April 23rd, 2009

reading

A Far Cry from Castle Howard: Madresfield, The Real Brideshead




Madresfield Court in Worcestershire must be one of the most romantic houses in England. Enclosed by a moat, defended from the world by massive, twelfth century oak doors, it has a mediaeval heart which has sprouted a gothic tower and turrets. Most remarkably, it has been in the same family for a thousand years. From being opportunistic country squires the Lygons progressed, through the inheritance of fabulous wealth, to become Earls of Beauchamp and friends of royalty. What a blessing the National Trust has not got its paws on the house and the detritus of generations survives alongside treasures of historic importance. This book, though, is not so much a history of the house as of the family who lived in it. Collapse )