Arlington Court, a National Trust property in north Devon, UK, recently hosted a special exhibition of work by illustrator and felt artist Amanda Graham. Children can quickly get bored when visiting historic properties but on this occasion 6 of Amanda’s felt mice had been hidden in some of the rooms for children (and adults) to find.
The house, set in parkland with gardens, was home to the Chichester family of sea faring fame (Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world single handed in his yacht Gypsy Moth IV). It has a fine collection of model sailing ships as well as a hoard of objects brought back other members of the family. One of his ancestors, travelled around the world with her female companion and brought back many treasures. There are a number of drawings and paintings by the two women as well. In the grounds there is a walled potager (vegetable garden) and a church whose side door is adorned by two female faces
The stables are home to the carriage museum – a fine collection of horse drawn carriages, including the famous gilded Speaker’s carriage. (The Speaker presides over the debates in the Houses of Parliament. His/her carriage is so special that it is kept in a strictly controlled atmosphere and it is forbidden to photograph it).
It’s a fascinating place to visit. The tea room provides a good selection of cakes, tea and coffee, should you feel in need of sustenance during your visit. According to my nephews, in what they nicknamed the ‘bat cave’, a number of second hand books are also on sale.