Knole House is exactly mid way between Guiding Jo and I and our mutual friend Patchwork C. As we're all NT members and I was the only one who had been before [accompanied by a galloping kinderling so was quite some time ago] it was the perfect destination for our meet-up. It's one you need to have pre-booked tickets for.
First a quick gallop through the history. The Manor of Knole was bought by the then Archbishop of Canterbury [Thomas Bouchier] in 1456 for £266. He immediately set about extending and updating it into a palace worthy of his state. As is so often the way Henry VIII managed to claim it for his own [obviously already having 60 homes wasn't quite enough!] and he housed his first daughter Mary here following the breakdown of his first marriage to her mother. By 1603 it had come into the possession of the first Earl of Dorset, Thomas Sackville and incredibly the same family are still living in it to this day [it was given to the Trust in 1946]. One of the more famous of the clan is Vita Sackville-West [one of Virginia Woolf's lovers] although she fell foul of the law of primogeniture and was passed over for inheritance in favour of her cousin Eddy. Over time the family migrated to the centre of the house which left many rooms unaltered and the treasures therein well preserved.
It's an absolute gem full of 17th century tapestries, beautiful four poster beds with glorious hangings, portraits, wooden and even silver furniture and the most incredible sets of staircases decorated with trompe l'oeil. It was hard to know where to look for fear of missing things, but I've done my best with what my little press and point camera can manage without the flash. I've left my personal favourite to the very end....a painted Armada chest with the merman and mermaid on the lockplate. It would have been so easy to miss tucked away as it was. Enjoy👀
For about the first time in about six months I'm actually up to date with my blog posts...will wonders never cease eh. Based on previous experience I shall enjoy it whilst it lasts! Until next time....