It has been raining a lot here in Oxford shire during the last week so we mainly have been staying home with the dogs. I have been cooking and working on my art travel journal.
But we did get some time to go to a couple of National Trust homes that are near the house we are sitting . The first one is called Greys Court. This is a Tudor house and gardens near Henley on Thames. It is quite beautiful. They do not allow photographs inside the house but the outside had many lovely places to photograph. This is the house. Here are some photos of the gardens. David is standing in one of the garden’s arches out of the rain.And the garden flowers are exquisite. That tower you see in the background is a fortified tower built circa 1347 and is the only remaining part of the medieval castle that stood here. This estate has an intact donkey water wheel and well. It is a huge wooden wheel that a donkey walked in to bring up heavy buckets of water from a well that is 200 feet deep. Here is a photo of the bucket being drawn up.This provided water for the house and the animals.
The second National Trust home was Waddesdon Manor. It was built in the 19th century in the Neo Renaissance style for the very wealthy Baron Ferdinand Rothschild. This was to be his weekend residence for elaborate entertaining and a place to show off his amazing collection of Dutch and English paintings. Many of the items that the baron had collected would be seen only in a museum. It was totally amazing inside. If you are in this part of England you should try to see it. Here are some photographs for you to enjoy.
Inside the house were many paintings by famous painters. Here is a Thomas Gainsborough portrait of a lady in the guest reception room.This is the formal dining room set up for a large party. The place settings have priceless china and gold monogrammed wine glasses. There were desks used by French Kings scattered throughout the drawing rooms so that guests could write letters from the mansion. And a lovely robin who was in the courtyard where people were eating and continued to sing as if no one was there.