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Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors – Trelissick

The best way to approach this stately home is to cross the Carrick Roads (the River Fal) on the King Harry Ferry. It is a beautiful house, first built in 1824, with many later additions. The local village is called Feock and it is just a few miles outside of Truro, in Cornwall.

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Ida Copeland, politician, activist, philanthropist and enthusiastic promoter of the Girl Guide movement, handed over the house to the National Trust on the death of her son. Externally, the house is splendid, with cream ionic columns and large windows looking south past Falmouth and St Mawes to the English Channel. Internally, it is more like a family home, albeit a rather posh one. There is a collection of typewriters, some Spode China and lots of basic family portraits.

One of the ancestors, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, “discovered” Newfoundland, but his ship, the Squirrel, was lost with all hands in 1583. The Gothic water tower has a golden squirrel as a weathervane.
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The gardens are superb, with many hydrangeas in full bloom at this time of year. The rhododendrons are best seen in the spring when they are glorious. Look at my instagram feed to the right and see some of my flower photographs.

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Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors – Cotehele

This National Trust property on the River Tamar in Cornwall has its origins in 1300. It is probably one of the most authentic Tudor houses in England. It is like a rabbit warren. The walls are covered in tapestries rather than wallpaper or painted plaster. There is still no electricity in the main body of the house. It is so dark that taking photographs inside was challenging. It was the first of many stately homes to be handed over to the National Trust in lieu of death duties.

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The tapestries hide the doors.

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This is the door into the bowels of the Cotehele Clock, at the end of the chapel. It still works and keeps good time.

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I can’t resist showing you some of the other features of the house.

 

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Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey was never an abbey. It was an Augustinian priory founded in 1131, before being converted into a stately home in the rolling hills of southern Derbyshire 500 years later. The Harpur-Crewe family owned it until 1985 when it was sold to the National Trust in lieu of death duties. The family died out shortly afterwards, with no living heirs. The stately pile was also on the decline. Rather than spending millions on renovating the place, the National Trust decided to stop the rot by fixing the roof, but allowed “time to stand still”. The wallpaper is peeling off some of the walls. Dozens of glass cases full of stuffed animals and geological specimens are crammed into spare rooms. The heated Orangery which once supplied fruit and vegetables in winter is now dilapidated.

But there are plenty of interesting doors.

 

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The Orangery

The estate bought 350,000 bricks to make outbuildings and walled gardens. These cost less than the lady of house’s annual dress allowance.

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Inside the house, some of the doors are covered in red baize, which was supposed to deaden the noise.

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Some of the doors were made of mahogany and beautifully carved. Other doors to less important areas of the house have been painted to look like walnut or other exotic wood. Now the paint is chipping off.

 

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At the bottom of the back stairs

 

 

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Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors @ Lanhydrock

The National Trust is a wonderful institution. Without it, stately homes would decay and be lost for future generations. It costs about a pound a week to be a member, allowing free entry to the gardens, grounds and buildings. This would not be possible without thousands of volunteers, working as guides or in the guest shops.

Lan-Hydrock means locality around the church of St Hydrock, who was a mysterious 5th Century Irish ascetic who emigrated to central Cornwall. The hall was first built in 1620, but in the late 19th Century, Lord Robartes renovated it to its present state. In 1953, the property was transferred to the National Trust. Since then, it has been the site of the film version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night – or what you will” starring Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia.

Enough of the background, here are some of the doors. First what looks like a door to a secret garden

 

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The gates in the garden (wonderful camellias, see my Instagram account – drprunesquallor) have an ingenious mechanism to allow the gate to open both ways. There is a hinge at the top and a U shaped yoke hinge at the bottom.

The church tower was built in the 15th Century, housing nine bells.

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Around the courtyard, there are some interesting doors with decorative carving.

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Finally, a warped door within a gate.P1330726