Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

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Wimpole Hall, England

03 April 2011

One of the first things we did when we moved her was to join the National Trust. Our membership allows us to visit hundreds of beautiful locations. The National Trust is a charity that manages historic sites, manor houses and estates. Without the Trust, many beautiful sites within the UK would be lost to future generations. I LOVE the National Trust. Each week, I look through our National Trust handbook and pick a location for that weekend. I knew nothing about Wimpole Hall, other than the fact that it was lambing time and the estate had many rare breeds of farm animals.
We started out early on a grey saturday morning. The drive to Wimpole would take over two and a half hours. We were leaving the poodle at home. Brittany was going to spend the day with the neighbours. Driving to Cambridgeshire made us both realize just how lucky we are to be living in the Cotswolds. It really is a breath-taking region of England.
The first view of Wimpole Hall is the stable block.

The drive to the hall is surrounded by fields with so many animals everywhere. I could not wait to see all of the baby animals up close.

Two o’clock marked feeding time for the pigs. At quarter to, the pigs all started crying and howling for their food. Some were even standing on their hind legs and looking for lunch. A few of them looked liked they may attempt to climb out of their pens.

Captain Bambridge, the last owner of Wimpole Hall LOVED buggies, carriages and carts. His private rooms have paintings and drawings of  many different types. His love is clear in the barn that houses his collection.

Wimpole Hall is a working estate, which was given to the National Trust by Elsie Bambridge upon her death. As a working estate, most things have a purpose and must earn it’s keep. But, the National Trust has given many endangered animals a home at Wimpole Hall. It was an incredible experience to see these beautiful animals.

Wimpole Hall contains a walled garden complete with an orchard.

Many of these estates have small second hand books stores in their old stables. I get to see incredible homes and still get my book fix in at the same time. Completely fab.

Having working up an appetite browsing the piles of books, we decided to stop for lunch. There is a restaurant at Wimpole Hall. But, we decided to have a picnic. Relaxing on a blanket, soaking up the sun and taking in the sights is a wonderful way to lunch. There are many beautiful picnic locations on the grounds. We decided to save time and picnic behind the car.

After lunch, we had just enough time to explore the Hall. This trip was all about the baby lambs, but I am so happy that we took the time to see the Hall. My jaw dropped. Wimpole Hall has many interesting features.

I tend to dream on a grand scale. Books and reading are a great passion and I have visions of a future library. But, not just a room with bookcases. I dream of a proper library complete with a ladder, fireplace and a large round table. Wimpole Hall has the library of my dreams. I know that I will never have this grand library, but for a few moments it was all mine.

I am fascinated with all the details of the working of a great estate. I would like to blame it on watching too many period dramas, but I think I am just plain nosey. I love all the details of the lives of others. It was such a treat to go below stairs at Wimpole Hall. I was enthralled, especially with the pantry.

Fire was always a risk in these huge homes. Fireplaces were the main source of heat. Candles provided all the lighting. Gas lights replaced candles, but there were still risks. Fire carts were always on hand in case of a fire. Three fire carts were kept below stairs at the ready.

Elsie Bambridge was the daughter of Rudyard Kipling. I was awe-struck to walk around Wimpole Hall knowing that Kipling had been here. I loved the animals and the glimpse below stairs. Wimpole Hall was well worth the drive.

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