Grimsthorpe Castle August 14.
The visit to this little known house and parkland in Lincolnshire proved to be a great day out. A number of members consider this to have been the most enjoyable trip in recent years. Currently a member of the Historic Houses Association, part of the property was built was built in the 13th century but the majority was added by Baron Willoughby de Eresby on the occasion of his marriage to Maria de Salinas, lady–in–waiting to Katherine of Aragon, in 1516. It has remained in the family ever since. Sir John Vanburgh added the front of the house in the eighteenth century and it contains important collections of tapestries, portraits and furniture including several thrones from the Palace of Westminster. After coffee on arrival, an hour long coach tour of the 3000 acres park was led by Mr Ray Biggs, the property administrator, who gave an extremely knowledgeable and fascinating talk on the grounds and house. This included the history of the whole site, areas of special scientific interest within the park and potential problems and diseases relating to the many hundreds of different variety of trees some of which were re–planted in the 17th century. We had a good lunch of quiche, salad and potatoes followed by an afternoon touring the house in guided groups. This left time to explore the gardens and have an ice cream and cup of tea before departing for home. A truly enjoyable and memorable visit.