On Friday Clive and Karen planned a special outing for us. We drove about 36 miles northeast where we visited the Chatsworth House, just inside the Peak District National Park. This area is also known as the Derbyshire Dales and books such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice are set in this area. The current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have private apartments there and they are able to keep the house going by opening it for tours, weddings, and photography of special events. I looked on the website to see how much a wedding package would cost and they don't even list the price. As they say, "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."
The house was amazing, though way too gaudy for my tastes. But the scenery! Oh, the scenery! I could definitely stand to look out the windows at that!!! The "entry way" is the Painted Hall in which the ceilings are painted (but then they also seemed to be in the other parts of the house as well).
Here we have the Duke of Devonshire. Oh wait, no, that's John!
I've got a gazillion pictures taken throughout the house, but I'll spare you and just show a few.
How would you like this for a bedroom?
Or this for your dining room?
Being watched over by the ancestors.
Anybody recognize this from a scene in Pride and Prejudice (the movie)?
After touring the house, we went out for a delicious meal at the Robin Hood Inn, but we never did meet up with Robin Hood and his merry men.
After lunch, we went back to walk through the gardens, which are extensive. We never did have time to walk through the meadows in front of the house where the sheep were, but you could.
These arches are actually apple trees that they have pruned in a special way.
The fountain and waterfall were one of my favorite things. The steps of the water fall were all built in different heights and with different textured materials so that the water falling over each section of steps sounded different. One would remind you of a babbling brook, one of a waterfall, etc. Plus the scenery from there was beautiful (too bad the house had scaffolding on it).
The sheep in the meadow.
One last glimpse of the house before we left.
The next day we drove to Newark where we met up with more friends from years ago in Niger, Graham and Pauline. We saw the remains of a Norman castle, parts of it still standing thousands of years later. We went up in one of the remaining towers.
King John died here in 1216. There were a lot of demonstrations of medieval days and a re-enactment of King John's death.
Then we went over to the National Civil War Museum and learned more about the history of the Civil War between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers.
And had tea with our friends because having tea is a fantastic British practice that I would adopt if it weren't so hot here. We really did have tea, it just hadn't come yet. John had some sort of soft drink. Now that I think of it, I think I had hot chocolate that time around, but mostly I drank a lot of tea while we were in England!
The next day we attended church where Clive is the vicar. We also got in on a special dinner that some members of the church were hosting. I can't put up any pictures of people in their church as God is using Clive and Karen in amazing ways in the lives of M*sm background believers.
It was really great to see friends again and we really appreciate the way they went out of their way to make the weekend truly memorable for us.