Jun 26, 2014

Ickworth House

Continuing with the Mum-inspired itenerary of local historical tourist traps we headed up to Ickworth House, and nearly got lost on the way but try as I might I couldn't quite pull off a convincing wrong turn that allowed me heroically to recover and engineer a scenic, diverting yet humourous detour.

As Mum knew her way there (or almost) it was a depressingly easy drive but at least when we got there we found that the house was closed that day and that we would be restricted to touring the grounds. Bearing in mind that the grounds are, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, of absolutely mind-buggering size, this was probably a blessing in disguise as our time was limited, if only by the solar cycle and Ickworth House's opening hours.

It was clear when we arrived that a great deal of industry was being undertaken with Legions of National Trust Operatives moving around, apparently purposefully, with chainsaws, dressed in that most English of workplace uniforms, the Monogrammed Fleece, with very sincere expressions on their faces, because by God they were preserving our Heritage by cutting down trees and pruning the hedges. And good for them.

We did sort of try to sneak in a bit, I think, in an unspoken sort of way, before gaining entrance in an underhanded gift-related way I feel it would be faintly inappropriate to describe here before the statue of limitations on such activities has expired.

The cafe at the start was frankly crap, serving office-standard coffee and British Rail-standard Cake-a-likes. The volunteer there, though sincere, was inept. Curse her.

Having refuelled, albeit on low-grade unleaded, we pressed on to the ridiculous gardens which though beautiful in there own sculpted, topiaried way, spoke to me of a society long past with an Empire though perhaps Noble and Glorious in its conception serving only to concentrate vast wealth in the hands of the lucky and priveleged few who far from earning it merely inherited it, and ultimately squandered the gift that they had been given, ripped from the jewels of the Empire to the detriment of the conquered colonies, passed down through the generations and then thrown away on drugs and smuggling.

Still their loss our gain I and it was that society that constructed these follies that we can now, we members of the proplusatariat, wander around and ogle and drop our litter upon.

We looked around the Stumpery (a garden made from tree stumps, honestly!) and ogled the Church before walking across the gone-to-seed Walled Garden which was probably something in its day, but as seems to be the fashion now given over to hirsute grassy wildflower meadows.

It was nice, and we stayed until the bitter end.

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