Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hatchlands Park

Recently, it was my great pleasure to meet up with Sara from Sara's Crafts.  We have been blogging friends for some time and then became e-mail friends and after 18 months of e-mailing, several phone calls and one abandoned plan to meet each other, we finally met up!

It was so lovely to actually meet Sara in person.  I knew that she would be lovely because we had got to know each other pretty well, but it was still good to actually see her in "real life actual".  Of course Sara was just as lovely as I knew she would be, and we talked a lot and it was just like our e-mails and telephone calls had been.  Anyone seeing us would have assumed that we were old friends - which we were of course!

You can read Sara's account of our meeting here - she was far more organised than me and posted soon after we met! - her photos are wonderful!

I suggested to Sara that we meet at a National Trust property called Hatchlands Park.  It is part way between the two of us.  I didn't tell Sara, but I had an ulterior motive for meeting there.  The house is let out to a tenant called Alec Cobbe, and he is married to a family member of the family that owned Basildon Park, so I was curious for many reasons to see the house.

After a drink and cake Sara and I went for a wander around and of course, being the very good bloggers that we are, we had our cameras at the ready and took lots of photos.  Only of the outside, no pictures in the house, and in any case it was far to busy to get any shots.


The grounds are beautiful. The alliums were spectacular.






The room on the far left of this photo is the music room.  Concerts are held here.


The lantern which stands over the music room and fills it with light.


Alec Cobbe is a musician and the house is filled with pianos and musical instruments.  There are as many as seven or eight pianos in some rooms - yes, seven or eight in one room!!!!!



The house is furnished with pieces from Mr Cobbe's and his wife's family homes.  He is married to one of the daughters of the 20th Viscount Dillon.



 

There are not extensive formal gardens at Hatchlands.  The grounds are all very naturalistic in style.







I was very intrigued by this tree which is being held up with the branch or trunk of another tree.  Isn't it amazing.



Some years ago Alec Cobbe painted three panels for the Dining Room ceiling at Basildon Park.  He has been repainting the Dining Room at Hatchlands Park for about 25 years now by my estimate.  It isn't finished!  One of the staff asked me if I could get him to finish it.  I said that I didn't have that kind of influence!!





I had a play around with some of the effects that my computer can apply to pictures and turned this one from colour - above - to black and white.



Another closer up view of that branch holding up the tree.


I was surprised what a difference making the pictures black and white had.  You really see the texture and the form far more in the black and white pictures than in the colour ones.



Only the ground floor of the house is open.  It is very full of interesting things, and had it not been so busy I am sure that we would have enjoyed more time looking around.









It really was a wonderful day.  We had a great finishing touch too as these beautiful peonies were pointed out to us as we left to go to the car park.  Aren't they wonderful!


The best part of the day was of course meeting Sara!  We hope to do it again very soon and not in another 18 months time!

Thank you for a lovely day Sara and for your friendship too!

Amy

49 comments:

  1. How lovely to finally meet a friend in person. You had a beautiful location for your meeting. The alliums are spectacular.

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  2. I love Hatchlands. Thanks for taking me there today. There is a beautiful bluebell wood in the Spring and an important painting of Shakespeare. I must go back again. x

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  3. What a beautiful lace to visit! Your B&W photos are excellent - especially the propped up tree. And isn't it fun to meet another blogger in real life!!

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  4. Such a lovely day! Looking forward to meeting up again soon. X

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  5. Looks like you had a lovely day. The picture of the tree being held up is great!

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  6. What a beautiful house and garden, and wonderful photographs. I love black and white photography, although it never occurs to me to do any. Must try. I'm glad you had a lovely time with Sara, a great place and great company - the perfect day I think. I hope you both went on the space hoppers. CJ xx

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  7. What a lovely day out and the icing on the cake, meeting a bloggy pal.

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  8. Dear Amy

    Sounds like you had a lovely day. It is a beautiful house. I like the alliums and peonies too!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  9. You both seemed to have had a lovely day and a catch up to boot. I love taking black and white photo's. When my children were still involved in gymnastics I always used black & white film there was also a film you could buy to produce sepia pictures and I still lovely that effect too. Glad you had such a good time.

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  10. So exciting to meet another blogger! You did have a lovely day together, and a great place to meet. Love the alliums and the peonies. xx

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  11. Beautiful photos Amy, I love how the tree is propped up! How lovely that you guys met up and had such a lovely day xx

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  12. What a great place to meet up, looks like a great day.

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  13. How fabulous that you met a fellow blogger and liked each other so well!

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  14. Oh so nice place for a nice meeting ...

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  15. I'm intrigued by the large balls on the grass. Are they artwork or horse toys?
    Jane x

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  16. Great fun to meet up with a bloggy friend and what a lovely place to meet. Hatchlands looks wonderful and the peonies are gorgeous:)

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  17. You lucky ladies to have met up and had a nice face-to-face conversation!! The house looks so stately, and it must have been amazing inside. Love the gardens, and all the trees. Thanks for sharing your day with us Amy :)
    Wendy

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  18. How lovely for you to meet yet another fellow blogger, Amy! Your photos are beautiful, it was nice to see Hatchlands (I have never been there) and I found the B & W photographs fascinating. I never understood before why the "purists" prefer B & W but these pictures spelt it out to me. I do hope your troubles are a little easier now! Barbara xx

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  19. What a lovely place to meet - and it's good that you finally got to meet too!

