Not in the manner expected of a manor.
Above is the rather delectable 16th century Avebury Manor. It's now in the safe guardianship of the National Trust, but this is the final incarnation of this site. Back in 1114 Henry I granted the estate to his chamberlain, William de Tancarville, who quickly in turn gifted it to the Benedictine abbey of St Georges de Boscherville in Rouen, France. A timber priory house was put up here, but the monks were evicted after the French/English spat in 1379. By 1411 the priory was owned by Fotheringhay College until its dissolution in 1547. Like pass the parcel the Crown bequeathed it to Sir William Sharington [he also owned Lacock Abbey by then]. He had the buildings which stood there pulled down and replaced by what we see today. Had he not been a naughty boy and defrauded the Bristol Mint where he was the undertreasurer then he wouldn't have needed to sell it to William and Mary Dunch in 1551 to pay off the hefty fine he incurred as a punishment. He was lucky to escape with his life. So given that potted history as a visitor you would probably arrive with some preconceived notion of what you might expect to see....some of this sort of thing perhaps?
It all comes as rather a surprise then when you are greeted by the NT staff and told cheerily that you may touch anything you like apart from the Chinese wallpaper and that's only because the paint comes off. Actually when you do take a closer look at the paper in the 18th century dining room it is a bit odd because it features many of the traditional motifs but then there's the Avebury stone circle in there and since when did an entire room devoted to 1930s Art Deco fit the story.
Of course, the explanation all makes perfect sense when you know that the house featured in a BBC series called 'The Manor Reborn' back in 2011. The point of the programme was to decorate nine of the rooms in five different styles which would have featured in the house's history- Tudor, Queen Anne, Georgian, Victorian and 20th century using some original restored features and some recreated. This approach applied to both the room fittings and decorative styles and you are left with a film set feel to the place. It adds a rather different twist to your normal NT experience.
Must put that on the 'to see' list. OK not original but what building that has been used over 500 years is original? Every generation makes it fit their purpose.ReplyDelete
It's certainly worth a look round and is very well done. ArilxDelete
The history of the manor is fascinating and i love that the rooms' interiors have been recreated fairly recently, I shall have to track that series down!ReplyDelete
The carpet reminds me of a Spoons one! xxx
I hadn't seen it either, but once you mentioned it I found a slightly fuzzy version of it on Youtube. We've watched the first episode thus far. ArilxDelete
Finding it interesting that those Art Deco deer on the screen would leap easily onto a Medieval tapestry!ReplyDelete
I hadn't made that connection, but now you mention it I can see exactly where you're coming from. Just goes to prove that nothing is really new is it! ArilxDelete