So where to? As Mr Quacks is followed by Ashdown House this had moved up the list, HOWEVER, the house is only open 2-5, has no tearoom and is a 100 miles away. Hmmm BUT there were two churches in the area I had to get into.... I got instructions into how to get a key and yesterday I got an email from the church warden of the other saying he could meet me at 10,
So off I set. I'm heading along the M25 thinking my feet felt odd and I realised I had my work shoes on!!
I started in torrential rain but the sun came out.
So I arrived at
832 St Mary, Hampstead Marshall.
The Marshall comes from William the Marshall who was one of the greatest knights of the twelfth century (i think the warden was surprised I had heard of him, luckily read a few historical novels about him and his family). The church was situated next to Craven House which was destroyed by fire in the 18th century I think.
A new hall was built further down the valley.
Now Craven House was built by William Craven 1st Earl Craven for Elizabeth Stuart the Winter Queen daughter of James I who was married to the King of Bohemia after his death she came to England. It was alleged she had a secret marriage to Craven.
Now remember her...
the church... not many pics as I had the warden with me. Interesting chat and I thank him for it!
833 St Mark & St Luke, Avington
So off to Ashdown house. I stopped at Lambourn to get some food but when I arrived it was chucking it down.
At 2pm a woman arrived in a sports car, spun the wheels and opened the gate.... luckily I got on the 2:15 tour
Ashdown was built by William Craven as a hunting lodge for Elizabeth of Bohemia the winter Queen who we encountered at Hampstead Marshall. Oh and did I mention that one of Elizabeth's sons was Rupert of the Rhine??
There is little of the building open. Essentially you walk up the stairs (which are amazing) view the portraits and then get some fine views from the roof. The guided tour though was interesting and today I had author and historian Nicola Cornick doing mine!
Now this Elizabeth's daughter Sophia she was Queen Anne's heir and was the best Queen England never had according to Lucy Worsley. She died a few months before Anne. Her son was George I. Where George hated England apparently Sophia was an anglophile.