Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We're For Knole

Design - "Bee Happy"
Designer - Homespun Elegance
Fabric - 28 count French Country Blue
Fibers - WDW, GAST, & DMC - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 23 June 2013
Completed - 28 June 2013

Even though I ended up frogging out the beeskep, I still enjoyed stitching this pattern and think it turned out well.

Today we took the train to Sevenoaks, and this cool old bus to Knole.

It was originally built in 1456 as the palace for the Archbishops of Canterbury.  Henry VIII admired it, and what was the archbishop to do, but give it to him.  Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I gifted it to her cousin, Thomas Sackville in 1566.

Thomas remodeled using the craftsmen who'd worked for Queen Elizabeth, and thus created a show place! 

The Sackville family has lived here since 1603 when Thomas finished his remodeling.

The sixth Earl was Lord Chamberlain, and as a job perk he got first crack at all disused royal furniture.  When William and Mary came into power all of King James' furniture was considered passée. And so Knole has the best collection of Stuart furniture in the country. 

The family also acquired a remarkable collection of art - paintings and china.

Knole reputed to be a calendar house, with 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances, and 7 courtyards.

Knole commands attention.

The leopard is the emblem of the Sackville family and shows up everywhere.

It is glorious from the garden.

Vita Sackville-West was born and lived at Knole.  Can you imagine what her childhood was like?  As the only child of the 3rd Baron, she was not able to inherit her home, instead after her father's passing, it went to a male cousin. Knole haunted Vita the rest of her life.  In Virginia Wolfe's book, "Orlando" said to be about Vita, the heroine by pretending to be a man, is able to inherit her ancestral home.

While the house is now part of the National Trust, the garden and deer park still belong to the Sackville family.

The largest garden is the Wilderness Garden.  Thought it looks very tame to modern eyes, in the 17th century the idea was to have a 'wilderness" - a quiet place far removed from the bustle of the house.

You can see that this garden accomplishes that.

There are some nice wildflower meadows with orchids, ragged robin, scabious, and trefoil.

Did I mention the house is surrounded by a 1000 acre deer park?

While the estate lost 80% of its trees in the horrible wind-storm of 1987, you'd not know it looking on 25 years later.
What a wonderful place to explore the natural world.

There were chaffinches, wagtails, nuthatches, and thrushes.

Knole is the site of Kent's last medieval deer park.

There is a herd of over 500 fallow deer.

They certainly look different from the white-tailed deer I am used to seeing.

This fellow is supposed to be the King of them all.

I hope you enjoyed touring Knole with me today.


Vickie said...

Oh yes! I did enjoy it very much!

Melanie said...

365 rooms. You could clean one room a day and, well, you get the idea. It's exhausting to think about! Lol (I'm sure it says something about me that I identified with the 'downstairs' people first when thinking about that. Heh.)

Very pretty deer! I love the trees too. The foliage is so low to the ground compared to what we are used to here.

Happy Fourth! They might still be sore about it over there though so celebrate quietly. ;^)

Ann at Beadlework. said...

That's a huge percentage of trees to have been brought down by the storm. I've never been but it looks like a lovely place to visit - I'm hoping to see some deer next week when we stay on the caravan site set in Chatsworth House. The last time we were there we saw them every evening when we went walking in the grounds of the estate.

Cathy said...

We visited London in '09, but just stayed in the city. I truly wish we would have been able to venture out like you're doing. So I'm enjoying your photos - it's like a little tour!

Margaret said...

I definitely enjoyed the tour! Can you imagine that whole entail thing? Vita must have been upset about that! So cool to hear all the history and see all the pictures. And those deer! Wow!

Maggee said...

Grrrr... that male dominance thing is terrible!! So, is the Calendar House inhabited? They could rent it out to a whole village!!!! Great tour, as always! You are a 'natural' ... Hugs!

Barb said...

A great tour! What a nice little gift!

April said...

I love the pictures and thanks for the info about them.. Just beautiful!

Pondside said...

What a beautiful place! I've certainly read about it in history books and historical novels. Lovely to have a better look!

cucki said...

Beautiful tour x

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

I love your little finish :)
And I enjoy looking at all your photos. I was to go to England 14 years ago...had my ticket and passport and was leaving in September, to find out I was pregnant with twins and the doctor forbade me to go... :)
Thus why I named one of them Ian...an English/Celtic name in memory of my lost England vacation! LOL!

Giovanna said...

I remember being quite frightened of those deer - they were very tame, and they were after my sandwiches! Are you planning to see other stately homes? I had a great time whenever I visited one.

Annette-California said...

I loved the tour. And I am ordering "Bee Happy" chart - Love yours and congrats on finishing. I don't know where you find the time to stitch with touring and posting:) great job. love Annette

Dani - tkdchick said...

Lovely little finish!