 20th century.
We graduated to sailing lessons on the River Alde, first in the tiny, bathtub-like
Optimists, before progressing onto the faster and more excitingindeed, often over-
powering for our lightweight framesToppers and Lasers. It was the thrill of sailing
that appealed to me, the speed and the potential for adventure and exploration of the river
and marshes. The idea of racing held no interest for me. Perhaps it was in these formative
years that the idea was kindled to do some professional messing about in boats?
Olly Hicks aims to circumnavigate the globe solo in a rowing boat from October
2016 (www.globalrow.com)

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www.countrylife.co.uk 50 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Libby Purves
Broadcaster
We werent a sailing family, but my big
brother and I had a rowing dinghy in
which we made evening trips across the
sluicing tides of the Blyth at Walberswick
in Suffolk to drink underage at an under-
standing pub. Sometimes, we borrowed
a canoe for the reedy creek to Dunwich
and an eccentric art dealer, Iris, had
an old landing craft that lurched around
with her three small sons and Hamlet the
chihuahua (Libby! You are O.C. Hammie!
Dont let him jump in!).
Another neighbour asked me to accompany her nervous daughter Hattie in a tiny
dinghy. Hattie lay on the bottom howling Were going to tip over as her mother
snapped: Nonsense, were just clipping along nicely, to which the child replied I dont
like clipping along nicely. I loved it, however, and was determined to do more of this
sailing stuff. I still am and do.
The Hon Christopher
Sharples
Commodore, RoyaI Yacht Squadron
I learnt to sail as a teenager just by crewing
for my father, who had a 27ft yacht on the
Hamble in Hampshire. Later, we had a 36ft
Excalibur and invited Ted Heath to come
racing, which gave him a taste for sailing
bigger boats. He later proposed me for
membership of the Squadron.
I was 24 when I was seized with the idea
of sailing to Cape Town. Having been
generously lent the family ketch and granted
a sabbatical from work, I set off with four
friends, all under 25, on the voyage to South
Africa, learning to navigate by the sun and
stars en route. We stopped at the Canaries
and Cape Verde islands, but ran short
of food towards the end and were left with
tins of ravioli for breakfast, lunch and
dinner every day for a week. We raced
to Rio and returned a year later.
Olga Polizzi
HoteIier
I was lucky that my father (pictured with Olga above) took us to the Mediterranean every
summer where he had a motorboat that, by todays oligarch standards, would seem a mere
tender, but to us (six) children, it was an ocean liner. He hated being in ports, so we anchored
every night in quiet bays, which provided the chance to sail in the little dinghy we carried
on board. I was first taught by Mimmo, a charming young Genovese sailor.
I got into boats much later, when I went to St Mawes in Cornwall with my husband,
William. Hed been sailing there all his life, on Optimists, Ducklings, Flying Fifteens and
his fathers classic yachts. I fell in love with the village and bought a hotel, Tresanton.
With it, Ive acquired much more expertise than Mimmo taught me as well as a slim,
wooden, day-racing yacht, Pinuccia, built to represent Italy in the 1938 World Cup and
possibly owned by Mussolini. Ive realised that there are few sounds more glorious than
the wind in the sails and the gurgle of the waves as Pinuccia cuts across Falmouth Bay
in a Force 4 breeze on a summers day. Heaven!

The quiet, the
wind and waves, all
the romantic stuff
people talk about,
appeal to me


Eddie Warden Owen
CEO of the RoyaI Ocean Racing CIub
We are a sailing nation and it sometimes
surprises people that sailing is not just
done on the coast, but in reservoirs and
lakes around the UKon almost every
bit of water you can find. I started
in Holyhead Sailing Club, where my father
was a founder member. We had to spend
virtually 24 hours a day there, as is typical
of yacht club volunteers, and I cant say
I enjoyed itit was freezing cold and there
was none of the comfy clothing we have
today. But, one day, it grabbed me. I was
12 years old when I won my first trophy and
it went from there.
The quiet, the wind and waves, all the
romantic stuff people talk about, appeal
to me, as does the technical sideyou
know that when you sail a boat everything
you do has an effect. Racing is like playing
chess on the water and its very physical
and mental. Theres nothing I feel the need
to tackle as a professional sailor any more
and I feel blessed that Im fit and can still
enjoy it.
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www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 51
Sophie Neville
Actress
When I was offered the part of Titty in the film Swallows & Amazons
(above) in 1974, I was asked if I could sail. I grew up by a lake
in the Cotswolds, on which I had felt at ease in a gaff-rigged dinghy,
but soon discovered that circumnavigating Peel Island on Coniston
Water in the Lake District was a different matter.
Swallows mast socket broke, she kept gibbing and I shivered
terribly in my thin cotton dresses, but we were plucky children.
I pushed Virginia McKennas native war canoe from under the trees
while clutching a telescope and managed to capture Amazon,
rowing out of Secret Harbour in one take, which was remarkable
as I had the director of photography in the stern with an enormous
35mm Panavision camera.
Ill tell you a secret: we had such stormy weather that the night-
sailing sequences had to be shot inside Mrs Battys barn at Bank
Ground Farm. A cradle was constructed so that Swallow rocked
as if on water and could even go about. See if you can tell next time
you watch the film.
Swallows & Amazons has been re-released on DVD
Frank Fletcher
CEO of the EIIen MacArthur
Cancer Trust
I learnt to sail in Surrey
Docks with my school as
part of a project run by the
GLC and ILEA and I loved
it from the first moment.
You have a huge feeling
of freedom. I love the fact
that you have to make a boat move using only the windits
physically and mentally stimulating. I also love teaching young
people to sail (above) as it gives them a sense of responsibility.
My favourite place is the west coast of Scotland. My ideal day
is on a nice little cruiser with my family. These days, I sail a desk more
than I sail a boat, but my favourite moments were on Gipsy Moth IV
and B&Q, which both broke round-the-world records. Theyre very
different yachts, but were great fun and gave me a real understand-
ing of what it must have been like to sail them around the world.
Country Life, August 20, 2014 53

An island rescue
Fig 1: Fota from across the park
I
N the early 19th century, Fota
Island, just outside Cork, was
developed into one of the
great demesnes of Ireland
(Fig 1). The island was part of an
estate inherited by John Smith-
Barry, who, in the 1820s, transformed
a 1760s house into a neo-Classical
mansion with the father-and-son
team of architects, Richard and
William Vitruvius Morrison. Smith-
Barry also reinvented the topo-
graphy of his island, constructing
new sea defences and sea walls,
planting new pleasure grounds and
creating new parkland.
This outstanding house has an
additional importance today as the
first significant property to come into
the care of the specially constituted
Irish Heritage Trust, a national body
intended for the preservation and
presentation of major historic houses.
The Smith-Barrys of Fota were des-
cendants of the 4th Earl of Barry-
more, who died in 1748. His principal
Irish seat, the Palladian Castle Lyons,
was described by his own agent as fit
for any duke. The 4th Earl, unusually,
left his younger sons well provided
for by apportioning to them estates
in Ireland and England. Fota went
to a younger son, the Hon Arthur
Barry, who is credited with having
built a five-bay house at Fota in about
1760. This building forms the centre-
piece of the present house.
On his death in 1770, Arthurs
estate went to his brother, the Hon
John Smith-Barry, who had assumed
the name Smith after marriage to an
heiress, Dorothy Smith. The 4th Earl
had settled part of the Marbury Hall
estate in Cheshire on John, who had
commissioned James Gibbs to build
a houseBelmont Hallnearby.
These combined estates then passed
to Johns son, James, who was an avid
collector and Grand Tourist.
The chevalier de La Tocnaye received
a courteous welcome on visiting him
in Ireland, in the late 1790s: I spent
Fota House, Co Cork
A property of the Irish Heritage Trust
The Irish Heritage Trust has restored its first house
a splendid Regency survivalin a way that augurs
well for the future. Jeremy Musson reports
Photographs by Paul Barker

In the 1820s,
John Smith-Barry
transformed a 1760s
house into a neo-
Classical mansion


www.countrylife.co.uk 54 Country Life, August 20, 2014
some time in the island of Foaty with
a spoiled child of fortune, Mr. Smith
Barry. He has travelled much, is very
courteous and reasonable, appears
very well educated, is good natured,
and would be happy if he had only
500 a year instead of 25,000; but
his riches have so surfeited him and
disgusted him with the world that
he is almost retired from society, and
lives a melancholy in his island,
which is not the island of Calypso.
The chevalier might have well
admired the landscape more had
he come in the 1820s. Jamess son,
John (Fig 4), whose parents had not
formally married, inherited as a minor
in 1801 and began beautifying the
island from the time of his marriage
in 1814. He also explored different
sites for a new house, before embark-
ing on a major remodelling of the
existing building.
For the work, he appointed Richard
Morrison as his architect, then work-
ing with his son, William Vitruvius
Morrison, along with Francis Johnston.
They reordered the interiors of the
old house and added two substantial
wings to create a series of gracious
rooms, with a richness and drama
that is quite unexpected on first
sight of the plain exterior.
Dr Kevin Mulligan has suggested
that the dignified exuberance of these
interiors, and the general attention
to the familys Irish seat in the 1820s,
could be seen as part of Johns attempts
to have the Earldom of Barrymore
revived in his favour. The 8th Earl,
a distant relation, died in Paris in 1823
and the title died with him. This desire
to celebrate the history of his family
may also have prompted an alternative
but unrealised design by W. V. Mor-
rison for a neo-Elizabethan mansion
published in The Builder in 1850.
As W. V. Morrison had recently
returned from Italy, and a trip
to Paestum, he must have designed
the baseless Doric blue-limestone
portico. In 1830, a fellow architect,
Henry Hill, made notes on the house
and its plan in his sketchbook, now
in Cork Public Museum: The Portico
is Elegantly executed in cut Lime
stone, and in the best taste of Doric
Architecture, the Metopes are
charged with the wreaths and the
family crest alternately.
One side of the ground floor of the
old house was punched out and
turned into one single, long axial
hall-gallery (Fig 5). This connected
the new and grander scaled rooms
in the wings, the dining room to the
north and the drawing room and
library to the south. It also provided
a suitably grand axial approach
to both. The room is divided by three
screens of paired Ionic columns
in a vivid yellow scagliola that strike
a warm and lively note and, as
a visitor moves through the room,
the eye is drawn to the alcove for
sculpture at the southern end and
the crisply detailed marble chimney-
piece to the north.
The fine plasterwork is influenced
by contemporary treatises such as
Thomas Hopes Household Furniture
and Interior Decoration, 1807, and
C. H. Tathams Etchings of Ancient
Ornamental Architecture, 1799
the latter, in particular, was the
source for the bucrania frieze in the
dining room (Fig 3). In COUNTRY LIFE
Fig 2 left: The
top of the stair-
case, with its
plaster dome
by Richard and
William Vitru-
vius Morrison.
In typical Irish
form, the
balustrade
is of brass
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 55

