Morning everyone, wherever you are!
As you may know, I am a lover of Victorian novels, and my love for all things Victorian meant that I was incredibly excited to visit Charlecote Park yesterday. It’s not too far from me, being near Wellsbourne, Stratford upon Avon.
It’s a grand, elegant and beautiful Victorian house, belonging to the Lucy family for over 900 years. You may remember I mentioned Mary Elizabeth Lucy’s memoirs in a recent post. It was really special to experience her house, influenced by their many travels abroad, and their beautiful grounds with her book in the back of my mind.
Within the house, we can only see the central part because the family still live here. The paintings were bold and proud, the wallpaper still in its original form in a number of the rooms dating back to the 1830s.
For me, the library is impressive. It boasts of views across the River Avon, books all around, a comfortable fireplace for winter, and inviting seating. I could have happily moved in. Once more, it is easy to imagine the family reading together, and Mary writing her memoirs here for her grandchildren.
As I’ve mentioned already, the grounds really were spectacular. Deer and sheep roam freely, and it is really quite beautiful and tranquil to see. It’s easy to see how inspiring this place is.
One little anecdote that does make me smile from Charlecote, is it’s link to William Shakespeare. It is believed that a young Shakespeare was caught poaching deer from here and was sent to Magistrates court. In his ‘revenge’ it is also believed that in The Merry Wives of Windsor, where the Lucy coat of arms, as well as a poaching incident are referenced, that the character of Justice Shallow is based on Sir Thomas Lucy. Naughty Shakespeare!
There’s also a brilliant bookshop here – I picked up a bag full. Before I spoil it for you, make sure you visit yourself. It really is breathtaking.
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