Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Kedleston Hall

Kedleston Hall is a large property owned by the National Trust in Derbyshire. It was the seat of the Curzon family (one of whom was viceroy of India hence the property contains many fine Indian artifacts).

The house was designed by the Palladian architects James Paine and Matthew Brettingham and was loosely based on an original plan by Andrea Palladio for the never-built Villa Mocenigo. At the time a relatively unknown architect, Robert Adam was designing some temples for the garden to enhance the park. The then Lord Curzon was so impressed Adam was put in charge of the new mansion.






The church is in the care of the excellent Churches Conservation Trust.... it is one of my favourites.













Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Black & White in Black & White

The North West of England is noted for its black & white timbered halls.

Little Morton Hall is a half timbered moated manor house parts of which date to 1504. It was built upon by the Moreton family until 1610. The floors are totally uneven and makes you  think you had drunk too much!!  There is little original furniture in the house but it is a fascinating building to walk around. The gardens were long abandoned and the NT have replanted in a Tudor style.







Speke Hall was selected as one of approx 20 houses to get 5 stars in Simon Jenkins 1000 best houses and is one of the few I had never visited.

Speke was started in 1530 and is a wood framed wattle and daub Tudor building. Whereas Little Moreton is untouched at Speke the Victorians had their way.






Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ickworth

It was a foggy start but the sun came through and it turned into a  glorious day. I ended up at Ickworth House


















Sunday, 20 November 2016

Paternoster Square

I do like Paternoster Square it really seems to blend in well with St Paul's



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Italian Tour

I recently spent a week in Italy and here are a few pics.

My first four nights were in the lovely Tuscan city of Lucca. Lucca is a short train ride from Pisa and still has a complete set of Medieval walls. If you've never been and want to experience something less hectic than the big cities I can highly recommend it.

The wedding cake church of San Michele


The Pizza Antifeatro which was built on the outline of the old Roman Amphitheatre 


Lucca Walls are great to walk around. They are lined with trees and the Lucchese use them to ride bikes and walk. 



Lucca's Duomo



We spent a day in the seaside resort of Viareggio. For the tourist this is the promenade or Passeggiata a mare.




For me the highlight was the wildlife we saw!

These were taken from the top of the Torre Guinigi (a tower with trees at the top!!)



We then moved on to the city of Bologna (which I've been to before). We chose it as it was a great transport hub to visit other cities.





The next day we went to the town of Modena! Attractive small city but it was dull and grey. This is the duomo. Well worth a visit.


Alas no photos from Parma. It is a lovely city but it hammered down and so you'll have to take my word for it! But the duomo and baptistery alone are worth visiting.

Then we went to Ferrara. It has a fine castle!



On the last day we stayed in  Bologna. They closed a lot of the roads on the Sunday and the vibe of the city was fabulous.




My last memory was listening to this Jazz quartet in the Piazza Maggiore!