Yes, we did finally go inside the house, but photography wasn’t allowed, so I don’t have any pictures. However, if you go the the Levens Hall web site and watch the pictures rotate through, you can see some things we saw. One of the pictures is of the drawing room and the Elizabethan overmantel. I think the carved figure shown on the web site is from the Elizabethan paneling in the small drawing room, and I confess it reminded me of George Brown’s work at Townend. The museum room had several Napoleonic artifacts, including, as best Mr. M can remember, a bottle of port. Knowing my fixation with all things Regency, he drew my attention to something—sadly,neither of us can remember what—Beau Brummel gave one of the daughters of the house.
After seeing the house, we decided to stop in the Bellingham Buttery to have a snack, and Mr. M decided to try their Morocco Ale. I had a taste, and I think it was the best of the local ales. From there we went to the gift shop, since I wanted to bring something back to our neighbor who was keeping an eye on our house while we were gone. I picked out some little gardening shears. I was so pleased, since our neighbor is a gardener. (Sadly, when I was packing to come home, I kept them in my carryon. I was thinking, “oh, I don’t want to lose this gift, so I don’t want to chance putting it in my checked bag” when I should have been thinking, “sharp object, must go in checked baggage.” The security man at the Manchester airport was very nice when he asked me if I had any “snips.” I said, no, of course not. So he searched my bag, and when he finally got to that section of my backpack and I saw them, it hit me—oh, yes I do! I felt SO stupid—and the shears went into the airport garbage.)
While in the gift shop, I saw a little pamphlet entitled: “The History of the Bagot Goats and Bagot’s Park.” Somehow I got chatting with the woman who was ringing up my doomed “snips” purchase, and she revealed that there was a part of the Levens Hall estate that had completely escaped my attention—Levens Park—and there were indeed Bagot Goats to be seen there. Well! I could not pass up a chance to see some unusual goats, even though it required a scamper across the highway. Mr. M had planned for us to take the next bus back to Windermere, but I persuaded him to delay an hour so we could go looking for goats. Which we did—but I’ll save those pictures for the next post.