So what to do today? Well there is a church and a house that are on my to do list that I could finally do.
The church is locked but the key can be got from the adjacent hotel! so....
861 St Peter's, Croft-on-Tees
Now I could have headed to Darlington for another church but I decided I'd head to a National Trust property I had never visited .... Ormesby Hall
I've said this before but when I first started visiting NT properties I mentally divided them as £4.xx or £5.xx properties.... the big glamour properties like Blickling were £5.60 and smaller properties like Lytes Cary were say £4.60. Now this distinction doesn't necessarily matter as some of my favourite properties were/are in the £4.xx bracket but it gives you and idea of size.
Ormesby is a £4.xx property.
What you see is a Palladian Mansion completed in 1754, it was owned by the Pennyman family since the 1600's and was give to the Trust in 1961 and opened to the public in 1983 when the last Pennyman died.
I arrived just before 11 and the gates were closed but a young lady arrived almost as I did to open the gates.
I followed here van down the road and handed her my card. She seemed genuinely pleased to see me and I got the feeling they don't get a lot of visitors mid-week (when I left about 1pm there were 12 cars.....).
Which is a bit of a shame because Ormesby is a pleasant small property (with enthusiastic volunteers) with a pretty garden.
They have an excellent model railway exhibit... the volunteers were again passionate.
So I headed for lunch, so you asking where the scone is ah alas they weren't homemade so I made do with a ham sandwich which I ate in the garden.
So off we headed.
I'm not sure I'll ever go back but honestly I had a lovely visit, the staff and volunteers genuinely seem to love the place so if you are in the area pop in!
So where to?
Mount Grace Priory.
This was a former Carthusian Priory. Carthusian's live as hermits and each have their own cell (more like a small house). After the dissolution the ruins of the guest-house were incorporated into two later houses,: a seventeenth-century manor a rare building of the Commonwealth period and the larger house of 1900–01, an important example of the Arts and Crafts movement.
One of the cells has been reconstructed
The house has some arts and crafts furnishings and a museum about the site,