From an Indian Mughal Palace to a Cornish tin mine.
The winding approach through mighty English oaks and a Cotswold Garden does nothing to prepare one for Sezincote. At first the copper onion dome can be glimpsed and then the exotic house appears. Built in 1905 and the inspiration for Brighton Pavilion this Mogul Indian palace sits in a romantic landscape of temples grottos spring fed waterfalls and canals. The exterior of the house reflects the Indian Experience of the British Empire, its construction paid for with wealth derived from the East India Company at the height of its power.
The architect of Sezincote, S.P. Cockerell was greatly assisted by the renowned artist, Thomas Daniell who had spent 10 years in India creating images of the buildings there. Interestingly the interior of the house is Greek Revival, and the garden near the house originally ‘in the English Style’ designed possibly with the help of Humphrey Repton.
Today Sezincote is at the heart of a family owned and run, traditional mixed farming estate. The house itself has appeared in ‘The Victorians’, Lucy Worsley’s ‘Jewel in the Crown and more recently in ‘Gardeners World’.
Although far more beautiful than a Cornish Tin mine, Chevanage is the ‘Trenwith House’, that stars in the television adaption of ‘Poldark’. It is a quintessentially English Cotswold stone building from the Elizabethan era dated to 1576 and set in unspoilt countryside. Chavenage is mentioned as early as the 9th centuary and the first known owner of the estate was Goda the sister of Edward the Confessor. The house is Grade 1 and parts of it are probably created from monastic buildings of Bruton Abbey. Much of the glass used came from the dissolved churches and monasteries in the area. The original ‘E’ shaped house has been extended in the 17th and 18th centuries and more recently in the Edwardian period. Only two families have lived at Chevenage since the reign of Elizabeth 1st and it is still very much a family home today. Apart from the lovely period interior features, there are tales of Cromwell and the Civil War, and lots of ghosts – it is reputed to be one of the Nation’s most haunted.
Chavenage has appeared in a number of television productions apart from ‘Poldark’ including ‘Cider with Rosie’ and ‘Wolf Hall’
Cost £68 TASBE Members, £73 Non-members of TASBE.
This price includes: travel by 25 seater executive coach; entry and guide to Sezincote and Chavenage Houses; coffee, two course lunch and afternoon tea.
Maximum 25 places available.
Date 25 September 2019, gather at Yateley Road from 8.15am for 8.30am departure and return approximately 6.30pm.
by Clive Lockhart
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