Sunday, May 29, 2005

The £10million house

The Bank Holiday weekend is once again upon us. This brings with it the promise of good weather and the reality of poor weather. The start of yet another series of Big Brother with the promise of good viewing and the reality of more car crash TV, (have you seen this years contestants??).

And as all Bank Holidays it involves driving into the countryside and seeing the marvels of what this country has to offer. So Saturday popped down to see Kay & Paul, having not had a chance to see them since Christmas, so a good chance to catch up again since their Australian journey last month. We decided we would be up an early this morning and take a trip down the A25 to Ightam Mote near Sevenoaks. Ightam, (pronounced Ite-um, although not mentioned in the Doomsday Book is derived from the Saxon "Ehtaham", from Ehta a Jutish name and ham, meaning settlement), is an old manor house, started in 1330 and continually added to over the centuries by the 20 generations that have lived their up until the last owner, the American businessman Charles Henry Robinson, left it to the National Trust in 1985.
When the NT acquired it, it was in a state of almost falling down, being riddled with death watch beetle and the general effects of age. The NT then embarked on one of their most ambitious restoration projects ever, dismantling the entire building and rebuilding it almost from scratch,
conserving as much as they could and restoring where necessary. It was decided that they would restore it to the point they acquired in 1985, but also restoring each layer of previous building. This involved such things as remaking intricate carvings, then promptly covering them up with newer building, so retaining the history for future generations. Probably a bit of overkill here, but no doubt with a building of this importance, an expensive necessity.
Click the pic above to be taken to the slideshow of all the pics taken today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having just read Anya Seton's "Green Darkness" (highly recommended reading along with her tour de force, "Katherine"!) I conducted the obligatory, Google search for Ightam Mote and arrived at this delightful sight. So typically and beautifully British, be it the architecture or the gardens. Thank you for the beautful tour. I hope to visit someday and see even more!