Photography by Tom Lane
The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation, founded in 1895 to “promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest” in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. One of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom its properties include over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves.
Over 20 years ago we first became members of the National Trust but because of travelling commitments we rarely had chance to visit any of their locations and so let the membership lapse. Since retirement we have much more time on our hands and so rejoined in December of 2020. It’s our intention to visit the National Trust sites on a regular basis and my aim is include photographs from these visits in this dedicated section of the website.
As usual new content will be added at the top.
Cragside, Rothbury, Morpeth, Northumberland Monday, 20th March 2023
Cragside is the original ‘smart’ home, being illuminated by hydro-electricity and powered by hydraulics. This pioneering home is filled with Victorian gadgets for efficient modern living. Man-made lakes, waterfalls and swathes of rhododendron combine to form the surrounding fantasy mountain landscape, imagined and engineered by inventor and arms manufacturer William Armstrong and his wife Margaret.
We particularly enjoyed this site as there is a ‘Carriage Drive’ which allows you to drive your own car around a 6 mile loop of the estate.
Gibside, near Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear. Saturday, 18th March 2023
This Georgian Landscape Garden was built with ‘wow’ moments in mind, according to the National Trust Guide. There are different walking trials running through acres of gardens, the ruin of Gibside Hall, a columned chapel, man-made terraces and impressive views.
Above: The Chapel
Above: The Orangery
Above: Gibside Hall
Above: The Stables
Cotehele, St Dominick, near Saltash, Cornwall Wednesday, 27th July 2022
Cotehele was the ancestral home to the Edgcumbe family for centuries. The Tudor house, perched high above the River Tamar, is decorated with tapestries, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture. The interior tour has changed little over the years, although the furnishings were titivated as Cotehele continued to inspire its adoring owners.
The grounds are extensive and this was our favourite property, as in addition to the house there was a water mill and a quay-side area.
Saltram, near Plymouth, Devon Wednesday, 27th July 2022
High above the River Plym, Saltram was the home of the Parker family from 1743 and the house reflects the prominent lifestyle during the Georgian period.
Compton Castle, Marldon, Paignton, Devon Tuesday, 26th July 2022
A rare survivor, this medieval fortified manor house has high curtain walls and portcullises. It was once the home of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, part-founder of the New World, and his descendants still live there.
Coleton Fishacre, Brownstone Road, Kingswear, Devon Tuesday, 26th july 2022
This 1920’s house with its elegant art deco interiors, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the Jazz Age.The former country home of the D’Oyly Carte family certainly captures the atmosphere of a bygone era. The gardens are superb with rare plants from New Zealand and South Africa, with the path leading down to a costal viewpoint.
Knightshayes, near Tiverton, Devon Monday, 25th July 2022
The Gothic Revival house is a rare example of William Burger, whose opulent designs have inspired extremes of opinion. The walled garden combines full productivity with aesthetic appeal and is an excellent example of a restored Victorian kitchen garden.The garden is said to be one of the finest in the South West but with the lack of rain in the months prior to our visit, it certainly didn’t look to be at its best.
Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton, near Exeter, Devon Monday, 25th July 2022
Reminiscent of a medieval fortress, the castle was designed and built between 1910 and 1930 by the renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for the self-made millionaire Julius Drewe. It is thought to be the last castle built in England.
At the time of our visit, as can be seen in the first image, the weather wasn’t too good and so we didn’t bother walking through the gardens for fear of getting soaked.
Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Devon Thursday, 21st July 2022
Hundreds of years ago, Cistercian Monks chose this valley as the ideal spot in which to worship, farm and trade. The Abbey, later converted to a house, today combines furnished rooms with museum galleries, bringing to life the story of how seafaring adventurers Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake changed the shape of Buckland Abbey and the fate of England. There is a very impressive medieval Great Barn which is said to be the largest of its kind in England.
(Leica SL2 with the 24-90mm Vario-Elmarit ASPH lens)
Belton House, near Grantham, Lincolnshire Sunday, 7th November 2021
Belton house sits elegantly in formal gardens with views across pleasurable grounds and an ancient deer park. Although built on a relatively modest scale, it has a superlative collection of porcelain and silver, a world-renowned library an architectural finest that reflects the wealth and education of generations of the Brownlow family. Unfortunately at the time of our visit the house was closed.
