Trip Report – Deene Park (June 2013)

Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to … Deene Park.

Deene Park Visit 2013(1)

The 2013 Clent History Society day trip was blessed with a lovely sunny day, a rarity indeed this June. We headed for Deene Park in Northamptonshire.  This delightful house is built round a courtyard and is mostly sixteenth century with Georgian additions.  The family have undertaken a major rescue exercise.  The house had been used to house soldiers of many nationalities during WWII and was in a neglected state.

After a simple but delicious lunch made by the family cook and served by ladies from the village in an old kitchen we were able to tour the house in small groups.

The guides were very knowledgeable.  Ours had known the house since childhood and still lived on a tenant farm.  Her tales of family parties with aristocratic guests who found themselves sleeping on straw palliasses in unheated attic rooms and tenant lunches added delightful personal touches.  The house itself is full of personal touches from knitted toys on a sofa, bedside reading matter to family photos of babies and weddings and of course meetings with the great and the good – Archbishops, Princess Diana, Nancy Regan etc – just like our family photos!

The family are very generous and allow access to lots of rooms.  Things aren’t roped off and our more weary members were allowed to sit on all but one set of fragile chairs.  Mrs Brudenell has overseen the restoration and undertaken some stunning needlework and textile design.  She has also recued items from skips and made amazing junk shop purchases.  There just seemed to be room after room of stunning beauty, fascinating objects and great design.  The small groups and the fact we had the house to ourselves just added to the enjoyment.

Then we had time to explore the stunning gardens.  There are enchanting long borders and a glorious parterre designed by David Hicks and topiary teapots and fabulous vistas over the open parkland and lake.  The hedges and topiary had just been cut so were looking particularly splendid. It really is a lovely place to spend a summer day.

Deene Park Visit 2013
Deene Park Visit 2013(2) Deene Park Visit 2013(3)

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