Monday, June 23, 2008

It was a dark and stormy day - 21 June 2008

Knebworth HouseFor the past 6 years we have driven up the A1 past the signs to Knebworth House so we decided that it really was time that we took Exit 7 to see what was there. As with many of the stately homes in England, it has been passed down through a range of descendants, unusually mostly female members, but is still in the ‘same’ family after 500 years.

Knebworth House gardensPossibly the most famous owner, Edward Bulwer Lytton, penned the oft quoted words, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. Perversely, he was also the first to start a novel (Paul Clifford) with the words, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

The dinosaursThe beautiful formal gardens at Knebworth House are complimented by a more wilderness area that is home to just under 70 life-size dinosaurs, many familiar species and a few not so familiar. It is most interesting to walk amongst these imposing models.

Shaw’s CornerNot far away is Shaw’s Corner, the home of the author GB Shaw. Because of another evening event the house closed early and we missed the chance to visit again so contented ourselves with a walk through the garden past his writing shed mounted on a turntable to allow Shaw to catch the maximum daylight.

Palladian churchThe ‘new’ (1778) local village church was built as a ‘garden ornament’ by the Lord of the Manor to provide a classical, Palladian, view from the big house.

No comments: