Well, I have had a nice few days – always good when a few positive things happen.
We had a lovely weekend, meeting with different friends. One couple (the ones we went to Brazil with) live near Cowdray, so we met them there. Have you been? It’s one of those little English villages that you drive through and say, “Ooh, that looks interesting, we must come back one day.” And then you never do. We, however, did.
We did a quick Google search first, and found that the ruins are closed for repair. Husband made a few sarcy comments about the owner should be careful about repairing ruins, as their brokenness is sort of the point, but we ignored him. We could in fact, walk very near to the ruins, so had a good look around despite the fences and ‘keep out’ signs. There is a board which gives you some information, so we learned that the ruins were built in 1542, and the original house would have resembled Hampton Court. It was a place where Henry VIII stayed, and the information told us to “imagine Queen Elizabeth I arriving, galloping towards the mansion with her train following behind…” (More sarcy comments about looking for the railway.)
In 1793, the house burned down, while it was being refurbished for Viscount Montague’s wedding. This is the sort of thing you dread when planning a wedding. I seem to remember that some windows were smashed in the church just before our own wedding – which doesn’t really compare.
There was a walled garden, which was lovely, as it had tables placed around the garden, and you could order tea. We didn’t want tea, which was lucky, as there didn’t appear to be anyone serving, even though there were other customers sitting having tea. I suggested they might be ghosts of customers past – it was that sort of place.
There was also a small house on stilts. I have no idea why, but have included a photo for your interest.
Cowdray also has a farm shop, and Polo Club. Last time we drove through, we saw people playing polo, which was rather fun. This time they were playing cricket – on a different field, obviously. Rather less fun to watch.
Should you want a venue for your wedding today, and have less to spend than Viscount Montague, you may be interested in Cowdray House, which is also on the estate, and can be hired for functions. I found it online, though we didn’t visit. It all looks lovely, and I whiled away a few minutes, choosing which of the 22 bedrooms I would like to stay in. The website was rather coy about listing prices though.
Apparently, the whole house is for sale, if you have a spare £25 million, as Viscount Cowdray would like to sell it. He wants to hold on to the park and polo fields, so I’m afraid you can only buy the house, which it says in the advert he is selling “so it isn’t a burden on funds for his son and grandson,” which I felt was not a very good marketing strategy as it rather deters one from bothering to get a surveyors report done, doesn’t it?
Thank you for reading. Have a good week.
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Another old English antique to visit. . .
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