Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun

Last week we popped across to Gunby Hall, our most local National Trust property. Despite living so close to it for well over a decade, I'd never been and we'd been planning to all summer. As I'm due to go back to uni soon, we decided we'd better go sharpish and thankfully the weather was on our side.

Gunby Hall was built in 1700 and has a beautiful 8 acre Victorian walled garden. The estate used to cover 1500 acres and reached the coast now known as Skegness (which is a 20 minute drive away to give you some scale) but much of this land was sold to the Earl of Scarbrough during the 1800s to build the now famous seaside town.

Gunby Hall itself is an impressive 5 storey house with a total of 42 rooms, and was owned by the Massingberd family from 1700 to 1967. As well as being an impressive country house, it's filled to the brim with the Massingberd's belongings, including large collections of art, furniture, military history, and so many other things including original pieces by William Morris, Lord Tennyson, Edward Lear, Samuel Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and many others. It gives an amazing insight into how the Massingberd's lived their lives.

The library was my favourite room, how I'd love to have such a cosy little space to sit and read some day! It's considered one of the best examples of a squire’s library to survive, most of the book collection dates between 1690 and 1730.

I love the painting of Margaret Lushington, wife of Stephen Langton Massingberd, in the corner. It's from 1906 and was painted in the grounds of the house, you can see it in better detail here. There were many paintings of various members of the family throughout the house, but I was really taken with this one, it's so different from the usual portrait (like the one above the fireplace)

The servants quarters is always my favourite section of any house tour. The above kitchen could be straight out of Downton Abbey.

One of the first freezers!

The butler's own personal room.

Next we wandered into the gardens, which were expansive and just so beautiful. It's difficult to even capture how beautiful they were through my camera, it does them no justice. It was separated into several sections; there's the walled Victorian garden which has over 50 types of roses, the orchard which has over 50 types of apple tree and 30 types of pear, a kitchen garden which still grows a huge selection of fruits and vegetables (I took a sneaky raspberry, it was delicious!), a dovecote, a croquet pitch, lawns, and a carp pond which is older than the house itself (and according to rumors, haunted by the ghost of a servant murdered by Sir William Massingberd to prevent him from eloping with his daughter. His body was disposed of in the pond!)

This was the lawn at the front of the house. I had to laugh at those trees, they look like it's windy out but they're just growing sideways.

It's difficult to capture how huge this tree was, I honestly think it's the biggest tree I've ever seen in my life. And I regularly stomp about woods and forests so I'm well used to big trees!

In the grounds there's also a gallery selling original works by local artists. I fell in love with this watercolour painting and just had to have it, it gives me such a warm feeling of nostalgia. Not that I've ever lived on a farm, but I can dream! I just love foggy winter mornings, and it just feels like everything nice about the English countryside captured in one image.


  1. What a gorgeous post! I absolute adore your outfit, you're like the lady of the manor. You've got me all fired up for a National trust visit after sharing these lovely photos.
    Like you, I always love the kitchens, those wonderful glass jars and that mad looking freezer.
    Isn't the garden stunning? I love cottage garden planting, so busy and colourful.xxx

    1. Thanks! The kitchens are always so much more interesting, I love looking at all of the little oddities.

  2. It's so remarkable that many personal belongs were persevered like that! It looks like you just took a step back in time. Many of the historic places I've been too do not have many of the original items. I just love that old kitchen!

    1. It really is, most of the historic places I've been to before are pretty bare. It's a little weird because you feel like you're wandering around someone's actual house!

  3. I love these recreated historical homes. They are just the best. So pretty! They are picking up in popularity in the United States but they are rarely as grand as in the UK. I think the most impressive are in Newport- the "summer cottages" which are massive! XD

    I swear gardens and landscapes are a whole'nother animal for photography. I am not very good at it. I try and take photos at my local farm and it is so underwhelming.

    1. I know, it's SO disappointing when you're trying to capture something so beautiful and it just doesn't translate to the camera! I don't get it. The photos look so dull in comparison I had to delete most of them.


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