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  20. A very handsome house and those aliums are amazing! So glad you had a good day together. I've recently started following Sara's blog x

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  21. Looks like a perfect place to visit on a summer's day. And alliums and peonies in full bloom - beautiful!
    S x

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  22. What an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. I could easily spend a whole day in a place like that, just looking around and taking it all in. I'm quite intrigued by that tree too, never seen anything like it.

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  23. How fun to meet a fellow blogger. The house looks beautiful, I appreciate the more natural looking gardens.

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  24. Absolutely love historical places! These pictures are just lovely! Thank you for sharing. I have only had the pleasure of meeting one other blogging friend and it was wonderful! Thank you for your kind words on my blog and get well wishes, I haven't been this sick in a long time! Have a great day!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  25. Hi Amy, such a lovely post! I love the pictures and the story! It is amazing to meet a person that you only knew on the Internet!

    Sandra

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  26. What a lovely and interesting place to meet up with a friend. The flowers are beautiful especially the alliums, just gorgeous. Hope you're keeping cool in this heatwave! X

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  27. Wow, looks like you had a wonderful day with Sara and so much to see there! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos Amy, and I love those pretty pale pinky lilac peonies!
    Gill xx

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  28. How lovely to meet a fellow blogger. I'm so pleased you had a wonderful day in such beautiful surroundings. X

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  29. What a beautiful area and a beautiful place!! The flowers are all gorgeous too (love those peonies!!)
    That tree is really cool.

    What a perfect place to meet up with a great friend and enjoy the day. ;)
    xo

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  30. Beautiful Alliums - it is lovely that you had a great day with your blog friend Sara

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  31. Sounds like a lovely day Amy!

    Have a good week!

    Madelief x

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  32. Fabulous grounds. They're obviously into purple and white.. it works though!

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  33. It looks like a beautiful place and the grounds are very attractive. Those alliums are very striking, but I think I prefer the peonies, so blowsy and feminine. Funnily enough we have a forked branch that we plan to prop up our drooping apple tree with and haven't got round to doing it yet - your post has reminded me!
    Cathy x

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  34. It all looks lovely, Amy. The propped up tree looks amazing - in colour and in black and white! :o)

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  35. Amy! what lovely and beautiful place, I lovethe pictures!!
    Thanks Amy:))
    xoxox

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  36. I love these purple flowers! Look georgeous!!!

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  37. Hi Amy. How exciting to meet a fellow blogger! The grounds are beautiful! I too met a blogger while I was on vacation in CA! If you have a minute maybe you could take a visit! Have a nice end of the week and weekend.

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  38. It's so wonderful to meet a blog friend, and when you get to do it at a place like this, it's even better!
    The grounds are beautiful, and that tree is very interesting!

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  39. What a beautiful and interesting place! Lovely flowers! :)
    Thank you for sharing, Amy, and have a great day! xx

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  40. From your photos and description of Hatchlands it sounds like a lovely place to meet your blog friend. It's always good to have friends with the same interests and especially nice when you can get together for the day. It must have been a relaxing break.

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  41. Amazing how many real friendships are formed thanks to blogging ! If I look what 1,5 year of blogging has done for me - I have met the most amazing people and have several new real good friends !

    I was wondering : about those National Trust properties, how does it work in England ? Does the National Trust lets them to private persons, like here with Hatchlands ? Does the tenant need to fulfill special conditions (family links with the property or something similar ?), and does he have certain obligations ? And the National Trust itself, is it government-owned (in other words, were do they get their funds ?) ?

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    1. Hi Ingrid, good questions!

      The National Trust is a charity. It gets its income from charging entrance fees, from membership costs and sales in the gift shops and so on. It is not owned by the government and does not get government funding - as far as I am aware! I don't know so much about the tenancy side of things. Sometimes properties are let out for all kinds of reasons and yes, I think that tenants have obligations in terms of upkeep and so on and they pay rent of course too. It is usually small properties that are not suitable for opening to the public - farm buildings and things like that that have been included in larger donations. For example a gatehouse for a large mansion might be let out to a tenant.

      I hope that helps! xx

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    2. Thank you for your answer !! I was really wondering how it works - we have nothing similar here in Belgium. We have a lot of government (or maybe more correct to say country-owned) culturally significant places, which are (mostly all) open to the public (with or without entrance fees). We also have "protected" buildings, where owners/tenants cannot change anything that may have an impact on historical value, but these are most often not open to the public (since privately owned). But an organization like your National Trust is something we don't have over here !

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  42. What a lovely looking place. How nice to meet up with a blogging friend. Glad you had a good time.

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  43. It was lovely seeing Hatchlands through your eyes Amy and thank you for photographing so many of the beautiful trees. Hatchlands was one of my favourite haunts when the children were little and we used to have a lot of fun in the garden and in the park. One day I'll have to write about my bull experience whem my son was in the backpack and quite expert at mooing! The walks through the estate are brilliant and there is always so much to see. The lunchtime concerts in the house are a wonderful,experience and I think the house interiors are fabulous thanks to Alec Cobbe's excellent eye for drawing, painting, hanging pictures and furniture arranging!

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  44. Oh I love hearing about bloggy meet ups! And what a gorgeous place to choose too. I am delighted it went so well xxx

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  45. So glad you finally managed to meet up. I know you were disappointed when it had to be postponed. CZnnot believe that there were 8 pianos in one room. Had not ever heard if this house. Will put it on my must visit list x

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