Delightful Deene Park!
So we come to the end of this whistlestop tour of some of the favorite places I visited in Europe at the beginning of this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing all the photos! If you’d like to see them as I take them, I’m always doing trip updates on Facebook when I travel. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/annacampbell.writer
I’m finishing up with a very special place, Deene Park in Northamptonshire near Corby. This is a classic English house in a classic garden in the midst of classic English countryside. When I posted these photos on social media, a few people said they looked like a movie set and I’d have to agree! We were very lucky too that we were there on a perfect late spring day. Everything was fresh and green and blooming. We were also very lucky that we could see the house and estate, as it’s one of those places still in private hands and it’s only open to the public once in a blue moon.
This house was originally built in 1514 and is a fascinating mixture of Tudor and Georgian architecture. It’s been the home of the Brudenells since then and the family still live here – there’s a special feeling to these old houses when the family are still in residence. You really sense that you’re visiting a home not a historical showplace. Although Deene is still a historical showplace, of course!
The most famous owner of Deene Park is the 7th Earl of Cardigan who famously led the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. Inside the house, there’s lots of stuff about his exploits (sexual as well as martial – he was a bit of a naughty boy!). It’s fascinating – and even more fascinating is the rather wild woman he married after she lived as his mistress for years. I think she’s going to make an appearance in a book at some stage so watch this space. You’d have to love her for her maiden name alone – Adeline Horsey de Horsey!
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house, which I always think is a pity. But on the other hand, the grounds were absolutely glorious and very much in the style I think of when I write an outdoor scene at one of my opulent fictional country houses.
So feast your eyes on the gardens of Deene Park and when you’re reading one of my stories, picture something like this!