in 1986, John Cornforth argued this


was the one room where one feels
the Morrisons were able to pull out
most of their stops to produce an
impressive late-Regency palace room.
It is a stately interior, with a screen
of dark-green scagliola Corinthian
columns at the eastern end, creating
a recess for the buffet, which, in turn,
gave the butler and footmen discreet
access through a jib door.
Ann Martha Rowans Irish Archi-
tectural Archive monograph on The
Architecture of Richard Morrison
and William Vitruvius Morrison,
1989, also points to the work
of Percier and Fontaine being
a source of inspiration for the ceiling
of the drawing room (the decorative
stencilling and paint scheme in this
room were carried out in the 1870s
by the painter-decorators Sibthorpes
of Dublin). The detailing from this
room is carried through into the
library, suggesting the rooms would
have often been used in conjunction
with each other.
Documentation for Fota is scarce,
but the craftsmen working at Fota
Island in the 1820s are likely to be
the same as those who worked with
the Morrisons at other houses, such
as Ballyfin, Carton and Kilruddery.
At the latter, for instance, the stucco
artist was Henry Popje and the
scagliola columns were supplied
by William Croggan. At Carton, one
of the stuccadores complained:
It is impossible to describe the trouble
that attended on doing the various
stiles upon this ceiling, they run
together so curious and intricate.
Wallpapers were supplied in the
1820s from Cowtan & Son in London
and others by Irish makers.
The Morrisons were especially skilled
at the architectural transformation
of existing houses and had already
extended Mountbellew in Co Galway
with similar ingenuity. At Fota, the
wings at either end present a flat front
to the approach, but are bowed to the
garden front, adding a fine geometric
variety to the principal rooms of recep-
tion. In the 1830s, Henry Hill was
especially taken with the view through
the hall from the glazed front door,
having a very pleasing effect as a view
can be obtained through the house
into the flower-garden.
The staircase hall is domed (Fig
2) and richly decorated and has
a cantilevered stone staircase rising
to a gallery, which forms part of the
long cross-gallerythe Morrisons
added a projection to the garden
front to increase the spatial drama
of the staircase hall.
John died in 1837 and his son
James, who was only just 21, spent
more time abroad and in England
than at Fota. His son, Arthur,
married, in 1868, Lady Mary
Wyndham-Quin, a daughter of the
Earl of Dunraven. In 1872, a new
billiard room was addedto designs
by Sir John Bensonas well as the
Gallery-cum-library with its mag-
nificent baronial oak chimneypiece.
After Marys death, he married
a widow, Mrs Post. An active politician,
Arthur was raised to the peerage
in 1902, as Baron Barrymore.
After Lord Barrymores death, the
estate passed in the male line first
to his brother and then to his brothers
son. It was sold in 1936 to Lord
Fig 3 above:
A view of the
dining room,
with its screen
of dark-green
scagliola
Corinthian
columns. A jib
door to the left
of the buffet
gave access
for the foot-
man and
butler. Fig 4
above right:
A portrait
of John Smith-
Barry (1793
1837), who
transformed
Fota, set above
the fireplace
of the study.
The room also
preserves fine
1820s book-
cases
www.countrylife.co.uk 56 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Barrymores younger daughter,
Dorothy, and her husband, Maj
William Bell. Dorothy had inherited
the Marbury Hall estate in 1925, but
was fond of Fota, so she sold
Marbury and brought over much
of the important art collection made
by her ancestor, that spoiled child
of fortune, from England.
The Bells loved the house and
gardens and ran them with a large
domestic staff. The major died in 1973
and Mrs Bell in 1975, at which point,
Fota was inherited by one of their
daughters. She had decided to live
in England and sold the estate.
Fota was then acquired by Uni-
versity College Cork, which was
interested in the dairy farm. The
university leased the house to Rich-
ard Wood, a Cork businessman and
art collector. He put his important
collection of Irish paintings on public
display in their natural setting,
a house rather than a gallery. His
collection was later lent to the
University of Limerick.
The house then passed into the
hands of an independent trust,
Fig 5: The
hall-gallery
is punctuated
by pairs
of yellow
scagliola
columns.
It is formed
by one side
of the ground
floor of the old
house having
been punched
out and dir-
ectly connects
the dining
room, draw-
ing room
and library
during which time, the Office of Public
Workswhich still manages the
arboretum and gardens at Fota
carried out a restoration of key
rooms. Then, in December 2007,
Fota was passed to the Irish Heritage
Trust (IHT).
Since taking on the house, the IHT
has carried out a major programme
of works costing some 4.5 million.
The near-derelict first-floor rooms
have been restored, redecorated
(and historic wallpapers conserved)
and re-presented to the public.
In addition, the Allied Irish Bank and
the McCarthy family of Cork have
placed an important collection
of Irish paintings in the house.
The IHT has also instigated sig-
nificant works in the garden,
including the restoration of the
Victorian kitchen gardens working
glasshouses. As well as the further
furnishing of the state roomsand
negotiations continue to provide
more relevant furnishingsinterest-
ing work has been done to inter-
pret the social history of the house
and service areas. The trust is also
working towards full museum
accreditation for the house.
An impressive amount has been
achieved and Fota has become a sig-
nificant local beacon of social and
cultural activity, popular with family
and school groups. It is run by a small
and dedicated team plus a large band
of committed volunteersKevin
Baird, CEO of the IHT, stresses the
importance of wide participation
in the trusts approach. There
remains much still to do, but, despite
the difficult economic background,
the trust has shown itself a resilient
and inventive custodian of this
important country house.
The IHT is also in long-term nego-
tiation with other historic houses for
which new and imaginative solutions
need to be found and for which its
achievements at Fota provide an
encouraging model.
Acknowledgements:
Kevin V. Mulligan, David Griffin
For information about visiting
Fota House and Island, visit www.
fotahouse.com or telephone 00 353
21 481 5543
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 57
Home is where the ha-ha is
An extraordinary feature of English landscape design, the ha-ha has been an object
of contention and amusement, but it is still relevant today, as Steven Desmond explains
I
T is impossible to discuss the
subject of the ha-ha without
a general outbreak of levity.
This is, of course, because
its a silly name. It is, nonethe-
less, a clever idea, allowing the
Georgian landowner an uninter-
rupted view from the garden into
the park, while simultaneously pre-
venting sheep and cows from
wandering across the lawn and gaz-
ing in at the window.
But why the name? Horace Walpole
explained it neatly enough in 1780,
as a key step in the development
of the English landscape garden:
The common people called them
Ha! Has! to express their surprise
at finding a sudden and unperceived
check to their walk. Other writers
refer to it as the Ah! Ah! for much
the same reason. Walpole, not being
a common person, naturally pre-
ferred the French term foss, simply
meaning a ditch, or the plain English
of the sunk fence.
An early example survives in very
good order in the garden at Levens,
Westmorland, of the 1690s. It is
a neatly semicircular retaining wall,
faced on the outside with stone,
encouraging the viewer to admire
the avenue of trees that extends from
it into the park. The ground on the
other side rises at 45 or so back to
the natural level, so that any animal
walking up to the ha-ha finds itself
in a ditch, facing a blank wall.
Some ha-has are enormous, both
in depth and length. I remember
standing in the one next to the
Banqueting House at Gibside in
Co Durham and realising that the
retaining wall was twice as tall
as me, some 12ft, sufficient to keep
deer out. Capability Brown used the
device a great deal at Harewood,
in West Yorkshire, where the walker
can continue for miles north of the
house with a serpentine ha-ha on
each side, giving views in towards
the house and out into Wharfedale.
By the early 19th century, the
fashion was in decline and the
Edwardian architect Sir Reginald
Blomfield, to whom all things
Georgian were anathema, regarded
the ha-ha as little better than a silly
practical jokeso there!
However, hundreds of these wonder-
ful structures remain, in varying
states of repair and dereliction,
a testament to the Hanoverian
gentlemans disinclination to feel
fenced in, because distance lends
enchantment to the view.
Ha! Ha! You can
see me, but you
cant reach me.
The ha-ha bec-
ame fashionable
in the Georgian
era and is still
a useful and
attractive
landscaping
tool
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A century of good turns
Todays Brownies might be more likely to learn to use a satnav than semaphore, but the
emphasis is as much on kindness, initiative and keeping promises as it was in 1914.
Tessa Waugh looks back on 100 years of a thoroughly worthwhile youth movement
The traditional brown tunic
(facing page) was updated
in 1990. Todays Brownies
(left) wear a uniform
by designer Ally Capellino
W
HAT do The Duchess
of Cambridge, J. K. Rowling,
Emma Thompson and the
first Briton in space Helen
Sharman have in common? They were all
little girls who earnestly promised to serve
God, follow the Brownie Guide Law and
learned to juggle for their Circus Performer
badge or to read a bus timetable for Finding
Your Way.
It all started in 1909 when a group
of girls indignantly gatecrashed the first
Scout Rally at Crystal Palace and demanded
that Robert Baden-Powell provide something
similar for them. He asked his sister, Agnes,
to interpret his book Scouting for Boys
for girls and the Girl Guides Association
was born. In 1914, in order to accommodate
the increasing number of under-11 girls
who wished to join, an extra division named
Rosebuds was formed.
However, the children were none too
keen on this rather soppy-sounding
Members of the Brownies celebrate 100 years of the movement at a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at 10, Downing Street last month
name and, in 1915, it was changed to Brownies,
inspired by the 1870 childrens book The
Brownies and other Tales by Juliana
Horatia Ewing, in which children are either
helpful Brownies or lazy boggarts.
The Brownies are 100 this year and
their membership is as robust as ever,
with 200,000 members in Britain alone.
The Queen was a Guide and now her
youngest granddaughter, Lady Louise
Windsor, is a Brownieher mother,
The Countess of Wessex, is president
of Girlguiding UK.
Im a retired Brownie and clearly
remember learning how to pack
a suitcase (shoes at the bot-
tom) and make a cup
The Brownie Promise
I promise that I will do my best,
to be true to myself and develop
my beliefs, to serve The Queen and
my community, to help other people
and to keep the Brownie Guide Law.
www.countrylife.co.uk 60 Country Life, August 20, 2014
www.countrylife.co.uk 62 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Girlguiding UK president The Countess of
Wessex with daughter Lady Louise Windsor
Above: The Queen, a former Guide, meets Brownies in New Zealand, 1970. Below:
Princess Anne, aged 13, in Brownie uniform. Left: Founder Agnes Baden-Powell
of tea in order to earn my all-
important Hostess badge.
At the age of seven, this
was a whole new world
of adult sophistication.
Arabella dAvanzo,
who was a member
of the Hong Kong
pack, recalls: Ive
always remembered
from my Brownie
days the instruct-
ion that, when you
put pans on the
stove to boil, you
turn the handle away
from you. It was one
of the things I learnt for
a badge. Now a mother of two
little girls, she hopes they will follow in her
footsteps: Id love to encourage the girls
to get outside and build camps, make new
friends and learn things beyond the nat-
ional curriculum.
Not everyones memories are sugar-
coated, but the experience was certainly
character-building. Mother of four Lucy
Percy remembers: I was purple for about
a week after The Queens Silver Jubilee
as our red, white and blue crpe-paper
dresses ran horribly in a hailstorm when
we were on a float on the back of a lorry.
Another mother, now in her thirties, con-
fesses that she still takes pleasure from the
fact that she was chosen, instead of her
rival, to be Sixer of the Imps.
Pollyanne Roberts admits that her own
Brownie days were not covered in glory:
I sat on a wasps nest on the pack holiday
and failed my Cook badge because
I couldnt boil an egg. However, this didnt
discourage her from enrolling her daughter,
Annabel, who has loved every minute of it.
Mrs Roberts reports: Theyve just got back
from their pack holiday at Skegness they
made Hawaiian skirts out of bin bags and,
from the photos, it does look as if theyre
on a tropical beach.
The uniforms came in for a pummelling.
Not attractive no matter what you did with
it, claims former Brownie Sarah Parsons,
who vividly recalls her fruitless attempts
to style up the brown tunic and mustard-
coloured neck scarf. Thankfully, those
tunics were jettisoned in 1990 and todays
Brownies wear a mix-and-match uniform
of hoodies, leggings and T-shirts created
by the fashion designer Ally Capellino.
Former Brownie Kate Richardson (her
mother was a Brown Owl) is now Barn Owl
(affectionately known as Boden Owl)
of the First Ingoldsby Brownies in Lincolnshire.
She says the objective hasnt changed:
The main point of Brownies is to have fun,
make friends and explore things that you
wouldnt necessarily have access to at home
or at school.
In rural Lincolnshire, the Brownies
organise annual Mothering Sunday and
Christingle services. They plant daffodils
in the church every year, made a banner for
The Queens Diamond Jubilee and organised
a visit to the BBC studios in Nottingham.
Each summer, they hold an ersatz
Wimbledon at a friends grass court.
Brown Owl Diana Burrows started her
pack in the 1990s and observes that, among
other changes, the programme has become
more girl-lead over the years. Some packs
have done away with their toadstools, but
Mrs Burrows maintains the traditions.
We mix and match the old with the new.
If it works for us and the girls are happy,
thats all that matters. I get so much joy
from seeing a shy little seven year old leave
as a confident 10 year old.
Although the domestic skills we learned
sound outdated now, Brownies have always
taken part in a huge range of activities for R
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Country Life, August 20, 2014 63
www.countrylife.co.uk
Badges then and now
Badges were introduced in 1917 and were
divided into four groups: character and intel-
ligence, skill and handicraft, service to others
and physical health. There are now more
than 50 to choose from, including Crime
Prevention, Disability Awareness, Environment
and Science Investigator
Then Signaller badge
Read and send simple sentences in sema-
phore. Learn simple procedure signals
and demonstrate a hands-on knowledge
of whistles and hand signals
Now Communicator badge
Demonstrate how to use a mobile phone
and send an email. Spell name and home
town using the phonetic alphabet
Then Athlete badge
Sprint 100 yards in 25 seconds, climb a rope
or pole and have a go at high jumping
Now Watersports badge
Take part in a water-based activity, including
canoeing, rafting, rowing, sailing, water-
skiing and windsurfing
Then Observer badge
Find your way to an unknown spot by follow-
ing directions. Observe nature, demonstrat-
ing knowledge of animals, birds, plants
and vegetables
Now Wildlife Explorer badge
Organise an RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
and create animal feeding stations. Visit
nature reserves and country parks to take
and draw pictures, record logs of animals
activity and look out for signs of pollution
Then Guide badge
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of local
community, such as the whereabouts of the
nearest police and fire stations and major
regional landmarks
Now World Traveller badge
Find out about other cultures and languages
The main point of Brownies is to have fun, make friends and explore things that you wouldnt necessarily have access to at home or at school
their attainment badges. The Booklover
and Musician badges, introduced in 1932,
are as popular now as ever, as is the Friend
to Animals badge as well as new additions
such as Healthy Heart, Computer, Stargazer
and Watersports.
The Girl Guide movement remains faith-
ful to Baden-Powells Christian ethos
in 1940, the Brownies raised more than
50,000 for the war effort by forfeiting
their pocket money and fundraising
but, last year, it changed the Brownie
Promise (which Brownies repeat at their
enrolment) to include girls of all faiths and
none. The Brownie Guide LawA Brownie
Guide thinks of others before herself and
does a good turn every dayis still very
much the ethos.
This ability to navigate change, without
losing sight of the basics, and to empower
girls in a safe and fun environment goes
a long way to explaining the movements
enduring success.
To find out about becoming a Brownie,
telephone 0800 169 5901 or visit www.
girlguiding.org.uk/joinus

