I find such mystery wandering around a country house, reading about who once lived there and their antics. Ever since I was a small child I would drag my parents around castles and country estates; It’s a passion that has come from my mum.
As it was Mothers day the other weekend I thought it would be a great opportunity to take my mum to a country house that neither of us had been to, and get fully absorbed into the who’s, why’s and all the antics.
Claydon House and Gardens is where we ended up. Claydon House was designed by Ralph Vareny to dazzle his neighbours and political rivals with his wealth. Within 30 years he was bankrupt. The house also plays a gesture to Florence Nightingale and the Civil War.
The house currently standing is only one third of what was originally build and some rooms were never used for their original purpose, which is such a shame when looking at the detail and the added extras that had gone into the architecture. Some of the rooms are half empty for two reasons: either they were sold to pay off the debts or they were left as a blank canvas for parties and entertainment.
The rooms however speak a thousands words, you can imagine the characters dancing around in the big ballrooms, all the hustle and bustle. The wealth that would have stepped out of the scenes (the beauty and the beast opening scene comes to mind). As you stare out the massive floor length windows you can do all but imagine what was once looked out upon. From the men riding horseback across the fields to the women reading and picking flowers from the gardens.
The land surrounding the house is amazing. We had a little walk around the gardens. It was such a shame it was a dark and miserable day. In the summer I can imagine it is truly beautiful. Mum took some inspiration for our own garden (she is more about the garden as I am more about the house).
We had a little wander around the courtyard as we finished. This now has lovely independent shops and a cute tea room, but you can just picture the horse-drawn carriages which would have lined the road.
In one of the openings they had an old fashioned fire engine, this of course was horse drawn and was a must being the in countryside. It was a lovely little added touch to the courtyard.
We had such a lovely afternoon wandering around Claydon House and I think mum really enjoyed her little treat for Mother’s Day.