Trip Report – Rodmarton Manor (Aug 2015)

Our day trip to Rodmarton Manor

August 2015

Once again we were lucky with dry weather and were able to enjoy our day unencumbered by coats or umbrellas.

We broke our journey to Rodamarton (which is between Cirencester and Tetbury) at Gloucester. We based ourselves at the historic docks which combines attractive retail outlets in the old warehouses and extensive waterside paved areas with redundant marine machinery with a real working area. A nineteenth century three mast schooner from Greenland was being repaired at the rigging factory and the lift bridge was frequently raised to admit boats coming in via the lock to take water and fuel. Some of us visited the waterways museum and others went through the mellow old streets of Gloucester to the other museums or the cathedral. It was a particular pleasure for those who met the new bishop, Rachel Treweek.

Rodamarton Manor is very different to many historic houses. It looks like a run of old Cotswold cottages but it is extensive with 19 bedrooms and yet was built last century and finished in 1929. It was fascinating to hear how everything was made by hand using little more than a saw by way of tools. The family, who live there still and greeted us so warmly, were and are committed to the preservation and passing on of craft skills. It is hard to imagine how very shocking some of the arts and crafts designs which fill the house would have been in times more used to Victoriana. Some would sit easily in the trendiest Shoreditch hipster establishment now. We were all mesmerised by the quality of the wood and workmanship and it was lovely to be able to touch those very tactile pieces. The property sits in arts and crafts gardens which we also enjoyed.

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