The Brownie Guide Law
A Brownie Guide thinks
of others before herself and does
a good turn every day.
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64 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Smooth operator
Mark Hedges admires the moving works in
Simon Gudgeons sculpture garden in Dorset
Photographs by Richard Cannon
I
FIRST met Simon Gudgeon
thanks to his dog. The small,
grey lurcher was greeting
passers-by at the CLA Game
Fair some years ago and she led me
dutifully to his stand. It was like
no other set-up, packed with well-
wishers and sensational art. The
Champagne corks never seemed
to stop popping. Here was an artist
who was different from the rest.
Back then, Mr Gudgeon was mainly
painting and drawing game and
wildlife (I now own a red-chalk paint-
ing of a hare, given to me by my wife
on my 40th birthday), but in among
the canvases, there were a few dynamic
sculptures of flying grouse and tiny
wrens, the result of their creator
impulse-purchasing some modelling
clay in 1998. Soon, his focus turned
almost entirely to sculpture.
Mr Gudgeon has since achieved
worldwide recognition for his
smooth, kinetic sculptures. Many
of his works are now displayed
in public places, including the monu-
mental Isis in Hyde Park on the
banks of the Serpentine (the first
public sculpture to be placed in the
park for more than 50 years) and
at Americas National Museum
of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming. The Prince of Wales, the
Duke of Bedford and the Duke
of Northumberland collect his work.
Remarkably, before all his success,
he began his working life as a lawyer,
before following his passion for art.
How did he make the jump? When
I started painting, I had been working
as a house-sitter for four years, visit-
ing other peoples homes. I looked
after their pets and painted and drew
every day. Youve got to put the hours
in. Theres no shortcut. Sculpting was
the same; you just keep working
at it and trying different things and
constantly working.
In 2007, he and his wife, Monique,
bought Pallington Lakes, near Dor-
chester in Dorset. The property ticked
every one of their boxes, with its ample
acreage and myriad outbuildings that
could be converted into a large studio
and a gallery. It was also seriously over
their budget, but they moved in two
months later, running the lakes as
a commercial carp fishery to help pay
the mortgage. Initially, on a whim, two
sculptures were placed around the lakes
and it was only then that the idea for
a sculpture park slowly began to
unfold. It came about partly because
we had the space and landscape
to complement the sculptures and
partly through my disappointment
at the way large sculptures look
in galleries, Mr Gudgeon recalls.
Today, the fishermen and their bivvys
are gone and the once close-cropped
grass is allowed to bloom as a wild-
flower meadow. Mrs Gudgeon has
used her landscape-gardening train-
ing to great effect in creating a series
of individual sections, from the Italian
Garden full of lavender and creeping
thymes beneath a yew hedge to a fern
Above: Underwater wisdom. Right: Simon Gudgeon and the upward gazing
faces of Search for Enlightenment, which convey the transience of humanity

The sculptures
at Pallington Lakes
are as much part
of the landscape
as the trees


www.countrylife.co.uk
garden in one of the estates damper
spots, and Pippins Garden, named
after the lurcher I met all those years
ago. Shes buried beneath a Rosa
Mundi and the nearby sundial is
dedicated to her love of the sun.
Mr Gudgeons art has also changed
as time has gone on: Ive got much
bigger studios here than I had before,
and when you get a bigger studio, you
do bigger pieces. I now tend to sculpt
for here and I dont restrict myself in
terms of subject matter. When I began
sculpting with a Game Fair clientele
in mind, I had a very narrow subject
range that would be reasonably
successful. Here, I can do figurative
work, I can do pure abstract, I can
do kinetic and I can simply experi-
ment to my hearts content with
creating all sorts of different pieces.
With 26 acres to play with,
Mr Gudgeon has plenty of sites to
choose for his sinuous sculptures.
More recently, Mr Gudgeon has been
sculpting the skulls of mammals,
including big cats. Turned to bronze,
theyre deeply haunting. Good art,
he tells me, is if you create some-
thing that people respond to, some-
thing that creates an emotional
reaction within them when they see
itwhether they feel joy or some-
thing quite different.
Entrance to Sculpture by the Lakes
costs 10 and must be booked in
advance, as numbers are limited
to preserve the tranquility of the
place. Visitors are welcome to
bring a picnic (01305 848002;
www.sculpturebythelakes.co.uk)
Isis, based on an ibisthe wading
bird with the long, thin, curving beak
is over 10ft tall, but the position-
ing (and occasional repositioning)
is done with the surrounding plants
and water in mind. The effect is sooth-
ing and mesmerising and, like all the
best outdoor sculpture, reflects the
infinite changeability of the weather.
The sculptures at Pallington Lakes
are as much part of the landscape
as the trees and lakes. In places,
quotes have been curved into the
stone, such as Henry Van Dykes Use
what talents you possess: the woods
would be very silent if no birds sang
there except those that sang best.
Above left: In Ancient Egypt, the falcon personified light. Here, the circle in which the falcon stands
represents the sun. Above: Isis, which takes inspiration from the ibis, a wading bird, and Isis, the
Egyptian goddess of Nature, is the first public sculpture to be placed in Hyde Park for more than
50 years. Below: When you get a bigger studio, you do bigger pieces, says Mr Gudgeon
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 67

On a whim, two
sculptures were
placed around the
lakes. It was only
then that the idea
for a sculpture
park begain
to unfold


Above:
Swans. The
graceful and
smooth curves
of birdsoften
strikingly life-
likefeature
prominently in
Mr Gudgeons
work. Right:
Fruit, enlarged
in all its beauty
and elegance
(the pear
on the right
is 4ft 8in tall)
68 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Honey to the bee
Swedish short-haired bumblebees were
chosen because they are used to climatic
conditions broadly similar to the UKs
Last summer, Kate Bradbury was involved in the
reintroduction of 49 Swedish short-haired bumblebee
queens to Dungeness. On a sunny day, she watched
as one of them took its first sip of wild, English nectar,
before flying off, hopefully to find and establish a nest
D
UNGENESS in Kent is an imposing
landscape. Home to a nuclear
power station of the same name,
its one of the largest expanses
of shingle in Europe and is classified as
Britains only desert. As first impressions
go, it seems an unlikely setting for the
reintroduction of one of Britains extinct bees.
Yet Dungeness is an SSSI. It shelters
Romney Marsh and is of international con-
servation importance due to its unusual
geography and communities of rare wildlife.
Most importantly, its the
setting of the last recorded
sighting of the short-haired
bumblebee, in 1988, and
so its fitting that its now
where this ambitious and
exciting reintroduction of the
bee is taking place.
The short-haired bumble-
bee, Bombus subterraneus,
is one of Britains 24 species
of bumblebee. It used to be
fairly common in the south of the UK, feed-
ing on wildflowers such as white deadnettle
and red clover. A hundred years ago, the
naturalist F. W. L. Sladen captured queens
in the wild and took them home to nest
in his house. He studied them intently and
described in his book, The Humble-Bee,
how they built their colony, fed their young
and how the males of this species were
particularly fragrant.
Since Sladens day, there have been
unprecedented changes to our landscape.
Agricultural intensification has virtually
eradicated wildflowers from our country-
side and wildflowers had, until recently,
been dismissed in our gardens in favour
of more ornamental cultivars. Lack of food
for the short-haired bumblebee meant
it was foragingand livingin increas-
ingly small spaces. Colonies became inbred
and the species eventually died out. It hadnt
been seen in the UK since the sighting
in Dungeness in 1988 and was finally
declared extinct in 2000.
But now its back. The Short-Haired
Bumblebee Reintroduction projectspear-
headed by Nikki Gammansis a five-year
project to bring this extinct bee back home.
Each year, some 100 queens are captured
and brought to Britain from Sweden. After
a period in quarantine where theyre hand-fed
small amounts of nectar and pollen and
checked for diseases that may harm existing
colonies of bees, theyre released into the
wild in the hope that a healthy population
will recolonise Dungeness and, eventually,
expand elsewhere in the south of the UK.
This reintroduction is now in its third
year, but, behind the scenes, Nikki and her
team have been preparing
for the bees arrival for
many more. Theyve worked
with farmers, landowners
and gardeners to improve
the local habitat to ensure
theres plenty of food for
the bees once theyre here.
Thanks to their collect-
ive efforts, five other rare
bumblebees have been
recorded in the area after
an absence of several years. These include
the UKs rarest bumblebee, the shrill carder
bee (Bombus sylvarum), which was spotted
in Dungeness last year for the first time
in 25 years, and the large garden bumblebee,
Bombus ruderatus, which hasnt been
recorded in Dungeness for more than 10 years.
This small area of Kent and East Sussex
is now a haven for wildlife. Its the best place
in Britain to be a bumblebee, says Nikki.
Whats more, last October, short-haired
worker bumblebees were spotted on
Dungeness for the first time. This is a good
sign, Nikki says, as it means at least some
of the queens released so far have estab-
lished a nest and the reintroduction project
is working. This year, a further 46 queens
were releasedcould their offspring be
feeding from red-clover flowers on Dungeness
right now?
For more information on the short-
haired bumblebee reintroduction project,
visit www.bumblebeereintroduction.org
Bring bumblebees
to your garden
The short-haired bumblebee inhabits
flower-rich grassland and feeds on wild-
flowers we tend to call weeds rather
than on ornamental garden plants. But
if you live in or near Dungeness, why
not leave a small patch of your garden
to grow wild, where plants such as white
deadnettle and red clover can grow?
This will contribute to the habitat res-
toration Nikki and her team are working
on and will help create corridors for the
bumblebees to travel between larger
habitats, allowing them to expand their
geographical range.
Its not just the short-haired bumble-
bee youll helpthere are many rare
bumblebees living around Dungeness
and Romney Marsh, so try growing
a few extra wildflowers and look out for
unusual visitors.
You can also increase your stock
of nectar- and pollen-rich garden plants
for all bumblebees in your garden. The
following list of plants are in flower now
and will attract a wide variety of species.
All are garden-worthy and are perfect
for bumblebees:
Bumblebee lifecycle
The lifecycle begins in spring, when the
queen bumblebee wakes up from hiber-
nation. She feeds on flowers to gain energy
and then looks for a nest site. This might
be a hole in the ground, in tussocky grass,
in a bird box or under a garden shed.
Once shes chosen her nest, she col-
lects pollen and nectar from flowers and
lays her first batch of eggs. These hatch
into larvae, which eat the stores of pollen
and nectar, before pupating into adult
worker bees. The workers then take
on the role of foraging for pollen and
nectar for the grubs in the nest, while
the queen settles down to lay more eggs.
Towards the end of the season, the
queen starts laying eggs that hatch into
males and daughter queensthe founders
of next years nests. These mate with
males and queens from other nests and
the daughter queens then enter hiber-
nation. The males, the original queen
and the workers die.
Borage
Buddleia
Cardoon
Catmint
Cornflower
Delphinium
Heathers
Hebe
Hollyhock
Hyssop
Knapweed
Lambs ears
Lavender
Marjoram
Penstemon
Purple loosestrife
Rock rose
Scabious
Sea holly
Snapdragons
Sunflower
Teasel
Vipers bugloss
R
S
P
B

I
m
a
g
e
s

Five other rare


bumblebees have
been recorded
in Dungeness after
an absence
of several years


www.countrylife.co.uk 70 Country Life, August 20, 2014
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Origins of the country-house look
Above: Nancy Lancaster on the terrace at Haseley, Oxfordshire, in 1958, by Cecil Beaton. Below:
An Imari jar with the Chinese wallpaper that Nancy introduced to Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire
Clive Aslet delves into the life and loves of Nancy Lancaster, the American with
a passion and talent for interior design that forever changed the English country house
I
N the years before and after the
Second World War, Nancy
Lancaster did more than anyone
to create the classic English
country-house look. This was some-
thing of an irony, as she was, by birth,
American. She crossed the Atlantic
with a respect for bathrooms and
proper heating that was not universal
among the British owners of country
houses, struggling to recover their
finances after the First World War.
She also came with an eye formed
by the restoration of a family house
in Virginia. The conditions in her home
state were not so different, in terms
of shabby but elegant domesticity,
from those she found in the UK.
Born in 1897, Nancy Perkins, as she
then was, grew up in the Blue Ridge
Mountains, where her grandfather,
Col Chillie Langhorne, had an estate
called Mirador. It wasnt a vastly rich
family, but Nancys fortunes were
transformed by marrying Henry
Field, a grandson of Marshall Field
of the eponymous Chicago store;
an usher at the wedding was Cole Porter.
Tragically, what should have been
a routine operation to remove Fields
tonsils gave him blood poisoning and
he died at the age of only 22.
Crossing the Atlantic on a liner,
Nancy met Fields cousin, Ronald Tree.
Great British tastemakers Nancy Lancaster (18971994)

She had
a talent for
sprucing
up a stately
but shabby home
and making
a grand house
appear less
grand

Cecil Beaton
They shared, among other things,
a passion for horses and were married
in London in 1920.
Nancy, however, insisted on return-
ing to Mirador, which she leased and
then bought. There, she employed the
New York architect William Delano
to transform a greatly loved but poorly
proportioned farmhouse, originally
of the 1830s, into a place of Classical
eleganceand yet to do so without
dispelling the sacred family memories
that it enshrined. A toplit rotunda was
created in the centre of the house.
Behind, mountain views were framed
by a pergola, over which wisteria
twined: to Delano, the garden was
the natural extension of the house.
Meanwhile, for their New York
house, the Trees leased 7, East 96th
Street from the gentleman decorator
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 71

