Calke Abbey & Staunton Harold - Day 12

On this day we drove through the English countryside like Elizabeth Bennett touring grand estates while the Master is out Sword fighting.  This scenery is what I pictured when you think of England, unless you say London then it's entirely different.  And by all my reference here you can tell that I can't help quoting Jane Austin and the oodles of films I've seen based on her books, with the exception of Clueless, which is so L.A.

Our first stop was at Calke Abbey (pronounce Cork) the grounds are grand, old lyme tree's stand erect on either side of  the road you drive on.  This leads you into the estate and then you see this immense house next to another large house, which incidentally was for the servants.  There are spectacular views of this house from the church on the property, so it's worth the walk.  There is a muchs to say about it's owners, who were quite eccentric.
Rafters of the farm house before you actually get to the servants quarters or house.
 Beautiful grounds with lawns and so much land.
Path down to the house and coming around the entrance.
 Dinner table all set, was elegant and the decorative details on the walls, sans deer heads, are exquisite.
 Servants bells and a look at the library.
I say the family was eccentric because the rooms are rather crowded with all that the family collected.  It doesn't appear they got rid of anything.  They were avid hunters and taxidermy was the rage so the house is full of dead stuffed animals.  Many of the rooms were closed off by the family at some point in time as they were too difficult to sustain, these rooms were used for storage and are quite a tragedy to look at.  Creepy to say the least.  

The libraries were my favorite I would spend so much time looking at these books, it proves true this proverb.."too the making of books, there is no end."  What a true statement that is, as no one had tv's, radios, iPod, iPad or i anything, so they were avid readers on everything under the sun.
 Warm hallways and bathrooms despite some of the cold abandon rooms around the house.
Stairwells and courtyard
 Tree pathways to the church on the property.
While walking around the grounds, why did I not think about dressing in period costume, you can't help and think you will see Mr. Bingley and Jane strolling by. One of the great thing about many of the national trust sites is they provide you with a CD to play in your car as you drive to the main house. It usually has a classical music accompaniment and a nice narrative on the trees and buildings you see along the way, I have a few in my collection now. Seeing that I love history this is an awesome way to get in a few extra tidbits.

Next we drove to Staunton Harold Estate which has a private house, still lived in, and an old church on the property from the 16th century. 

Gate entrance that I assume the residence come through, we parked further away at a nursery and walked in thru the back way.

 View of Staunton Harold to the right, still a residence and their lovely grounds.

Here's the church on the estate.

 We all loved this tree and the stone wall arch that was the entrance to the garden.
Inside the church on the ceiling is God's name in Hebrew, using the Tetragramaton letters (YHWH) from the original Hebrew language.  This was the reason we came here, it's not usual too see this, I've seen it in the Vatican, which they don't let you view anymore for various reason I will not get into on this blog, and I've seen it in the chapel at Chateau Versailles, Paris.  Thankfully the workmen let us in as the church was closed.  Amazing thing to see in person, especially since many don't even know what God's name is...Jehovah in English.

The outside church inscription reads:
In the yeare 1653 when all things sacred were throughout y nation
either demollifht or profaned
Sir Robert Shirley Barronet
founded this church
whole singular praiff it is
to have done the beft thinges in your worft times
hope them in the moft callamitous
the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance
K&A enjoying the view

The grounds were breathtaking, we sat on a bench and enjoyed the view of the reservoir and weeping willow.

The Estate Office
Staunton Harold Hall
LE65 1RT
01332 862599

Above was our first attempt at food.  At half past 2:00pm they stop serving food.  Not sure I wanted what they had to offer on this menu anyways.  No words.
Then another attempt for food and a dinner pint was at the Cock Inn, however as everything in England is, they were closed just because.  We did come back after our dinner to see the place as it's one of the oldest pubs in England.

Before our venture back to the Inn we had wonderful meal at an Italian restaurant in Warwickshire called San Giovanni, just down the road from Cock Inn.  This is one of K&A's favorite restaurants.  It was great food and a lovely setting.
 Love watching Anne text and Karl has the best picture taking expression.
Karl had the juicy meat, and for some reason it escapes me as to what it was.  SB had Linguine Scampi e Gamberoni (langoustine, king prawns, garlic, chilli, white wine and tomato sauce)
Anne and I started off with Funghi Piemontesi (Sauté mushrooms in garlic and parsley on a bed of rocket).  I had Penne Pollo e Gamberetti for my meal. (Penne pasta, chicken, prawns, cream and white wine sauce)
We drank this lovely bottle of wine.  My tasting notes are a bit fuzzy, but I do remember it tasted like dried cherries, very smooth.  This is on my list for wines to buy in L.A. if I can find it.

The sunset was once again gorgeous and SB ran out and snapped a picture of the giant orange orb setting on the English countryside.

This was a lovely full day, I am so glad to have friends that are willing to take us around their country and share with us all their favorite places.  It's truly a treat.

Mill Lane
Sheepy Parva
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