Monday, 2 November 2015

Romantic Neglect at Chastleton House

A new entry into my top three National Trust properties yet.
Chastleton House had me positively giddy upon entry. 
I was embarrassed to find that this giddiness had me clapping my hands while jumping up and down as we were greeted at the door.
My poor children must be so embarrassed, as am I.
Grey's Court and Nuffield Place are close; but I Chastleton House has now taken the lead as favourite in pulling my Snooper's Soul's heart strings.

The informative video that we watched in the barn describes how The National Trust has decided to leave the home as it was (as much as possible) without restoring it to it's original splendour. 
Volunteers are instructed not to attack the cobwebs or polish the furniture.
Too right.
This "romantic neglect" certainly worked in woo-ing me. 

Secret Doors...

The children commented on how much it reminded them of Oma and Opa's house. There were quite a few similarities in the stairs and the doors in the middle of stairwells, and plenty of character and charm.

There are certain rooms that I won't show in full. 
It wouldn't be fair to ruin the surprises.
Just believe me when I tell you there are plenty.

In one part of the home, children are allowed to play with older toys that are in a basket. When my son found a music box toy, I thought it was all very The Woman in Black with the creaking floorboards and the sound of children playing.
While the home is very charming, it certainly allows for itself to be projected on in a spooky and dramatic manner.
Perhaps the makers of Wolf Hall saw this potential as well. I must try to watch that again.

What Lies Beneath
Some of the bits and bobs that had been found in the floorboards.

I didn't believe my boys when they told me they had found a real cat. As I looked at Charles here, I didn't quite know how to them that this was just a very realistic looking stuffed, dead cat.
Thankfully he moved to spare me having to explain why some like to stuff dead animals as decor.
I think the children would tell you that Charles was the best part of the tour for them. He was very friendly.

Giving the children torches in the activity pack was a nifty touch.

We all enjoyed exploring here, the children especially. I would quite like to go back with an extra pair of eyes to keep on the children, so that I could let mine linger a bit longer over everything. These shots were taken in haste trying to keep up with the kiddies who were content with racing around, trying to be the first to discover the next room.

In the churchyard next door.

"We all do fade as a leaf."

As we left, the fog had set in and before we got back to the car park at the top of the hill, the house we had just left was now hidden from view. 
I joked to the children that with fog this thick, we might be stuck here for the night and that we would have to ask to stay at the house.
As much as they enjoyed themselves, I think they thought it might be a bit too spooky for that.
I'm sure I could get used to it...

Further Reading:
Then the National Trust took over
Filming Wolf Hall


  1. What a fabulous place to visit! Loved the detail about Charles the cat... ;-)

  2. Love it, this has been on my to do list for so long. Must try harder to get there. Thanks for sharing, just my cup of tea.

  3. Wow, that looks so incredible! I think I'd be tempted to hide out overnight under a chair and unofficially move in...


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