Top: The Yellow


Room in the flat
that Nancy and
John Fowler
made from part
of Colefax and
Fowlers London
shop. Above:
The stone
garden at
Haseley, based
on a pavement
design at
Torcello Cath-
edral, Venice
Ogden Codman, who had co-written
The Decoration of Houses with
Edith Wharton. Codmans cool and
reticent Classicism would be absorbed
as an ingredient of Nancys own
style, as it evolved in the decoration
of her own houses in England.
Kelmarsh
Nancy might have stayed in Virginia
had it not been for a bad fall she suf-
fered when schooling a young horse
in 1924. Ronnie, an Anglophile who
didnt see a future for himself in
American public life, nursed her back
to health. In reward for his devotion,
she agreed to settle in England.
It was Ronnies ambition to become
an MP and the route he chose to being
selected was via the Pytchley Hunt,
the crme de la crme of foxhunts;
he took on the joint mastership in 1926.
Seven years later, he entered the House
of Commons. As their Northampton-
shire house, the Trees took a lease
on Kelmarsh Hall.
Kelmarsh was a restrained essay
in English Palladianism, built in the
1720s by James Gibbs. It was larger
than Mirador, but Nancy had the
Downstairs, the Victorian ball-
room was turned into a dining room
for the big house parties that the
master of the Pytchley entertained.
It was furnished with Chippendale
chairs upholstered in dandelion-
yellow leather. However much the
down-at-heel charm of Kelmarsh
recalled Virginia, the decoration
of the hall, painted a dreary green
and hung with armour, needed
refreshing. For the new colour,
Nancys inspiration was the terra-
cotta pink of Lady Islingtons dining
room at Rushbrooke Hall, a Tudor
mansion in Suffolk.
Phipps introduced her to a paint
specialist called Mr Kick, who had
an artists appreciation of how light
plays in a room. Kick visited
Rushbrooke and returned with two
samples: one the colour that Nancy
wanted and one almost the colour
of brown paper. The former would
have looked like knicker elastic; the
latter would appear to be the right
colour under the changing light.
Kick applied no fewer than eight
coats of paint. He went on to work
for Nancy over the next 30 years.
example of her aunt Nancy Astor
at Cliveden, whose wit, energy and out-
spokenness she shared, to help her
overcome any feelings of intimidation.
She also had an uncle by marriage who
was an architect, the Hon Paul Phipps.
The fascinating Phipps, as he was
sometimes called, was a pupil of
Lutyens who built a number of houses
in partnership with another Lutyens
pupil, Oswald P. Milne. He installed
central heating, electric light and proper
bathrooms, but wasnt entrusted with
matters of taste. When the library was
panelled, the design came from Delano. D
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www.countrylife.co.uk
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Alexandre
Serebriakoffs
view of the hall
at Ditchley Park,
Oxfordshire,
in 1948
Nancy painted the saloon at Kelmarsh a cool olive-grey

Nancy Lancaster
crossed the Atlantic
with a respect for
bathrooms and
proper heating

72 Country Life, August 20, 2014


Ditchley
Some of the money, if not the fun,
went out of hunting in the Depression
of the 1930s, but Ronnie and Nancy
had found a new passion. Ronnie
described their first exposure to
Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire in his
autobiography When the Moon was
High. They emerged from a lane
of hedges, entwined with honeysuckle
and wild roses, into a double avenue
of beech trees leading to the gate
lodge. Before them was a heavily
wooded park: We marvelled at it
Ahead, another avenue of elm trees,
and then the house itself appeared,
stark grey against the blue sky, its
two lead statues of Loyalty and Fame
looking far out over the trees towards
the Churchill palace at Blenheim, its
neighbour to the east.
The previous owner, Viscount Dillon,
had recently died and they were met
by an old butler in a red wig. Some
of Lord Dillons relatives produced
Champagne. Ronnie bought the house
within a fortnight.
Ditchley was another Gibbs-designed
house, although built by Francis Smith.
But it was bigger and more magnifi-
cent: the roof hidden by a parapet,
on which stood urns and statues, and
the hall ornamented with plasterwork.
This didnt entirely suit Nancys
Great British tastemakers Nancy Lancaster (18971994)

domestic idealshe thought it might
be difficult to live in. Until her own
modernising hand had passed over
it, she and her husband were preceded
to their sleeping quarters by the butler,
carrying an acetylene lamp.
She again called on Phipps to over-
come the deficiencies in heating,
lighting and bathrooms and sum-
moned the luminaries of the decor-
ating worldLady Colefax, Syrie
Maugham and Stephane Boudin of
Paristo advise on aspects of the
interior. But the controlling taste that
made a synthesis of these different
contributions belonged to the Trees.
Their son Michael later observed that
my parents, from a decorating point
of view, were a marvellous pair.
Ronnies department was the pur-
chase of furniture, necessarily of
a swagger to the Baroque richness
of the rooms. It was Nancy who com-
posed the rooms and chose the silks,
velvets, damasks and brocades,
leaving them unfurled about the
house so that gaudy colours would
be bleached by the sun. In the hall,
she took a penknife to the battle-
ship-grey paintwork, scraping back
to the original grey-blue or dove
grey of the 18th-century scheme
an early, if primitive, example of
a paint scrape to research the decor-
ative history of a room.
To this, she added red upholstery,
in a note derived from a portrait
of Ditchleys builder, Lord Lichfield,
over the fireplace. After the war,
Ronnie commissioned the Russian
artist Alexandre Serebriakoff to paint
a series of watercolours of the
achievement, showing a house that
is as balanced, calm, yet vivacious
as a Haydn symphony.
Nancy wasnt afraid of rich colours
and bold patterns, accompanied,
as in the Velvet Room, by an equally
bold carpetin a room whose archi-
tecture is itself opulent and gilded.
The velvet had been bought by Lord
Lichfields brother, Admiral Fitzroy
Lee, in Genoa when he was com-
mander of the Mediterranean Fleet.
Although any one piece of exuber-
ance would have drawn attention
to itself, the effect of such a concen-
tration of incident created a feeling
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 73
Mrs Ronald
Tree on Blue
Ridge
by Munnings
(1925/6). The
Trees kept
a large stable
of hunters and
Nancys
husband,
Ronnie, was
joint master
of the smart
Pytchley Hunt

She took
a penknife to the
paintworkan early
example of a paint
scrape to research
the decorative
history of a room

Further information
The Architecture of Delano and Aldrich by Peter
Pennoyer and Anne Walker (2003)
Nancy Lancaster: Her Life, Her World, Her Art
by Robert Becker (1996)
Nancy Lancaster by Martin Wood (2005)
Kelmarsh Hall and gardens, Northamptonshire
(01604 686543; www.kelmarsh.com)
The Ditchley Foundation (01608 677346; www.
ditchley.co.uk)
Colefax and Fowler (0207244 7427; www.colefax.com)
of voluptuous repose. Nancy recalled
that the room was used every night:
England is so cold in the winter, but
that room was the warmest in the
world. It was cozy, but I have to say
I never liked the velvet.
Nancys success was acknow-
ledged and she was asked to help
other owners with their houses.
Outside, the terrace of the garden
was restored from plans found in the
Sir John Soanes Museum in London.
Pheasant and partridge shooting
replaced hunting as the sport of
choice and Nancyvery unusually
for the timetook her place in the
line of guns.
On Saturday nights, 30 people
would sit down to dinner, politicians
and aristocrats such as Anthony
Eden and Viscount Cranborne (later
5th Marquess of Salisbury) rubbing
shoulders with such celebrities and
film stars as Nol Coward and David
Niven. A thousand guests, wearing
red and white, came to the house
warmingthe best party anybody
has seen for many years, according
to Voguein 1937. The formality of
the entertaining, like the decor, was
laced with originality and Nancys
own lightness of touch, which made
it, for the younger set, a bit more fun
than Cliveden and other country houses.
During the Second World War,
hospitality went into a different gear,
in 1947. The next year, Nancy
married for the third time, her new
husband being Col Claude (Jubie)
Lancaster, the owner of Kelmarsh
Hall. Perhaps, as her children bel-
ieved, she loved Kelmarsh more than
Lancaster, because that marriage
foundered after three years. But,
until her death in 1994, she remained
Nancy Lancaster, a name that
became synonymous with faultless
taste in decoration.
Ronnie having bought her Sibyl
Colefaxs share of the decorating
firm Colefax and Fowler, she lent her
impeccable eye to the arrangement
of many of Britains most delightful
country houses and gardens, includ-
ing such palatial examples as
Boughton House and Badminton
House. Fowler, as Hugo Vickers has
described, was the perfect foil for
her. He was the observant outsider,
an expert on the 18th century, and
an artist, reviving stippling and
dragging, while she preferred the
overall look, applying her yardstick
of elegance and comfort.
Nancy had considered 150 houses
before buying her last home, Haseley
Court in Oxfordshire, in 1954.
I happen to like houses that remind
me of Virginia, she recalled. Run-
down after its use as a prisoner-of-war
camp, Haseley was nevertheless
a lovely early Georgian house of
silver stone and if rabbits scuttled
through the self-seeded daisies,
it possessed a view of the Chiltern
Hills that reminded me of a mini-
ature Blue Ridge Mountains.
Nancy loved the house back to life,
although it would have been cheaper
if Id bought Versailles. She copied
the wallpaper for the Palladian
Room from one at Drottningholm
Palace in Sweden, after a sketch
made for her by the King of Sweden
himself.
as Ditchley was considered
to be a safer weekend destination for
Winston Churchill than the Prime
Ministers official residence of Chequers
when a full moon made the latter
a target for enemy bombers. (Nancy
Astor, who loved to tease Churchill
just as much as he baited her, was
not invited.)
Nancy contributed to the war effort
by establishing a fleet of mobile can-
teens to take food to bombed towns
and cities, including Coventry. With
both her sons in the British army,
she not only changed her citizenship,
but brought her money to Britain
in 1944with disastrous consequences
to her finances.
Colefax and Fowler
The Trees marriage did not long
survive the war and they divorced
In the driving seat Aston Martin Rapide S
www.countrylife.co.uk 74 Country Life, August 20, 2014
to the shops with a third person,
but when would you bother?
For all the complaints about
space, we all loved the car, even
my father, whose interest in cars
is limited. Its designed for COUNTRY
LIFE types. With two people, theres
ample space for suitcases and
a few salmon rods lengthwise.
You not only need a barn to keep
it in, but also space from the
neighbours because the noise on
starting the engine is extraordinary,
almost worth the purchase price
on its own. In the way that you
cant imagine the sea until youve
been there, so you cant imagine
the wonderful noise of the V12
5.9-litre engine on ignitionits
a real neighbour baiter.
Over the past few years, Ive
driven various cars. For practi-
cality and performance, the
hideous Porsche Panamera turbo
had been top of my list, another
four-door 2+2 GT. However, the
Aston Martin is effortlessly superior
in sound and vision, if not, perhaps,
for the rear passengers.
three. It must have taken thousands
of hours of brilliance to create
a car like this with four seats,
but the time could perhaps have
been saved because 2+2=2.
Even sitting behind the Hobbit-
like Editor, who had the front seat
wound forward, and with allow-
ances for me being 6ft 3in, it was
very uncomfortable in the rear of
the car. The less-willowy-than-
he-was Old Man took time to get
in the back and swore blind it was
okay when it was his turn, although
it wasnt. You could put two
medium-rare children in there,
but thats it. And you could nip
The Rapide S is, in theory,
a GT. It has four doors (the rear two
artfully designed to the edge of
invisibility) and four seats and
so might be called a 2+2. It has
an enormous engine that generates
about 550bhp, which can blast you
to 190mph, the first 60 taking less
than five seconds. Its a super car,
not as deemed by a motoring
hack, actually super or, dare
one say it, super-duper. It costs
about 150,000.
Its probably best not to judge
it from the photograph. This car
looks better in real life. And its
enormousyour garage will need
to be about 23ft by 16ft if you want
space to admire it from all angles.
The grille signals intent, the back
end (something Aston Martin
has always been good at, unlike
Jaguar) is foxyor possibly even
equine as there are actual
haunchesand its what most
people will see on the road.
However, the Aston Martin
engineers got their sums wrong:
2+2 does not equal four, or even
Only the beautiful need apply

The noise
on starting the
engine is almost
worth the
purchase price
on its own


G
RAN TOURISMO (GT),
an Italian homage to the
days of the Grand Tour,
denotes a car that can transport
its contents at breath-taking, yet
effortless, velocity across a con-
tinent in comfort. There will be
room for luggage (probably bes-
poke) and, preferably, four people
if needs must. The initials GT con-
jure an image of men in thick-
cotton, open-necked shirts, with
rolled-up sleeves (but sans cravat),
piloting willowy women across
sunlit Alpine passes to winding
Mediterranean coast roads.
Sadly, my companions in the
new Aston Martin Rapide S were
the Editor (rather more shrunken
oak than wispy willow) and my
77-year-old father, a retired NHS
gynaecologist who once took eight
wickets for four runs in a national
cricket competition and played
rugger (not rugby) for Marlborough
and St Thomass. He has an
undying loyalty to Aquascutum,
based on the companys assessment
that his chest size was 43 athletic.
The new Aston Martin Rapide S should probably be driven across France
by a beauteous couple, rather than to Scotland by three fishermen,
reckons Bobby Pawson, but the trio enjoys it all the same
Effortless superiority: the back seats may be less than spacious, but the Aston Martin Rapide S is a super car in every other way
B
o
b
b
y

