Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Devon, Glorious Devon!
I haven't had a chance to do any sewing or beading today as we went to Devon to see my family. We met up with my Mum and Brother in Topsham, just outside of Exeter. Both of us were born in Devon and we lived in Exeter for 13 years, so in a strange way it felt a little bit like coming home.
We had lunch in the Lighter Inn, one of our favourite haunts when we lived in Exeter. Then had a walk around. So little has changed since we moved away nearly ten years ago.
This sign has always amused me. The streets are so narrow only a lunatic would try to drive a car up here never mind a LGV!!
It was a beautiful day, if a little blustery and chilly. The scenery is stunning wherever you go in Topsham.
After a few pleasant hours in Topsham we went to Exmouth to visit 'A la Ronde', a stunning sixteen sided house, owned by the national Trust. We met a small furry friend near the entrance, who was basking in the sun.
The house was built for two cousins in 1790 to house the large number of items they brought back from a 'Grand Tour'. It has sixteen sides to make the most of natural light. Both cousins were prolific and skilled needlewomen (the house is full of their beautiful work). They would move from room to room as the day progressed, in order to make the most of every bit of precious daylight.
They were highly unusual for women of their time in that they were totally independent. When they died they stipulated in their will that the house should only be passed down though the female family line rather than the male. It is full of lots of beautiful and unusual things collected on their travels. The most famous of which is the 'Shell Gallery' which runs around the top of the house. Unfortunately it is so fragile that visitors are no longer allowed to enter it. You have to view it via remote cameras and computer screens. You can move around and zoom in from all angles.
If you are ever in the Exeter or Exmouth area I would highly recommend a visit.