I guess we all have different memories of National Trust properties when we were growing up. For me it is a total absence of ever having visited a National Trust property . Whether that is true or not I have no objective way of checking. However, what I do remember is being taken to see Staunton Harold reservoir being built and slowly filling up with water. I was not aware that just to the left of the car car park was one of the strangest stately homes in Britain – but then again I suspect I wasn’t the only one. It wasn’t until Calke Abbey was given to the National Trust to look after in the 1980’s that the full strangeness of the house became apparent.
I have been around the house once or twice and once you’ve seen one stuffed animal you’ve seen enough – unfortunately Calke has an abundance of the things which doesn’t really do anything for me. The parkland around the house however is another matter and I find myself visiting the parkland again and again. (Also writing about those visits a lot in this blog.) Yesterday was just the latest in a long line of visits and I can state with out fear of contradiction that Calke Abbey is my favourite National Trust property – although the Farne Islands are up there as well along with….you get the idea.