Sunday, 17 April 2011

A Visit to A La Ronde

Blogland is such a lovely place and you can find out about some truly amazing places to visit. It was Niki from Nostalgia at the Stone House that told me how to go about starting a blog and I'm glad that she did! Recently Niki visited A La Ronde - a National Trust property near Exmouth in Devon and took some photographs of what she had seen there. As a result of that post by Niki we ended up going to A La Ronde last Sunday. It was warm and sunny - not ususal April weather in this country!
As you head towards the property from the car park you come to the stable block which has been converted to the entrance / National Trust shop. 

A La Ronde is not your usual National Trust property - this is a very quirky place but all the more magnificent for it!

An old mangle in the converted stableblock.

The tulips were open.

From the stableblock you enter a little courtyard and there in front of you is the unique sixteen sided house. The house was built for two spinster cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter on their return from their ten year European grand tour! How fantastic is that - being able to travel for ten years! During the tour they had collected many souveniers and wanted a house that would remind them of their travels. It is believed that Jane designed the house herself but she may have had some help from a relative, John Lowder, who later became one of the architects of Georgian Bath. A talented family indeed!

Due to the steep slope of the land the house is entered on the first floor. The buildings design was intended to catch maximum sunlight and the rooms were laid out so that the cousins could follow the sun around the house during the day.

Above is a photo which shows an old radiator - doesn't it look big and clumsy!  The tube which sticks out of the wall near the fireplace was used to converse with the servants!

The house boasts some spectacular decorative features. The Parminters used everything from feathers and shells to stones and seaweeds! I will show more of the cousins creative handiwork in a later posting.

The spinsters went to great lengths to keep A La Ronde in female hands, specifying in their will that it should only pass to unmarried female relatives! Before the National Trust purchased the property in 1991 the house had only had one male owner.

This beautiful flower arrangement was under a glass dome.

The house is a bit like a tardis - there are so many rooms and so many pieces of furniture and so many wonderful nooks and cranies - literally every space was used.

The above is from the bedroom.

We arrived at the house early - it opens at 11.00 a.m. We stayed there for lunch and spent some time in the garden. The house even boasts its own cat! More on that in a later post.

On Monday we went to another National Trust property - Barrington Court, on Tuesday we went to Seatown in Dorset to walk up to the Golden Cap and on Wednesday we went to Frome on our way back to Hampshire from Devon. On the way home we stopped at the boarding kennels to leave our lovable hound for a few days whilst we were off to Rome. We have just arrived back from an absolutely fantastic four day break. Much more on that when I have finished posting on the other stuff we did this week! It has been a busy old week but rather fabulous! It will be down to earth tomorrow when I return to work and a back-log of things to sort out, not to mention - the housework!

Until next time.


1 comment:

  1. Hi June,
    Sorry not to have stopped-by sooner, but I've been away from my PC for a few days, whilst I knuckled-down to decorating and furniture shifting. Just trying to catch up now...

    So pleased that you managed a visit to A la Ronde...and thank you for the mention! Isn't it a wonderful place? I could quite happily move in there and live the life that the cousins did way back then...
    Loved the little beds in the attic with the eiderdowns on! ;-))

    Enjoy this gorgeous spring weather and Happy Easter to you and the family,
    Niki x


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