(Leica SL2 with the 24-90mm Vario-Elmarit ASPH lens)
Felbrigg Gardens & Estate, near Cromer, Norfolk Saturday, 25th September 2021
Felbrigg Hall has been a home to many generations over the last 400 years and is set in an extensive parkland which contains a working walled garden, church, lake and ancient woodland. I’m not really interested in horticulture but found the gardens very impressive and even tried to take photo’s of individual flowers, even though I didn’t have a clue what they were.
All photo’s were taken with a Leica SL Camera and 24-90mm and 16-35mm Vario-Elmarit lenses.
Five images “stitched” together in Lightroom to create a Panoramic view of Felbrigg Hall
Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire Friday, 13th August 2021
This historic Water Mill, which still produces flour, is set on a beautiful part of the Great River Ouse and surrounded by meadowland. Being located just outside St Ives (the Cambridgeshire one) makes it only a 15 minute drive from where we live. Unfortunately at the time of our visit we couldn’t get into the actual Mill because there was a wedding taking place, but this was no problem, as it is so convenient to revisit in the future.
(Leica M10 with Carl Zeiss 50mm f2.0 Planar lens.)
Five images ‘stitched’ together in Lightroom to create a Panorama of the Water Mill
Oxburgh Hall 26 July, 2021
Located in Oxborough, near Swaffham in Norfolk, this magnificent manor house was built by the Bedingfield family in 1482. The moat and reflections of the house in it really add to the charm of this property, which as can be seen in the photographs, is presently undergoing significant conservation so the outside of the building is wrapped in scaffolding. It is understood the work is due for completion by the end of this year and so a further visit next year is inevitable.
Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill 19 July, 2021
Jacobean-style house with gardens and a working Water Mill. A passion for tradition and impressing guests inspired one man to transform a run-down country house and desolate landscape.At the age of 30, the future Lord Fairhaven began to create his first home. Wanting to inspire and surprise visitors he created a spectacular garden with planting for all seasons and a cosy house in which to entertain. Life revolved around horse racing and shooting, and guests enjoyed 1930’s luxury.
All images were taken with a Leica M10 with the 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar, the (Zeiss Planar 50mm F2.0 and the Zeiss Distagon 35mm F1.4 lenses)
Images below of Lode Mill
Boscastle, Cornwall 20 June,2021
Boscastle is a tiny port with a natural harbour, set in a narrow ravine, and boasts some very attractive thatches and white-washed cottages. Before the railways, Boscastle was a thriving port, serving much of North Cornwall. It has come to prominence recently as a result of the terrible floods of summer 2004.
For many years, Boscastle has had a Witchcraft Museum, with a ghoulish mixture of exhibits. This was severely damaged by the floods; there is also a pottery in the village in addition to several gift shops. Much of the land in and around Boscastle is owned by the National Trust.
Peckover House and Garden, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire 13 May, 2021
Peckover House is located on the River Nene in close proximity to the town centre, and as such was a popular area for merchants when the port was still being used for trade. Unfortunately the house was closed due to the Corvid situation, but the two acre gardens were well worth the visit. Once inside the gardens it was difficult to comprehend that they are located in a busy Fenland town; almost like an oasis. (Leica SL2 with 24-90mm Vario-Elmarit lens)
Ickworth, The Rotunda, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 26 May, 2021
An Italianate Palace in the heart of an ancient deer park. Formal gardens, the rolling Suffolk landscape and woodlands, together with the round house, which celebrates the Hervey family’s passion for Italy, make for a pleasant day out. The fields of daffodils must be magnificent when in full bloom but unfortunately we only caught the very end of them. (Leica SL2 with 24-90mm Vario Elmarit lens)
Wimpole Estate, Royston, Cambridgeshire 19 April, 2021
Is a unique working estate, with an impressive mansion at its heart. Wimpole has acres of parkland, miles of walks, a vibrant walled kitchen garden and Home Farm. So much so that we didn’t cover everything and will certainly be going back for a further visit. (Leica SL2 with 24-90mm Vario-Elmar-Elmarit)