P
a
w
s
o
n
4 School Close, Queen Elizabeth Avenue, BURGESS HILL (BETWEEN GATWICK & BRIGHTON) West Sussex RH15 9RX
Tuesday-Saturday 9.30am-5pm www.1760.com Telephone 01444 24 55 77
Closing Down Sale
70% Off Everything
Extended Offer ~ Final Day of Trading 27th September 2014
15,500 sq ft of Showrooms Dining Tables & Chairs Sideboards Bookcases In All Sizes Ofhce & Boardroom Furniture
English House Furniture Desks Filing Cabinets Display Cabinets Oil Paintings Objet D`art
www.countrylife.co.uk 76 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Kitchen garden cook Sweetcorn by Melanie Johnson
Sweetcorn fritters (above)
Using a sharp knife, cut the
kernels from 2 corn on the cobs
and place them in a bowl. Add
2 beaten eggs, salt, pepper and
2tbspn self-raising flour. Mix
well, then add half the mixture
to a blender and blitz before
returning to the original bowl.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter
into melted butter in a frying
pan. Serve with a salsa made
from chopped avocado, toma-
toes, chilli and spring onions.
Prawn and sweetcorn chowder with pasta shells
M
AIZE was first grown
in parts of Mexico and
America, where its
been harvested for about 8,000
years. However, sweetcorn has
a surprisingly short European
history. It was acquired by
settlers in America from the
Iroquois in 1779. It wasnt until
the 20th century that sweetcorn
reached our fields.
Ingredients
Splash of olive oil
Knob of butter
2 leeks, washed and cut into
thin slices
2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli
Pinch of saffron
1tbspn flour
350ml full-fat milk
2 corn on the cobs
300g cooked king prawns
Handful fresh parsley
500g large pasta shells
Parmesan to serve
Its hard to beat the rich, creamy sweetness of a corn on the cob with melted
butter and salt, but this recipe for prawn chowder with pasta shells simply
wouldnt be the same without it. Fresh corn is definitely preferable to tinned,
if only because its infinitely more exciting to pick the ears of corn yourself and
then pull away their stringy husks to reveal the buttery yellow prize within

More ways
with sweetcorn
M
e
l
a
n
i
e

J
o
h
n
s
o
n
Serves 4
Corn on the cob with
flavoured butters
Griddle 6 corn on the cobs until
gently charred. Make a few dif-
ferent butters to choose from.
Chilli butter: mix together
butter, chopped chilli, chopped
parsley and seasoning and
refrigerate until needed. Garlic-
and-herb butter: take a handful
of mixed herbs, butter, 2 cloves
of crushed garlic, mix together
and refrigerate. Pesto butter:
mix butter, a little pesto, fresh
basil leaves and grated Par-
mesan together, then refriger-
ate. Serve the corn with a choice
of butters.
Method
Heat a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a large frying pan.
Add the chopped leeks and fry until softened. Add the celery,
garlic and chilli and fry for a further five minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over them and mix it in well. Pour in the milk,
a little at a time, until its all been added. Take a pinch of saffron
and add it to the milk, stirring it through.
Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the corn on the cobs.
Add them to the frying pan and mix them through and then
simmer gently.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add
a splash of olive oil, then add the pasta shells. Cook until al dente.
Add the prawns and parsley to the frying pan just a few minutes
before serving.
To serve, spoon the prawns into the pasta shells and pour the
remaining sauce over them. Serve with a lightly dressed salad.
Even though Italians cant abide the thought of grated cheese
on any kind of fish pasta, I think this dish tastes delicious with
a light dusting of Parmesan.
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www.countrylife.co.uk 80 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Improved transport
links mean the beauties
of the Irish Midlands
await discovery
loved retreat, says Old Etonian con-
temporary George Windsor Clive of
Windsor Clive International (01672
521155), who, with joint agents William
Montgomery (0284278 8666) and
Sherry FitzGerald (00 353 1 237 6300)
quotes a guide price of 4 million for
the well-organised farming estate.
In its Victorian heyday, the Mill-
town Park estate covered more than
1,000 acres; nowadays, the neat rec-
tangular holding includes 100 acres
of prime tillage, 95 acres of rich pas-
ture (48 of which was the old deer
park, separated from the gardens by
a ha-ha) and 70 acres of well-managed
forestry and woodland. It includes an
ash plantation intended for the manu-
facture of hurley sticksto the delight,
no doubt, of Offalys many support-
ers of the Gaelic national game.
One of Irelands earliest small
Palladian houses, designed in the
style promoted in the early 18th cen-
tury by the Irish architect Sir Edward
Lovett Pearce (a relation of Vanbrugh),
Milltown House perfectly represents
the middle ground between farmhouse
and mansion: a shade unsophisti-
much that theyve lived there ever
since. But now, after 500 years of
times good and bad, that link is to be
severed, following the decision of
Milltown Parks current owner, Lt Gen
Sir Barney White-Spunner, to sell his
tranquil, 285-acre, walled demesne,
with its classic small Palladian
house, built in about 1720 near the
site of the original family home, the
ruins of which can be seen down by
the banks of the Little Brosna River.
For Gen White-Spunnerwriter,
military historian, former Commander
of Britains Field Army and current
executive chairman of the Country-
side AllianceMilltown Park has always
been a very special place, a much-
Hidden
treasures
of forgotten
Ireland
Co Offalys
Milltown Park
(above) has
been in the
same family
since the
1500s. The
fabric of the
house has
been updated,
leaving the
interiors to the
buyers taste
(below). The
model farm
(bottom) could
become a stud
farm. 4m
Property market Penny Churchill
W
ERE it not for the comple-
tion, in 2010, of Irelands
longest motorway, the 100-
mile M7 linking Naas, Co Kildare,
with Rossbrien on the outskirts of
Limerick city, the undiscovered counties
of Offaly and Laois, in the heart of the
Irish Midlands, would probably still be
places you passed through on your
way to somewhere else. But with the
Curragh now less than an hours drive
away, and Dublin airport less than an
hour from there, the former Kings
County and Queens County of pre-
independence days have begun to
recover some of their lustrealthough,
hopefully, not too much.
The gently rolling hills of the Slieve
Bloom Mountains form a natural
frontier between Offaly and Laois.
Now, the sale of two historic country
estates, Milltown Park in Offaly, and
Capard House in Laoisthe former
in need of updating, the latter sump-
tuously restoredshines a spotlight on
this secret corner of Ireland that even
the locals call the forgotten land.
The Spunners of Milltown Park,
near Shinrone, six miles or so west
of Roscrea, were among the first
English settlers to arrive in these
parts in the 1500s: they liked it so
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 81
cated but with great charm (Maurice
Craig, Classic Irish Houses of the
Middle Size, 1976).
Built on four floors with a manage-
able 7,183sq ft of beautifully pro-
portioned living space, it boasts four
fine but unpretentious reception
rooms, eight bedrooms, two bath-
rooms and a large basement housing
kitchens and staff quarters.
According to Mr Windsor-Clive,
Gen White-Spunner has spent con-
siderable sums in the past five years
on the basic fabric of the house,
replacing the roof, the chimneys, the
wiring and water supply, leaving
a new purchaser free to concentrate
on decoration and modernisation, in
the knowledge that the essential struc-
tural work has already been done.
Find the best properties at countrylife.co.uk
In Co Laois,
Capard House
(top) has been
magnificently
renovated and
its opulent
rooms (middle
and above) are
designed for
entertaining on
a grand scale.
5.5m
a two-storey late-18th-century man-
sion with a substantial self-contained
adjoining wing, built in the Greek
Revival style in 1790. For the past 20
years, the house and its 100 acres of
pasture, spectacular formal gardens,
orchard and woodland, have been the
subject of a massive restoration pro-
gramme carried out by the owners,
who were initially bowled over by
its breathtaking panoramic view over
five counties, says selling agent
Harriet Grant of Savills (00 353 1
663 4350), who quotes a guide price
of 5.5 million for the estate.
The opulent main house is designed
for entertaining on a grand scale,
with five principal reception rooms
(including two dining rooms), eight
bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The
adjoining wing houses two kitchens,
a banqueting room, a drawing room,
a dining room, a study, a hot tub and
showers on the ground floor, with
five bedrooms, bathrooms, a second
drawing room, offices and a games
room on the first floor.
Capards magnificent gardens have
been largely created by the inspira-
tional Arthur Shackleton, who has used
the topography of the landscape to
sensational effect. Formal rose-cov-
ered terraces around the house lead
into a camellia walk, a scented walk,
a mixed grass border and a field of
rhododendrons planted to celebrate
the millennium; a lake and a canal sit
happily in the valley below the house.
With five acres of bluebell woods,
two acres of walled gardens, orchards
and rose-gardens, multiple herbaceous
borders, woods of yellow magnolias
and a wild meadow to the southern
boundary, the gardens at Capard offer
a year-round feast for the senses.
ghosts of its past to wander free.
In total contrast to the gentle under-
statement of Milltown Park, Capard
House in the foothills of the Slieve
Bloom Mountains at Rosenallis, Co
Laois, has always been a high-profile
house, home to the Pigott family, who
were major landowners in the county.
The Treaty of Limerick (1691), which
ended the Williamite wars against
James II, is said to have been signed
at Capard, where the victorious Gen
Ginkel stayed as a guest of Robert
Pigotthis solders were quartered
in Rosenallis village. A copy of the
treaty was kept at Capard House until
the 1960s, when it was donated to the
National Museum.
Capard House, an imposing,
16,680sq ft Protected Structure, is

