On the First day of the Jubilee Bank holiday weekend, my eldest son and I took the little ones for a picnic to the rather grand Dyrham Park.
The single storey building to the left is an Orangery. The house dates back to the 17 th century and was built for one William Blathwayt, c 1649-1717. He inherited the estate from his father in law and he immediately set about rebuilding the house decorating it in the Dutch style favoured by King William of Orange and his wife Queen Mary. The main part of the house is to the right, replacing the older Tudor Manor.
The house when it was acquired by the National Trust was in a pretty terrible state. The roof had to be redone completely with work finished in 2015. The interior is now nearing the end of its refurbishment, and is mostly not open to the public yet. Three rooms downstairs have been used to create a bedroom and sitting room using furniture that had been brought in specially for a much anticipated but never realised visit by Queen Anne en route to Bath. I expect that’s when she stopped at Avebury instead. Can’t help wondering if the Royal party got lost, or maybe that all houses at that time were put on a state of readiness for Queen Anne’s jolly. You’d be pretty miffed if you went to the upheaval and expense and got no eminent personage. Which is a very long way of my saying, no photos of these rooms as they are kept in near gloom to save the furnishings from sun damage.
On the plus side, there were lots of lawn games to play with, space for children to roar around in, nice tearoom, plants and second hand books for sale. Sadly the deer herd for which this Park was famous have all had to be culled as they had an exceedingly bad outbreak of bovine tuberculosis . Once it us safe to do so the deer will be reintroduced to the grounds.
We had a smashing day out, and I’ll return, maybe annually to see the property return to glory.