Kingston Lacy - October 6, 2007

Trip Start Oct 02, 2007
Trip End Dec 15, 2007

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Got an early start this morning. Had to change to a smaller unit because my unit was reserved for the weekend.  Although I didn't want a repeat of Wednesday, I should have tried another B&B in the area I was sight-seeing. Lesson learned. I think my best sleep was between 530 and 730 Sunday morning.

Kingston Lacy: I chose to visit Kingston Lacy based on a picture of the house in the National Trust brochure.  The beauty of this building in the pictures made me want to visit. I arrived a half hour before the Kingston Lacy house opened for viewing. Walking the grounds on a foggy, misty morning was relaxing; few people roamed the pathways. Without the house, I could live here. With the house.....well, wow! Being able to spend a week living in a place like Not my version of heaven, but close (take the building and grounds to a warmer climate would help).

Once the building opened up, I was one of the first few of the morning; no crowds-I like that. Kingston Lacy was design by the 'first' man in Britain to take the name of 'architect' Roger Platt. Later, Charles Barry (who designed the House of Parliament), finished the house to the version we see today. My favorite 3 things about the house are the Marble staircases, the State Bedroom and the Tent Rooms. In the State Bedroom is a grand bed , with exuberant carves, of walnut and holly, including the Bankes (The Bankes family commissioned the house) coat of arms and a row of bats along the headboard; When William Bankes died prior to the completion of the bed, his brother, tried unsuccessfully to have the contract for the bed canceled. The Tent rooms were 2 bachelor bedrooms decorated in a style common in 18th century France-as big tents. All of the line work on the walls and ceilings is said to have been drawn by hand. The second, smaller bedroom, was laid out as a nursery for a little boy (downstairs there was a bedroom for a little girl).

In front of the house is a obelisk with Egyptian inscriptions on all for sides. The obelisk once stood (as a pair) before the temple of Isis on the island of Philae in the Nile. It took William Bankes 24 years (erected in 1839) to transport it back to Kingston Lacy. It was a gift from Henry Salt, a British consul-general in Egypt. At the base of the obelisk is 4 inscriptions (see photos).

My second visit was to the Bradbury Rings just down the road from Kingston Lacy. The Bradbury Rings are "one of the few surviving areas of natural chalk grassland in the locality and as such provides a rare and important haven for wildlife." One of the other signs discussed the variety of orchids found on the site, unfortunately, I found none within the circle of trees. However, I did find a stone monument inscribed with distances to various towns within 15 miles of the rings. I took a 270 degree panoramic picture of the surrounding area from the inner most ring. There were as many people as there were cows-Red Devon cattle to be precise.

Within 5 minutes of home, I got lost in the city center of Salisbury. Pretty downtown area with plenty of tourists (it WAS a warm Saturday afternoon). I went round and round trying to find my way out, I kept on getting lost because I thought the pictogram signs meant something completely different. Finally found a pub I had seen before and found my way back home.
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