Saturday, August 1, 2015

Highclere Castle

Thursday, August 30, Sister Stewart, Sister Gilman, Elder Cannon and I were able to go and visit Highclere Castle.  This is better known as the place where Downton Abby takes place! At least the major filming. We had to order tickets last February and this was one of the only dates available for this summer.  We had a delightful time exploring the gardens as they have a gate opening up into a secret garden which open to another secret garden, which goes into another secret garden.  The Earls of Carnarvon have had the castle since 1679.  As we went to the castle, we also had admission to an Egyptian exhibit.  The Egyptian exhibit was amazing! It filled a large area of the basement. I lose track of the Earls and Duchesses etc,   but one of them became very interested in archeology and was able to go to Egypt where he was able to discover and collect a huge assortment of ancient Egyptian relics.  There are a couple of rooms of authentic relics and several other rooms of replicas of things they once had but are now back in Egypt.  Of course there is no photography in the Egyptian exhibit - it has extremely low lighting -  or the castle. These pictures are from some of the grounds and exterior of the castle. Much of the castle is in terrible disrepair and the family mostly lives in a cottage on the estate.  The grounds are so extensive that you would never find them! Many movies have been filmed in parts of the castle, but Downton Abbey has caused a huge increase in the number of visitors. The proceeds from all these visitors has helped in the overwhelming projects to repair it.

Ever Changing Gardens at the London Temple

Sister Stewart and I, Sister Cannon, go walking most mornings at 6:15 to 7:00 before we go to work.  Every season has a variety of blooming plants and bushes.  These pictures are just some of the ones we have seen during July.

Jordanne Burgess's visit and Nymans

Our whole mission travelled to London to the Hyde Park Chapel for a conference with the London Mission.  Elder Holland came and spoke to us.  It was a wonderful experience.  That evening we picked up a rental car and then went to the train station in Lingfield.  We picked up Jordanne Burgess who was travelling in the UK.  She came down from Scotland for a couple of days. On Saturday the 13th, we were able to go to Nymans. It is an estate with a huge, lovely home and astonishing gardens with plants from all over the world.  It has wooded areas, play areas, including a large crochet field.  The home was partially destroyed by fire in 1947 so only part of the house is inhabitable.

Visiting Chartwell!  We are dreadfully behind on our posts.  On June 7, 2015 Elder Cannon and I and Sister Stewart visited Chartwell.  It was one of the favorite homes of Winston Churchill.  The house is much like it was when Churchill lived there.  It also has one of the largest single collections of Churchill's paintings.  No pictures are allowed inside the house, but the grounds are beautiful.  There are several lakes and ponds and garden areas all around.  These are just a few of the sights on the grounds!