Sunday, September 01, 2013

Avebury Manor, Gardens and Museum

Avebury Manor

Driving back from Uffington and the White Horse, we decided to go by Avebury.  Places here are remarkably close, even if they take a while to drive to.  We had visited Avebury before to walk among the stones, one of the largest circles and avenues in England.  The stones are older than Stonehenge.  The Manor and museum weren't opened for visitors; both being renovated.

The Queen Anne Suite from 1712.

Hand painted Japanese wallpaper in the dining room, the one thing you can not touch!

The dining room is set for 1798.  There is an exercise chair which you bounce up and down just in case you feel you have eaten too much.

The Tudor Parlour from the 1550's.

The ceiling in the Tudor Bedchamber.

The Manor was where Alexander Keiller lived in the 1930's while leading the excavation of the stone circles.  It was built in the 1550's and has been owned by several different families.  The house and gardens were renovated by the BBC working with the National Trust over a 6 month period in 2010-2011.  The BBC made a documentary and published a book about this endeavour.  There are seven rooms, each transformed into a time period when the house was owned by different families, ranging from Tudor to 1939.


Portrait of Queen Anne who is said to have visited.

Unlike all the other places owned by the National Trust, this one is hands on!  Sit on the chairs, open the drawers, find the secret passages, take a nap on the beds; please, though, don't touch the hand painted Japanese wall paper in the dining room and remove your shoes before getting on the beds.  There is also period clothing in various rooms that you may put on.  This is one fun place for kids and adults!

Game of billiards anyone?

The kitchen on a busy day in 1912.  The sink was full of dirty dishes.

Keiller Parlour from 1939;  I felt as if Hercule Poirot should walk in at any moment.

The walled garden was transformed into a Victorian Style kitchen garden during this same renovation by the BBC.  The formal gardens are still as they were; beautifully trimmed hedges and lawn, with the entry garden now planted with a riot of colorful dahlias.
Nothing says English like trimmed hedges in the garden. 
The kitchen garden complete with glass house.


Dahlias!

The museum is in two places, one a small building next to the Manor.  This contains items found during Keiller's work with the stones.  The second is in the old barn, now renovated with a new thatched roof.  This has more of an over view of the area from it first inhabitants to now.  Both are very well done.
The barn, now the museum.

The construction inside is amazing.

We took a short stroll through part of the circle on our way to the carpark.  Then is was back on the road for our drive home to Alderholt.  Trevor and Friday were waiting for their tea!
The stone in the circle.

One of the largest stones with sheep grazing.  They are more efficient  than a riding mower.

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