Milltown waits
to be woken from its
present slumber


Substantial further investment will
also be needed to restore the integrity,
or realise the potential, of various
other estate buildings, notably the
impressive farmstead. Built as a model
farm in 1840, this absolutely cries
out for conversion to a stud farm,
bearing in mind that, in previous
generations, some really good blood-
stock was raised close by, including,
in the 1930s, the legendary stayer
Brown Jack, winner of the Queen
Alexandra Stakes at Ascot six times
in a row, the agent adds.
Other buildings in need of restor-
ation include the derelict garden
cottage in the two-acre walled kitchen
garden and the dilapidated former
lodge opposite the main gate.
Commenting on the sale in his blog
The Irish Aesthete, the architectural
writer Robert OByrne sounds the
alarm for the sleeping beauty that
is Milltown Park at this potentially
hazardous moment in its history:
Milltown waits to be awoken from
its current slumber but whoever
undertakes this task should have the
sensitivity not to despoil the houses
special character. The place is vul-
nerable and requiresand deserves
special care. What it needs, he
says, is one country gentleman pre-
pared to share a property with a host
of memories, and happy to permit the
Edited by Arabella Youens Property news
www.countrylife.co.uk 82 Country Life, August 20, 2014 www.countrylife.co.uk
The South Downs
For anyone with a sailing or racing
bent, theres no better place to go
than towards the coastal villages
of West Sussex. Now that the Hindhead
Tunnel has removed the nasty bottle-
neck of traffic on the A3, on a good
run, you can be down by Chichester
Harbour in an hour and a half.
That, together with the creation
of the South Downs National Park,
has made areas around Petworth,
Midhurst and further down towards
the Goodwood estate a real favourite
for weekend homes, says Katherine
Watters of The Buying Solution
(01344 206070).
As were slowly joining our
European neighbours and becoming
more of a cycling nation, theres plenty
of opportunity for weekend excursions
on two wheels, adds Rupert Nicholson
of Property Vision (01344 651700),
with both the flat coastal plain and
the hilly downs on the doorstep.
And for racing, Goodwood is close
and has a lot to offer, with events
such as Glorious Goodwood and the
Goodwood Revival.
He continues: The best spots
on the waterfront and with access
to Chichester Harbour demand
premium values. To get a sea view
in one of the best locations, you
would have to pay in the region of
1.5 million and, even then, the
house may require serious work.
However, these properties dont come
up very often as people tend to hold
onto them once theyre there.
Best villages West Wittering (coastal
views), Bosham, Itchenor, Birdham
(harbour views), Lurgashall (the Noahs
Ark pub), Midhurst (the Cowdray Farm
shop and cafe)
For sale Hampshire, 995,000
Nobles Barn in Blendworth is a mere
15-minute drive from the coast. It has
glorious rural views, four bedrooms
and just under an acre of garden.
Strutt & Parker (01243 832611)
The Kennet Valley
The stretch of countryside that opens
out once you get past Newbury on the
M4 and runs until Marlborough
is another prime hunting ground for
weekend homes: many places are reach-
able within an hour and a quarter
from west London. It has a pretty
chalk stream running through it,
which is so clear, you can see the
bottom, says Charlie Wells of Prime
Purchase (01962 795035).
Ramsbury is considered to be one
of the premier villages in the local
and surrounding areas. The down-
land countryside is designated as an
AONB and numerous footpaths and
bridleways surround the village, says
Tania Thompson of Winkworth (01672
552777). And, of course, the Ridgeway
This barn lies
on the fringe
of the South
Downs in Blend-
worth, Hamp-
shire, about 1hr
30min from
central London.
995,000
Burbage is
a lively village
south of Marl-
borough, Wilt-
shire, about
1hr 30min from
London.
995,000
Escape to the country
Braving London traffic on a Friday night is no picnic, but, for the bliss of waking
up in the countryside, its worth it. Arabella Youens picks out some weekend hotspots
is good for walking and the Savernake
Forest just outside Marlborough
is another draw, adds Mr Wells.
The Lambourn Valley is also well-
trodden turf for weekend-house hunt-
ing, particularly around the villages
of Eastbury and East Garston.
Best villages Marlborough is making
a name for itself as something of an
interior-design hub and, to the south,
lies the attractive Vale of Pewsey.
Ramsbury (the Bell Inn pub) is on
the banks of the Kennet, and Hunger-
ford has always been popular for its
antiques shops and has a pretty
collection of smaller villages nearby,
including Inkpen and Shalbourne
For sale Wiltshire, 995,000
The Grange is a period-style newly
built oak-frame house in the village
of Burbage, just to the south of
Marlborough. It comes with five bed-
rooms and stands in an acre of
garden. Winkworth (01380 729777)
The Chilterns
The Chiltern Hills offer delightful
rolling countryside, beech woods,
walking, cycling and access to the
River Thames. The area to the south
of the M40 is safely out of the path
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Property news
www.countrylife.co.uk 84 Country Life, August 20, 2014
With easy
access to
Henley-on-
Thames, Pishill,
Oxfordshire,
is about 45min
from London.
899,950
Nether Swell
Manor in
Moreton-in-
Marsh, Glou-
cestershire, is
about 1hr 45min
from London.
750,000
of the proposed HS2 railway and
offers easy access to Henley and
Marlow. This area really hits the spot
for weekend homes, believes Nick
Mead of the Buying Solution (01344
206070) because it offers green,
open spaces with a relatively painless
journey back to London.
However, he adds: Buyers with
children in mind often look a little
further west, particularly around the
villages with links to the M40 and
Oxford. The draw of the citys board-
ing schools is often irresistible, but
parents like to see their offspring
regularly and a weekend house within
easy reach of these schools allows
them this flexibility.
Best villages Nettlebed, Christmas
Common, Hambleden and Swyn-
combe are particularly popular as
they offer picture-perfect views and
you can almost walk to the Hunter-
combe golf course
For sale Oxfordshire, 899,950
This four-bedroom farmhouse sits
in the beautiful Stonor Valley, an AONB
in the heart of the Chilterns. The
hamlet of Pishill has a good pubthe
Crownand the house has been
carefully renovated. Hamptons Inter-
national (01491 693781)
The Cotswolds
The rolling hills of the Cotswolds
have always been a draw for week-
enders and, with good access from
London via the M4 and M40 and
numerous train stations, including
Charlbury, Kingham, Moreton-in-the-
Marsh, Banbury, Swindon and Kemble,
this is unlikely to change.
According to Robert Fanshawe of
Property Vision (01635 813135), any-
where beyond two hours from London
becomes more of a holiday home.
The top weekend villages that are
the most popular among our buyers
in this part of the country are
Taynton near Burford, Kingham near
Stow, Bisley near Stroud and the Coln
Valley near Cirencester.
He comments: Taynton has the most
expensive properties per square ft sold
this year. Located just outside Burford,
its not influenced by the A40, but has
easy access to and from it. The area
has lots of beautiful chocolate-box
cottages and is great for walking.
Best villages Taynton, Kingham (with
Daylesfords Wild Rabbit restaurant,
this village is becoming known as
a foodie hotspot) and Bisley (the gate-
way to the true Cotswolds: honey-
coloured cottages, sweeping views
of woods and meadow, narrow roads
and distant church bells).
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www.countrylife.co.uk 86 Country Life, August 20, 2014
D
RAMA has always fed
off history. Shakespeare
chronicled the English
kings from Richard II to Henry
VIII. Schiller followed the Eliza-
bethan model in Mary Stuart
and Don Carlos. And, in our own
times, dramatists from Robert
Bolt (A Man For All Seasons) to
Peter Shaffer (The Royal Hunt
Of The Sun) have looked to the
past for inspiration.
But what is fascinating is that
this year, as politicians lament
our ignorance of our island
story, two of the biggest hits are
historical epics. The Festival
Theatre in Edinburgh has been
packed to the rafters for Rona
Munros outstanding trilogy about
Scotlands 15th-century kings,
collectively entitled The James
Plays. And Ive little doubt that
this joint venture between the
National Theatres of Scotland
and Great Britain will prove
equally popular when it moves
to the Olivier in September.
Meanwhile Mike Poultons RSC
Out of the past
History not histrionics: Michael Billington
explores some of the plays that are giving
us insight into our pastand present
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Performing Arts Edited by Jane Watkins
adaptation of Hilary Mantels
Wolf Hall and Bring Up The
Bodies was a huge success at
Stratfords Swan this winter and
is playing at Londons Aldwych
Theatre until October.
History isnt bunkits cur-
rently big box-office. But what
makes for good historical drama?
The first prerequisite is that the
plays speak to contemporary
issues. That was eminently true
in Shakespeares day, when Rich-
ard II, with its image of a mon-
arch haunted by favourites and
pursuing disastrous Irish policies,
had a defiantly topical ring. I am
Richard the Second, know ye not
that? Elizabeth I famously said.
And, at a time when Scotland
is in the throes of a vital consti-
tutional debate about its future,
Miss Munros plays acquire
an extra resonance. They dont
simply portray Scotlands col-
ourful past, they also exist in
the historic present.
This is manifestly true in the
first playThe Key Will Keep
The Lockwhich shows how
James Stewart, after being kept
in English captivity for 18 years,
assumed the Scottish throne in
1425. Theres a particularly
thrilling moment when James
McArdles James I plucks up the
courage to address the fractious
Scottish barons. Seeking their
loyalty, he cries: England has
bled our wealth for 100 years or
more and looks ready to do it for
hundreds more until this is
a nation of beggars.
And when he went on to say that
a resilient Scotland will bend to
no other nation on this Earth, you
could feel the stirring of pride
in the Edinburgh audience.
But Miss Munros plays are
much more than propaganda for
the SNP. They also show the dif-
ficulty of governing a nation
filled with tribal loyalties and
warring factions. This is wittily
underlined in the final play
The True Mirrorin which
James IIIs Danish queen, Mar-
garet, addresses the Edinburgh
parliament after her husband
has done a runner. Reluctantly
agreeing to take over, she asks
not just the delegates, but the
whole theatre audience: Who
would want the job of ruling
Scotland?
The laughter that greeted this
threatened to lift the roof off
and one can only admire the
way Sofie Grbl, far more
animated than she was ever
allowed to be as Sarah Lund in
TVs The Killing, handles this
speech with magnificently mock-
ing aplomb.
Like all good history plays,
Miss Munros trilogy speaks
directly to present concerns. And
the same is true of Wolf Hall and
Bring Up The Bodies. Obvi-
ously, part of their fascination
lies in their examination of
Tudor politics and Henry VIIIs
desperate desire for a male heir.
But their focus is on Thomas
Cromwells rise from Putney
blacksmiths son to Court diplo-
mat and their themes are class,
sex, religion and the self-perpet-
uating excitement of power.
One of my colleagues, Quentin
Letts in the Daily Mail, saw
Henrys defiance of Rome as
prototype Euroscepticism. For
me, the plays modernity lay
more in what they said about the
dangers of investing too much
authority in backstage fixers.
Theres a particularly chilling
moment when Lydia Leonards
beautiful, cornered Anne Boleyn
says to Ben Miless brilliantly
watchful Cromwell: You cant
make my thoughts a crime. To
which Cromwell unnervingly
replies: I can.
Its fair to say that history
plays appeal on many other
levels. They offer us information.
They allow writers to flex their
linguistic muscles. They also
take theatre away from the
A sword hangs over all three
James Plays (top); Sofie Grbl
as Queen Margaret (above)
www.countrylife.co.uk Country Life, August 20, 2014 87
narrow confines of domestic
realism. One of the excitements
of Laurie Sansoms excellent
production of The James Plays
is the way the action spills out
into the auditorium, embraces
music and dance and is visually
arresting: the dominant image
of Jon Bausors design is of a
giant Excalibur-like sword firmly
embedded in the Scottish soil.
Similarly, Jeremy Herrins pro-
duction of Wolf Hall and Bring
Up The Bodies makes expres-
sive use of theatres possibilities:
Paule Constables lighting sig-
nificantly brightens every time
Nathaniel Parkers Henry VIII
appears and river sequences are
summoned up through a sudden
wash of sound.
But, although history plays
offer us instructive delight, they
can also aggravate and send us
scurrying back to original sources
to check the facts. Shakespeares
Richard III, currently on view in
an over-busy production starring
Martin Freeman, is notorious
for perpetuating the idea of
Richard as the demon king.
I was also mildly astonished by
a play called Sommer 14A
Dance of Death running at
Londons Finborough Theatre.
This is by the 83-year-old Ger-
man dramatist Rolf Hochhuth
and deals with events leading
up to the First World War.
Much of the play is impressive
in its depiction of German mili-
tarism, Serbian nationalism and
the diplomatic manoeuvres that
led to war. Christopher Loschers
production clarifies a complex
story and contains a fine per-
formance by Dean Bray as the
symbolic figure of Death. But
when Herr Hochhuth implies
that Winston Churchill, as First
Lord of the Admiralty, was
responsible for civilian deaths
by insisting that transatlantic
liners, such as Lusitania, carry
guns, I was struck amidships.
I leave it to experts to judge
whether there is any substance
to Herr Hochhuths charge, but
his play is a reminder that his-
tory plays are not necessarily
documentaries, but speculative
interpretations. Richard III was,
by all accounts, a pragmatically
successful monarch. Elizabeth
I and Mary Stuart never met in
the grounds of Fotheringhay
Castle as they do in Schillers
play. And Scotlands James III
was not, as far as I can tell,
killed by his son as Miss Munro
suggests.
Nevertheless, what really matters
is whether history plays live as
exciting drama, shed light on our
present predicaments and incite
our curiosity about the never-
ending mysteries of the past.
Dean Bray excels as Death in
Sommer 14 at the Finborough
Wolf Halls Machiavellian
Thomas Cromwell (Ben Miles)
www.countrylife.co.uk 88 Country Life, August 20, 2014
THE EVENTS of the Second World
War in Paris are a story that most
Frenchmen would rather forget, but
which still haunts them: the collapse
of the French army, the slow start
of any resistance, the compliance
in rounding up Jews and the sav-
age reprisals after Liberation, par-
ticularly on those women deemed
guilty of horizontal collaboration
with the Nazis, some 20,000
of whom were shorn of their hair.
One of the few fortunate aspects
of the German capture of Paris was
that the city was not destroyed.
By treating the monuments of the
city with respect, Hitler tried to
present his regime as civilised.
Of course, many of the treasures
of Paristogether with four
million of the inhabitantshad
been evacuated: the Mona Lisa
was moved from one safe haven
to another and the Louvres pic-
tures were hidden elsewhere.
The author takes us through
these trials and tribulations and
tries to show how the Occupation
looked, not only to the French, but
also to the Germans, for whom
Paris was a resort for military leave
and a sight-seeing opportunity.
The reader is constantly reminded
of the fine line between keeping
calm and carrying on (permissible)
and collaborating with the occu-
pying forces (reprehensible).
Shops could serve German
soldiers without compromising
themselves, but the city police chief,
who tried to keep the streets safe
and orderly, and Maurice Chevalier,
performing in front of German
officers, were the subject of
investigation after the liberation.
This book is a sombre, but
riveting read, a stark reminder
of the divisive nightmare of occu-
pation. It makes one thankful that
Britain was saved from this
saved by the fortitude of Churchill
and the British people, by the
rescue of the British Expeditionary
Force from Dunkirk and by the
gallantry of the few fighter pilots
of the Battle of Britain. London was
battered by the Blitz, but it never
went dark like Paris. John Ure
Protestantism, with its tradition
of non-reward-seeking, silent good-
ness. Miss Moorehead manages
to grasp these subjects and to put
them across concisely, as well
as homing in on heroic characters
and families, so that we get to know
and care about them.
The pacifist pastor Andr Trocm
and his wife, Magda, stand out as
exemplary. Then theres Mme
Exbrayat, an ironmongers wife who
hides children in her remote house
and looks after them as if they were
her own, as does the pastor of Fay,
Daniel Curtet. The heroes of the
plateau are listed at the start of the
book, a dramatis personae of
selfless goodness in a country
where many, many people kept their
heads down and, by doing nothing,
allowed hideous things to happen.
As the author points out, it was
also very hard, in the France
of Vichy and of occupation, to
distinguish between refusal and
endurance, saying nothing and
saying no. A few brave people,
as this book shows, refused and
said no. What would you have
done? This is the uncomfortable
question that assaults you as
you read Village of Secrets, and
its a particularly apposite ques-
tion in this month, which is
exactly 70 years after the last
packed cattle truck left France
for Auschwitz.
J
UST a glimpse of the first
endpaper of this book
is enough to make you
intrigued. It depicts in black and
white a vast French plateau, dotted
with remote farmhouses clutching
the mountainsides and half-lost
in the clouds and snowdrifts.
Driving through sleepy French
villages on holiday, I often wonder,
vaguely knowing the stories of the
terrible round-ups of Jews, what
went on here during the war?.
It took the brilliant investigative
journalist Caroline Moorehead
actually to find out.
The story she tells is of heroism,
kindness, trust, trauma, danger
on this particular plateauthe
Plateau Vivarais-Lignon, to the
east of Le Puy and west of the
Rhneduring those dark years.
Having read the book, I now long
to visit the villages (Le Chambon-
sur-Lignon, Fay-le-Froid) where so
much quiet and brave goodness
was at work for so many years.
At least 800 Jewish children,
perhaps many more, owe their sur-
vival, their not being deported
to Drancy and gassed on arrival
at Auschwitz, to a few determined
and selfless people, many of them
French Protestants, who took them
away to this mountainous place
and hid them, putting their own
lives in great danger by doing so.
Winter in this book is the kindest
season. In winter, the plateau is cut
off from the rest of France, unreach-
able, safe. When the thaw comes,
so does the possibility of inspect-
ions from the French police or from
the Germans. The hidden Jewish
children were all given new iden-
tities and forged papers (a fearless
and brilliant forger called Oscar
Rosowsky worked day and night
in the village to create them);
their names were changed to bland
French ones such as Dupont
What would you do?
Ysenda Maxtone Graham considers the uncomfortable questions
posed by a new book on the persecution of Jews in Vichy France
History
When Paris Went Dark
Ronald Rosbottom
(John Murray, 25 *22.50)
and they had to rehearse a whole
new story about who they were
in case of questioning.
The book is full of terrifying
moments when raids happen and
the hidden children have to be
spirited away even further into the
woods or to attics above barns.
In this dpartement of the Haute-
Loire, during the whole war, only
234 people were deported: 171
men, 42 women and 21 children
an exceptionally low figure
compared to the rest of France,
as the author disturbingly reminds
us. From the plateau itself, barely
a few dozen were taken.
There is a great deal to grapple
with in order to tell this story: the
confusing character of Vichy
France and the extent to which it
connived with anti-semitic meas-
ures; the horrific internment camps
such as Gurs and Rivesaltes, in
which hundreds of Jewish people
died of illness and from which
hundreds more (many of them the
parents of the hidden children) were
deported and murdered in 1942;
the whole history of French
Commissioner Praly (left) was sent to Le Chambon to spy on Jews
Books
History
Village of Secrets
Caroline Moorehead
(Chatto & Windus, 20 *16.50)

