Wednesday 12 March 2014

Our National Trust Adventures....part 1

Hello Lovelies,
on Saturday we decided to make our first National Trust visit as members. There are quite a few properties we can choose from that are less than an hour away in the car.
The wonderful picture in the handbook sold me on Sudbury Hall ...........

It was an easy trip , but the sun we had been enjoying at home had vanished by the time we arrived. I must say I was little disappointed with the exterior. It was grand and interesting, but I didn't think it was  beautiful........

We walked into a dark hall and were met by friendly volunteers. It was great to simply show our membership cards rather than handing over hard cash :0)

The first room we entered was impressive, with a huge fireplace and high ceiling, but it was dark as well. I didn't see anything to photograph ( that's not like me! ) .......this wasn't what I expected.

But thankfully I didn't need to have worried. The next area we arrived in was the hall, with it's wonderful 17th century cantilevered staircase. It's amazing to think it's about 400 years old and still looking wonderful.....

Here's a second photo, just because I loved it so. I think the luminescent yellow walls really bring it all to life....

This is the Saloon, a very ornate room full of beautiful family portraits ...........

And amazingly intricate plasterwork on the ceiling...........

The library was slightly more relaxed, but it still had those super high ceilings............

This is lady Vernon's sitting room. It was warm and cosy. You could really imagine a family living in this room, I liked it a lot..........

And I loved the details the Trust had taken the trouble to display............

It had a pretty view of the gardens and lake from the window...........

The "Small Dining Room" was another place you could really see the family using every day.....

Next the arrows we were following pointed downstairs, oh great.... I really like to see "behind the scenes" :0)

There was a lovely volunteer in this room who told us this was not the site of the original kitchen, but a smaller one created in the early part of the twentieth century when the staff became reduced.

The small cupboard you can see near the sink is an early fridge. Ice was placed in the top and food stored below.............

I loved all the baking and cooking  equipment on display . I was particularly interested in the Be-Ro recipe books . Be-Ro was a make of flour and you had to send away for these books in the post.........

And this is mine, it's from 1982 and older than the one far right :0)

Another nostalgic fact I learnt about Sudbury Hall is that it was used as one of the locations for the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.........

how I loved that series

Next it was back upstairs and on the first floor  we entered the Long Gallery. This photo doesn't show it's full length. It was very impressive and flooded with natural light despite the blinds over some windows, that prevent sunlight damaging the paintings.............

Here's an image of the same room when it was used in Pride and Prejudice. It was the interior of Pemberley........

Here's another image from the show.... a painting of Mr Darcy that the BBC commissioned for this room..........

There is an interesting story about what happened to this painting HERE

Anyway, back to the present. This was a beautiful bedroom, with an impressive four poster bed.......

And impressive scaffold tower. This young lady was cleaning the fireplace , it was interesting to see how some of the maintenance is done.........

 a soft brush is used to sweep the dust into a hoover  worn around the waist.

This cosy bedroom showed how later generations  had adapted the building to suit their needs. I loved the window seat.........

Outside again I was happy to see Sudbury hall looks nicer from this side.......

And I loved the golden ball on the roof.........

What a treat the inside of the hall turned out to be, but this is not the end of our visit to Sudbury.
 I'll save the next bit for another post.
Jacquie x


  1. What a lovely property.
    I have the black Be-Ro (left) which once belonged to my mother, and I still use it. I actually leant to cook from it when I was younger.
    Julie xxxxxx

    1. I too learnt to bake from this book which my mother had. Sadly I couldn't find it when we cleared out the house last year.
      Helen in France

  2. Thanks for your hard work on this post, very interesting and nice to see! xx

  3. What a beautiful place!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. It looks a lovely place to visit, one to earmark I think.

  5. Thanks so much for a look around Sudbury Hall, Jacquie - it is a grand place! I also have the dark brown/black Be-ro book as well as a celebration issue that came out years ago; they were good little books with sensible recipes and so simple to follow and learn from! Joy xo

  6. I think it is wonderful, I see what you mean about it not looking beautiful. Before you mentioned it I was going to say it looks just like the rooms from Pride and Prejudice. I love Colin Firth, I had the privilege of meeting him some years back and spent a long time talking about football hehe!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog, means a lot when I am feeling all woeful xxxx

  7. Thank you for sharing your photos with us, this looks like an amazing place...

  8. I too have the black and white Be-ro book which belonged to my granny. I still use it along side my Anniversary edition, sadly now without the front cover.
    Love your blog and seeing you in print this month! x

  9. What a great trip and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

  10. Brilliant!! I know that in The Netherlands there have been petitions for something like a national trust for years now. And post like these just show what can be done with proper funding.

