Raynham Hall, Fakenham
The Marquess and Marchioness Townshend
William Kent was active in decorating Norfolk houses during the 1720s, particularly at Holkham and Houghton, but it is a particular and rare pleasure to be able to see his work at Raynham. The house was started in the 1620s by Roger Townshend, inspired by the work of Inigo Jones, and continued to evolve throughout the century. It was only in 1724 that Kent became involved with the interior decoration of the house for ‘Turnip’ Townshend, the second viscount. He designed the magnificent Marble Hall, the very typical enfilade of rooms on the east side of the house (which reveal how surprisingly intimate this large house is) and the State Dining Room with its screen based on the Arch of Severus in Rome. Lord and Lady Townshend will take us around the house and we will also hope to have talk on the portraits by Conservationist Restorer Kiffy Stainer-Hutchins.
Sennowe Park, Guist
Mr and Mrs Charles Temple-Richards
The approach to Sennowe is spectacular. The arrow-straight drive enters the park between a pair of lodges and blocks of woodland before opening into parkland undulating down to a lake and the River Wensum. The house which stands on a shoulder of hillside gazing proudly out over park, lake and the landscape beyond, was originally built in 1774, remodelled by Decimus Burton (of Kew Palm House fame) in 1855 and then transformed in 1907 in the Edwardian Baroque style for Thomas Albert Cook, grandson of Thomas Cook, whose descendants live here still. The Italianate garden of the same date falls towards the park in monumental terraces. This is a wonderful and very comfortable house, whose history will be explained to us by Charles Temple-Richards, the current owner, before lunch in the winter garden.
Silverstone Farm, North Elmham
George Carter Esq
George Carter has been gardening the two acres at Silverstone Farm for the last 20 years. He was originally a sculptor who turned garden designer during the 1980s. His style is architectural, classical and green. He has divided the garden into a series of beautifully proportioned, predominantly hornbeam-hedged theatrical spaces and vistas, decorated by sculptural objects ranging from gates formed out of garden implements (very much his trademark) to urns made from plywood. Invariably the practical is made beautiful; a modest garden shed is given a Vanbrughian makeover, a wooden post has a delicious apple-shaped lead finial. This is a garden concerned with structure and ornament, but based on a very sound knowledge and appreciation of plants.
There are seven extremely comfortable double and twin bedrooms, all with stunning views across the terraced gardens and park at Sennowe available for bed and breakfast. If you would like to book, please contact Virginia Temple-Richards directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.sennowepark.com