The hidden
children have to
be spirited away
into the woods


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Bookshop
COUNTRY LIFE To order any of the books reviewed or any other book in print, at discount prices* and with free p&p to UK addresses, telephone the COUNTRY LIFE Bookshop on
0843 060 0023 or visit www.countrylife.co.uk/bookshop. Or send a cheque/postal order to the COUNTRY LIFE Bookshop, PO Box 60, Helston TR13 0TP. For over-
seas readers, telephone 01326 569444 or email sales@sparkledirect.co.uk * See individual reviews for CL Bookshop price

Odes to Lady
Ursulas beauty
appeared
in the American
press


Memoir
The Girl With The Widows
Peak
Lady Ursula dAbo
(dAbo Publications,
12.50 *11.25)
IS THIS a Golden Age for the
Society memoir? The recent
autobiographies of Margaret
Rhodes and the Dowager Duchess
of Devonshire suggest that it
might be. If so, the aforemen-
tioned works will find a worthy
shelfmate in this enchanting
little volume by Lady Ursula
dAbo (ne Manners), who, as
the daughter of the 9th Duke
of Rutland, was one of the dar-
lings of the pre-Second World
War British aristocracy.
The world into which Lady
Ursula was born, and in which
she flowered into a memorably
lovely debutante, is poised
to vanish from living memory.
Family life at Belvoir Castle,
Leicestershire, in the 1920s and
1930s, was almost feudal in its
In May 1937, Lady Ursula
served as a Maid of Honour at
the Coronation of George VI and
Queen Elizabeth. Photographs
of the occasion were syndicated
around the globe and odes to
her beauty appeared in the
American press. And then the
war came, like a knife going
into a piece of butter and
changed society completely.
Recounting these astonishing
privileges, as well as the tribu-
lations that followed, the author
evinces a modesty and sense
of humour that, over the years,
must surely have accounted for
much of her success with the
opposite sex (not least, her
close friendships with the likes
of Rex Whistler, the Maharajah
of Jaipur and John Paul Getty).
If Evelyn Waugh had followed
Julia Flyte into later life after
the close of Brideshead
Revisited, he may well have
plotted a tale not too dissimilar
to this one.
Martin Williams
twilight magnificence. The
glamorous young Prince of
Wales (later Edward VIII) came
to hunt on a sprawling estate
that, manned by a veritable
army of retainers, was almost
entirely self-supporting.
Many of the latter, from the
cook to the pig man, are warmly
remembered; in a vignette
worthy of Downton Abbey, the
author describes the annual
Servants Ball, at which her
father would partner the
housekeeper and her mother
the chef and she and her
younger sister, Lady Isabel,
would pair off with the second
and first footmen respectively.
Lady Ursula dAbo (ne
Manners), aged 21, by Cecil
Beaton. She gave this signed
copy to her ladys maid in 1939
Exhibition Richard Wilson landscapes at National Museum Cardiff
www.countrylife.co.uk 90 Country Life, August 20, 2014
F
OR years, the tendency
has been to regard illus-
tration as one of the lower
branches of the Arts, but, until the
mid 18th century, perceptions were
very different. History painters
stood at the top of the hierarchy,
above portraitists (except in
Britain) and a slew of marine and
horse painters, topographers and
landscapists. History did not just
mean Roman battles, but any-
thing based on a pre-existing
story, including religious sub-
jects and Classical mythology
in short, grand illustration.
Although Claude Lorrainwho
settled in Rome in the mid 17th
Welsh wonder
Huon Mallalieu welcomes an exhibition that affirms Richard Wilsons
true place as one of the greatest 18th-century landscape painters
(171489) was associated with
the Academy and an enthusiastic
sketcher. He became the leading
landscape painter in Rome, and
it was he who completed the
conversion of his Welsh-born
contemporary Richard Wilson
from a portraitist to perhaps the
most influential landscape
painter in Europe.
During seven years in Rome
from 1751, Wilson visited locations
that Claude had painted, just as
Turner later sought out the sites
of Wilsons Welsh views to match
himself against the older master.
Wilson was the well-connected
son of a clergymanhis guardian
The turning point that led Wilson to abandon portraiture for landscape was when he met Vernet in 1752, the year he painted Tivoli,
the Cascatelle Grande and the Villa of Maecenas. He spent much of the 1750s in Rome visiting locations that Claude had painted
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and first cousin was Sir George
Wynne, for a time one of the
richest men alivewhich gave
him plentiful sitters in London
and then patronage among the
Grandest Tourists in Rome.
Although he might still include
narrative elements, as in the cele-
brated Destruction of the Child-
ren of Niobe that so aroused
Reynoldss scorn, Wilsons inno-
vation was to paint landscapes
largely as he saw them, gene-
rally with less idealisation than
his predecessors.
He might still place a stretch
of water resembling Lake Nemi
below Dolbadarn Castle and Llyn
centurywas an enthusiastic
sketcher from Nature, he took care
to fill his paintings with stories.
He also juggled architectural
and natural elements to produce
ideal compositions. A century
later, Rome was still Europes
artistic heart and plein air
painting first took hold there,
leading to a complete change
in the perception of landscape.
The French Academy in Rome
was a catalyst, taking its stu-
dents on excursions to such
favoured spots as Tivoli, to give
them the appropriate taste for
landscape. Although not a stu-
dent, Claude-Joseph Vernet
Country Life, August 20, 2014 91 www.countrylife.co.uk
Next week
Kazimir Malevich
at Tate Modern
Peris, but tower and mountain
are immediately recognisable.
Indeed, on his return to Britain,
it was Wilson who changed the
perception of North Wales from
full of horrors, as Daniel Defoe
shuddered, to an inspirational
place of pilgrimage for artists.
Wilson enjoyed great success
in Rome, where he established
a thriving studio with pupils
including Hodges, Farington
and Thomas Jones, as well as
several German artists who spread
his fame on the Continent. He was
a member of an influential artis-
tic set and his stay provided him
with many good breederspopu-
lar compositions that could be
replicated for new clients later
but although he was a founder and
Librarian of the Royal Academy,
his career faltered and died a few
years after his return to London.
Zoffanys group portrait of the
Academicians hints at some of the
reasons. Although sociable in
earlier days, there, a surly, red-
faced Wilson leans against a wall,
relating to none of his colleagues.
He drank, was rude to patrons and
he and the all-powerful Reynolds
loathed each other. He died,
near penurious, at a cousins
house back in Wales in 1782.
Despite Reynolds, Wilsons
reputation soared after his
death. Leading artists of the ris-
ing generation, most notably
Constable and Turner, and later
Ruskin, were great admirers.
However, his fashion waned
again and it was only in the
1940s and 1950s that his repu-
tation was again restored,
at least in academic circles, thanks
to the writings of Brinsley Ford,
W. G. Constable, Ellis Water-
house and others. Even so, he still
enjoys small public recognition
compared to his fellows, Gains-
borough, Constable and Turner.
The tercentenary exhibition,
which has arrived at the
National Museum in Cardiff
Left: The Arbra Santa on the Banks of Lake
Nemi (17546). Above: Portrait of Wilson
(1752) by Anton Raphael Mengs
from Yale, should help him
to regain his true place, not only
as a major figure in the cultural
history of Wales, but as one of the
greatest 18th-century landscape
painters. Although he was a superb
draughtsman, for some tastes,
there may be too many drawings
here, by pupils as well as the
master, but it is a joy to be able
to have a proper look at the
great paintings for themselves,
rather than as props in exhib-
itions devoted to others.
Richard Wilson (17141782)
and the Transformation of
European Landscape Painting
is at National Museum Cardiff
until October 26 (0292039
7951; www.museumwales.
ac.uk). The accompanying
book/catalogue is edited
by Martin Postle and Robin
Simon (Yale, 45)
Dinas Brn from Llangollen (177071) is not the only painting by Wilson to feature this romantic castle
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Art market HuonMallalieu
92 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Fig 1 left: Giltwood table
in the manner of William
Kent. 68,500. Fig 2
above: Late-George II
side table. 23,750
A
LTHOUGH the English
furniture specialist Ronald
Phillips began in 1952
with a small showroom on Old
Brompton Road, the business soon
moved to its present extensive
premises in Bruton Street, equi-
distant from Bond Street and
Berkeley Square. Naturally, there
is also warehouse space for stock
elsewhere. In the 1990s, such was
the appetite not only for the best
18th-century and Regency exam-
ples, it was economically well
worth even a top dealers while
to hold good middle-range furni-
ture as well. However, the altered
nature of the trade means that
dealers, like the auction rooms,
have to concentrate on the very
best available and it is sensible
to cash in secondary stock, even
if it might mean taking a book
loss. As Simon Phillips puts it:
Buy fewer items and give those
you have more space.
Thus, a sale at Christies South
Kensington in early July that had
Less is more
Traditional and metamorphic furniture plus
the chair in which Emily Bront died steal
the show at Ronald Phillipss attic sale
Fig 3: Dressing table after a
design by Thomas
Sheraton. 11,250
a distinctly old-fashioned feel
to itan auction of good
middle-range and decorative
English furniture, most
of which made or exceeded
its reserves and some of
which sold really very well.
An interesting example was a late-
George II marble-topped maho-
gany side table that sold for
23,750 against a cautious upper
estimate of 12,000 (Fig 2). This
had appeared at the same sale-
room with a 6,000 estimate
in 2002, when it reached 17,625
despite a damaged top and not par-
ticularly enthusiastic cataloguing.
This time around, fully restored,
it was suggested that, although
inspired by Chippendale, the table
could be by a Scottish maker.
Less happy was the fate of the
previous lot, which, although it
reached the low estimate at
68,500 and was the highest price
of the sale, had come down in the
world over the years. This was
a George II giltwood side table
of about 1730, with Palladian
sphinxes and an eagle that sug-
gested the manner of William
Kent (Fig 1). The brche violette
marble top had been added later.
Country Life, August 20, 2014 93
A George II mahogany Windsor armchair in the Phillips sale could
cause conflict among Bront scholars, unless they know it already.
A brass plaque proclaims it the chair in which Emily Bront died
1848, although most accounts and authorities hold that the author
of Wuthering Heights expired on a couch at Haworth Parsonage.
Death took her as she tried to rise from the sofa and break from her
sisters arms that would have
laid her there. Profoundly,
piteously alienated, she must
have felt that Anne and Char-
lotte were in league with
death; that they fought with
her and bound her down;
and that in her escape from
them she conquered, acc-
ording to May Sinclair in The
Three Brontes (2004).
However, a new play,
Consumption by Eliza
Collins, an American friend
of mine, has her in a chair
by the fire, before rising to
slap Charlotte and collaps-
ing on the sofa. The chair
made 4,750.
Pick of the week
Next week
A saleroom gallimaufrey
Fig 6: Late-18th-century
butlers tray. 3,750
Fig 4: Oval
mahogany
table that
transforms
into a tub
bergre seat
and desk.
3,500
one, dating from about 1790, was
in mahogany with Indian rose-
wood crossbanding. It had three
adjustable mirrors and a variety
of drawers, cupboards and com-
partments and, when closed, the
width was a very manageable 39in.
Probably, it would originally
have had an associated dressing
stool. Although it is now muted
browns and golds, it would be
interesting to know how the col-
ours appeared when new. The price
for this was 11,250 against an
upper estimate of 8,000 (Fig 3).
It is often asserted that,
although traditional brown
furniture may be better value
for money, certainly in the long
term, than many contemporary
equivalents, it tends to be too
bulky for smaller modern rooms.
One lot here would certainly give
the lie to that. A pair of George III
small mahogany Pembroke tables
could be linked together by an
additional leaf to form a 93in
by 27
3
8in-wide dining table. They
dated from about 1800 and sold
In a London sale in 2000, it had
made 195,000 and, when bought
in at Sothebys in 2009, it had
been estimated to 350,000.
Thomas Sheraton (17511806)
was described by Adam Black
a founder of A&C Black, the pub-
lisheras a man who under-
stands the cabinet-business
I believe he was bred to it; he has
been, and perhaps at present is,
a preacher; he is a scholar, writes
well; draws, in my opinion mas-
terly; is an author, bookseller,
stationer and teacher. Not, it will
be noted, actually a cabinet-
maker. I am not sure that any
piece has ever been proved to have
been made by him, his fame com-
ing from his books of designs.
Here was a piece catalogued
as almost certainly by Sheraton
and the design surely was. He was
a master of dressing tables,
or dressing commodes as they
were more usually termed (Chip-
pendale called his versions French
commodes), and they are as ele-
gant as they are ingenious. This
well under estimate for 2,500
(Fig 5).
This surprised me, as the pre-
vious lot, a large late-18th-cen-
tury mahogany butlers tray, with
an elegantly wavy gallery but
without a stand, had sold for an
over-estimate 3,750 (Fig 6)
and earlier a Victorian X-frame
walnut bedroom luggage stand
a piece of furniture with no other
use, except, perhaps, to support
a butlers trayhad also gone
far over-estimate to 2,125.
Over the years, I have illus-
trated many examples of meta-
morphic furniture here, simply
because I enjoy them. Here was
a design that I have never come
across before, a mahogany oval
table that turns into a desk and
tub bergre seat (Fig 4). It was
described as late-19th-century
North European and it seemed
almost to prefigure Art Deco.
I am not sure that it would
be practical for prolonged writ-
ing, but it was handsome and
sold for 3,500, well over an
800 estimate.
There were several bergres
of the classic library pattern,
with squarish frames, high
backs, caned backs, sides and
seats and leather squab cush-
ions. In The Universal System
of Household Furniture, 1759
62, Ince and Mayhew published
a design for what they called
burjairs. To Gillows, they were
bergiers or, from about 1803,
Ashburnham chairs. Earlier
examples had seats that were
longer than they were wide.
An early-19th-century pair here
made 15,000, on the upper
estimate.
Fig 5:
Pair
of Pem-
broke
tables
that link
together.
2,500
A prize of 15 in book tokens will be awarded for the first correct solution opened.
Solutions must reach Crossword No 4344, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark
Street, London SE1 0SU by Tuesday, August 26. UK entrants only.
7
8
6 5 4 3 2 1
9
10 11
12 13 14
15 16 17 18
19
20 21 22
23 24
25
ACROSS
1. Wrongly considered as medical
cult issue (13)
8. Three meet at type of junction
in capital city (4)
9. Worker in charge left me
with extreme extent in an
inglorious conclusion (10)
10. Assistant gives girl dish (6)
11. Make jagged edge to notice
for cuspid (8)
12. Provide hospitality and
amuse (9)
14. Contest for group of tribes (4)
15. Pudding trick (4)
16. Kindly to fortify for chap (9)
20. Unusual that fish outside is
said to stink (8)
21. Cigarette in short coat (6)
23. Umpteen in Rio carnival find
membrane (10)
24. Good boy is pleased (4)
25. Complicated ideas employed
on Guy Fawkes night (6, 7)
DOWN
1. Cattle disease triggered when
river meets waterfall (7)
2. Loops up in wind (5)
3. Eighties pop singer is unyield-
ing in his opinion (7)
4. Girl turns to get fireworks
(9, 6)
5. Footman to go without at
beginning of every year (6)
6. Having three lobes hidden in
bar toilet (9)
7. Conscript medic is before
electrical engineer initially (7)
13. Come again to reassess one
with huge self-regard (9)
15. Hold back on account of
animal (7)
17. Im stirring broth for clot (7)
18. Declare that period is normal
(7)
19. Nip up to bottom of beanpole
to collect wheat (6)
22. Encourage a way to adorn
toast? (3, 2)
4344 TAIT
NAME
ADDRESS
Tel No
SOLUTION TO 4343 (Winner will be announced in two weeks time)
ACROSS: 6, Guardian angel; 8, Minion; 9, Gradient; 10, Tea; 11, Agenda; 12, Respects; 14, Foresee;
16, Portico; 20, Majestic; 23, Torero; 24, Ash; 25, Confound; 26, Orient; 27, Get the message.
DOWN: 1, Patience; 2, Edentate; 3, Calgary; 4, Harass; 5, Ignite; 6, Going for a song; 7, Lunatic
fringe; 13, Par; 15, SOS; 17, Outhouse; 18, Terminal; 19, Academy; 21, Effete; 22, Touchy.
Winner of 4341 is Tilly Beresford-Stooke, Marlborough, Wiltshire.
COUNTRY LIFE, published by IPC Media Ltd (IPC), will collect your personal information to process your entry.
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Crossword Bridge Andrew Robson
94 Country Life, August 20, 2014 www.countrylife.co.uk
T
HEY say defence is the most
difficult part of the game.
If this weeks pair of deals from
the Home Countries Camrose
Trophy in Llandrindod Wells are
to be believed, theyre right. Our
first deal comes from England
v Wales, won convincingly by the
more populous country. Are you
awake, West?
A 6 4
J 8 2
J 10 9
A Q 10 4
South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 4(1) End
(1) Three-and-a-half Spades.
Dealer South
Neither vulnerable
K 9 2
10 6 4 3
A 8 3
8 5 2
Q 10 7 5 3
A K Q 5
Q 7
7 3
J 8
9 7
K 6 5 4 2
K J 9 6
N
W E
S

The English West found the


best opening lead of a Club and
now declarer was sunk. He tried
dummys Queen, but East won the
King and the defence quickly took
two Diamond tricks and waited
for their natural trump trick.
Down one.
The Welsh West led a trump,
perhaps a dangerous choice from
King-nine-small, but the game
was still beatable on best defence.
Declarer, the shrewd John Hol-
land from Manchester, played low
from dummy and beat Easts
Knave of Spades with the Queen.
At trick two, he led an ever-so-
nonchalant seven of Diamonds.
West played an autopilot second-
hand-low and declarer was home.
East beat dummys nine of
Diamonds with the King and
could do no better than switch to
the nine of Hearts, but declarer
could win, cross to the Ace of
Spades, then lead a second Dia-
mond to the Queen.
West could win the Ace, cash
the King of Spades and switch to
a Club, but declarer could rise
with the Ace and discard his
second Club on dummys pro-
moted Knave of Diamonds. Ten
tricks and game made.
West must rise with the Ace of
Diamonds on declarers trick-two
low Diamond (key play), then
switch to a Club, setting up his
partners King before declarer
can discard a Club on dummys
K Q 8
8 5 4 2
3
J 9 8 7 3
South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
3NT(1) End
(1) Most modern partnerships play
this as gambling, based on a long
suit (recommended). The One
Notrump rebid shows 1517, and
the Two Notrump rebid shows
1819.
Dealer South
Both vulnerable
10 9 6 2
A J 10 6
Q8 7 2
4
A 7 5
9 3
A K J 10 9 6
A K
J 4 3
K Q 7
5 4
Q 10 6 5 2
N
W E
S

The Northern Irish West led


the ten of Spades, declarer
again Mr Hollandrose with
dummys King and led a Dia-
mond to the Knave. West won the
Queen and it was clear to switch
to Hearts looking at dummys four
small cards.
Declarers gambling jump to
Three Notrumps in a situation like
this is often based on short Hearts,
so declarer holding a singleton
King was a distinct possibility.
To cater to that (losing only
when declarer has an improbable
Queen-low-low or three low), West
switched to the Ace of Hearts,
definitely the correct technical
play. The spotlight turned to East.
In a moment, he will wish to
forget East played a low Heart
on his partners Ace. And now
the suit was blocked. West led
a second Heart to his King-Queen,
but declarer could win any return
and score the remainder in top
tricks. Game made.
East should have unblocked his
King of Hearts under the Ace (key
play). He can win Wests low
Heart continuation with the Queen,
then lead his third Heart to Wests
Knave-ten. Down one.
third Diamond. West should prob-
ably work this out, too. Why else
is declarer playing a Diamond out
of his hand?
Bridge is not a game for slavish
adherence to rules. Second hand
doesnt always play low on a low
card (as weve just seen). And
sometimes you must play a King
under your partners Ace, even
when you have a lower card. Our
final Camrose deal comes from
England v Northern Ireland, won
narrowly by England.
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www.countrylife.co.uk 104 Country Life, August 20, 2014
Spectator Lucy Baring
Conditions of Sale and Supply: This periodical is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, re-sold,
hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at a price in excess of the recommended maximum price shown on the cover (selling price in Eire subject to VAT); and that it shall not be lent,
re-sold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade; or affixed to or as part of any
publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. COUNTRY LIFE (incorporating LONDON PORTRAIT) is published weekly (51 issues)
by IPC Inspire, Blue Fin Building, 110, Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU (020314 8 5000). Website: http://www.ipcmedia.com IPC Media
Ltd. Printed by Polestar Chantry, Wakefield ISSN 0045 8856. Distributed by Marketforce UK Ltd, Blue Fin Building, 110, Southwark Street,
London SE1 0SU (020314 8 3300). COUNTRY LIFE is a registered IPC trademark. IPC Media Ltd 2011.
Visit Tottering-By-Gently on our website: www.countrylife.co.uk/tottering TOTTERING-BY-GENTLY By Annie Tempest
Member of the
Audit Bureau of Circulation
Carry on camping
W
HAT follows almost
beggars belief, but
is, unfortunately, the
gospel truth.
Every year, theres a family
camping weekend during which
the cousins get together in the
water meadows, an event custom-
arily kicked off by the erection
of Uncle Barnabys gigantic,
ancient army tent, which is a 10-
man operation. Hay bales are
procured, electric fences are put
in place to keep out the cows,
a gigantic fire is lit and several
families bed down. I cant pre-
tend to be a natural.
Weve had hot years, when we
dammed the river to create a pool
because we needed to cool down
and we fought for shade under the
alder tree. Weve had wet years.
And weve had years that were
beyond wet, when the most use-
ful tool was the shovel used to dig
trenches round the army tent
because that leaking dinosaur was
in danger of subsiding into the
mud and the roof got so filled
with water that, when a tall per-
son stood in the wrong spot,
somebody else got drenched.
We have, in other words, seen
the weather forecast and said
pah. But not this year, I prom-
ised myself. I am not, under any
circumstances, prepared to camp
in the rain, read my email. Nobody
replied. We set off as the rain
began to fall on the Friday before
Hurricane Bertha was due to hit
the British Isles. By the time we
got to the water meadows, it was
pouring, but with a car full of
airbeds and duvets, bacon and
rolls, lamps and pillows, we were
already committed.
Thats what happens with camp-
ingwhich I tried to explain to
the non-related family who came
on one of our wettest years, when
they (correctly) reminded me,
as we passed the whisky between
us as water dripped down our
necks, that Id promised wed all
go home if it got too wet.
Id bought a new pump for the
airbeds, which plugs into the
car, and, with the ignition on,
inflates the beds in minutes
a massive step up from the hand
pump of the past. Camping is
a pretty chaotic business, espe-
cially when trying to keep things
dry, so we were all busy running
between tent and car as the light
faded rapidly. When we returned,
we found that somebody had
locked the boot. And the doors.
The realisation hit me harder
than any weather front as I saw
the keys dangling from the igni-
tion where Fletcher the dachs-
hund lay, warm, dry and yawning
on the front seat. Hed stepped on
the central-locking button. Again.
Last time, we called the AA,
but not this time. It was too late,
dark, wet, remote and frankly
embarrassing. Lets smash the
window, said Uncle Barnaby.
Zam remembered the technique
used by the expert at Easter and
decided to simulate it. Instead
of nimble tools and inflatable
balloons, he had a couple of
axes, some bamboos and a wire
coat hanger.
We spent the next three hours
trying to find more tools with
which to improvise. Eventually,
tired, soaked and mindful that
the battery would be flat in the
morning (Fletchers welfare wasnt
mentioned), we allowed Uncle
Barnaby to take a hammer to the
rear window. At his Ive always
wanted to do that, we replied: Con-
sider it an early birthday present.
We camped, had a blissfully
sunny Saturday: owing to the
gentle pace, camping is the
mother of invention and two of
the cousins created an excellent
game called Toe Cup, which has
many rules, but mainly involves
grabbing a tin mug with one
foot and hurling it over your
shoulder. We ottered down the
river on our arms, ate a lot of
sausages and then we did what
weve never done beforewe
decamped because the forecast
was abysmal and weve learnt
not to say pah to the weather.
We were woken in our warm
beds by a magnificent storm in
the early hours of Sunday and
patted ourselves on the back at
the only sensible camping deci-
sion weve ever taken. Then, we
remembered that we hadnt yet
taped up the car window.

With a car full


of duvets, bacon
and rolls, we were
committed


Southbank Sinfonia attending a workshop
with VIadimir Ashkenazy.
Proud principal parlner of
Soulhbank Sinfonia
Praclilioners of lhe crafl of privale banking
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EFG Harris Allday, 33 GreaI Charles SIreeI, Birmihgham B3 3JN, Tel + 44 121 233 1222 EFG PrivaIe Bahk LimiIed is auIhorised by Ihe PrudehIial PegulaIioh AuIhoriIy ahd regulaIed
by Ihe Fihahcial CohducI AuIhoriIy ahd Ihe PrudehIial PegulaIioh AuIhoriIy. EFG PrivaIe Bahk LimiIed is a member oI Ihe Lohdoh SIock Exchahge. PegisIered ih Ehglahd ahd Wales
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