  11. Thanks for the tour, Jacquie. :)

  12. I could see myself sitting in Lady Vernon's room with some crochet work looking outside and enjoying the view :-)

  13. Loved!

    thanks for the beautiful scenery!

  14. Oh Jacquie I love Sudbury Hall and I'm wondering if your next part is going to be about the Museum of Childhood - what a magical place that is. If you're thinking about another trip in the same direction try Calke Abbey - faded grandeur at it's best. Look forward to the next part! Jane x

  15. Sudbury Hall looks wonderful, I'm sure you will find many other fantastic NT properties to enjoy. I too have the same 1982 Be-ro cookery book as you and still cook recipes from it! Sarah x

  16. Thank you so much for taking us along on you visit to Sudbury Hall. I've toured some place in London and Bath, but being from the U.S. I don't get much chance to visit England. I so enjoyed this post, from the kitchen to the bedrooms. The painted ceilings alway amaze me. Without our modern technology, works of art were created that last to this day. Versaille in France was a complete amazement to me. I'm so looking forward to future posts about your other visits.

  17. Your post had me rushing to our 2014 NT guide to see where this delightful building was, slight sigh of disappointment as I had assumed Suffolk seeing Sudbury. Midlands and Derbyshire even further from the Metropolis but a possibility when planning a holiday further north, so many thanks for alerting me to thiis.

  18. Looks like a very cool trip! Thank you for the pictures - it feels like I am walking through the building with you! :-)

    I just adapted your owl pattern into a cat - I hope that's alright with you... I love your owl pattern to pieces btw! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Take care,

    There is some problem with my comments... google doesn't let me post. Let's hope this one goes though :-)

  19. That's my favouite adaptation of P&P watched it so many time, and recognised the long hall straight away. When we go to statley home I always enjoy the gardens so much more that the houses, thanks for the tour
    Clare x

  20. Love the Be-Ro cookbooks, just purchased the 41st edition last September which has some new recipes in, been making Apricot & Sunflower Seed Oat Cookies, I still keep the old cookbooks, can't seem to throw them away! Geraldine x

  21. Jacquie, this was such a great post.

    Wonderful to see what your NT membership lead you and yours to. And many thanks for taking your camera along and for your very interesting comments on the tour of Sudbury. Sometimes such magnificent "homes" just seem way beyond any mere mortal's comprehension. I do like you as my tour guide.

    Wouldn't it be loverly to just take up residence in one of those grand rooms...with kitchen and bathroom privileges, of course. I would jump at the chance!

    Over here in the States I'd never before known anything about Be-ro and thank you for the introduction. Perhaps on my next trip to the UK, I might visit some thrift shop or other source and come across one of these booklets. Many thanks!

    Now I am really looking forward to where you might be taking us next. xo

  22. I love to see National trust properties in different parts of the country, I really must mark them in the book for future visits.

  23. I'm glad that you had such a great day out!! It looks like a very interesting place to visit, very imposing and grand! xx

  24. Very interesting place - your photo's are fabulous - I particularly like the pictures of the kitchen - I too have a Be-Ro book I use it all the time - I used to used their flour too it was great, difficult to find it now - do they still make it?? Great post.

  25. I loved the tour. Thanks so much for sharing! Pride and Prejudice A big favorite in our house. :)) I cannot fathom all the cleaning!

  26. Thanks for giving us the chance to see inside this historic building. We are such a young country in comparison and don't have these beautiful buildings in Australia.

  27. Hi Jacqui,
    Thanks for the tour. I have never watched any TV or film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice but I do love reading Jane Austen. When I saw your photos of the staircase, I immediately brought it to my daughter's attention because she has been asking me about Jane Austen's books and your photo is exactly how I had pictured the staircase in my mind's eye from Jane Austen's description of the estate and I said so. Later, I laughed when I scrolled down to read that this very house was used for the BBC's version of Pride and Prejudice. Just goes to show what a descriptive writer Jane Austen is and how marvellous your photographs are for capturing the mood and grandeur of Sudbury. I am in Australia and the nearest thing to a stately home that I have visited is the Governor's Residence in my home city but it is nothing like Sudbury. Beautiful. What a lovely afternoon.

  28. We went there in half term and the children loved it. Our girls have passports they stamp every time we go to a different one. Heidi has been to over 30 different places and she is 6!!! Jo x


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