Sunday, February 19, 2006

16May1857, Falconhurst, Kent

FALCONHURST, May 16th, 1857.
—Oh, such a beautiful house ! Built of yellow-grey stone, large, with one wing, and a long pretty range of offices. Bow windows, and all of them plate glass. A very pretty front door, with a cut iron hook for handle. Opens into a good-sized carpeted hall, with such pretty white and gold pillars, supporting the staircase landing and passage above. The staircase is of dark waxed wood with the most beautiful banisters I have ever seen. Oak, and very massive and low, with some of the interstices filled up with T and one with C, I suppose for Mrs. Talbot, as her name is Caroline. The staircase leading into a long passage, out of which open four rooms, the first and last of which are Mamma's and ours, facing the stairs. Both with bow windows, and such delightful rooms. The passage turns down at the top leading to Cecil and Miss Harris' room, and the schoolroom. On the ground floor are the library and a little study opening out of it, which rooms we occupy. Then a large uninhabited drawing-room, with pillars at one end. These all open out of a passage corresponding with the one above. At the end of the passage, the nice large dining-room. A door on the opposite side of the passage, leading to the kitchen and other offices, all on the same floor : so nice. On the south of the house a terrace, and all round it a large garden. The approach on the north. The view a pretty cultivated wooded country, with a few rare cottages, and much rising and sinking ground. One or two woods close to the house. On rising ground within a quarter of an hour's walk, the little church, whose spire is seen from the house. The trees bushy and plentiful, but small and slender, without much variation, being chiefly dwarf oak. Witherby, the butler, showed us to-day a darling linnet's nest, with five birdlings in it, in a little box tree close to the house. We also saw a thrush's nest in a laurel in the garden, with five eggs. There is daily service, and we went through a lovely wood, by a little grassy path to the church, which is lovely. Of the same stone as the house, only one aisle, and a beautiful porch, with these words over the church-door : " This Church was founded and begun by the Honble. John Chetwynd Talbot, and completed in fulfilment of his instructions by his widow, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. The memory of the just is blessed." So beautiful ; surely what he would like to be there.

No comments: