I formally declare myself lovingly obsessed with Anglesey Abbey. On Saturday I took a trip with a small group of darlings to this Jacobean-style country house in the nearby village of Lode. Rather than write you a play-by-play on all the things I saw, I figured I’d provide you with a few photos and comments on this fairytale of a place.
We set off on a leisurely stroll down a series of paths just like this one to get to the actual Abbey. Yes, those are lily pads. And yes, they are stretching as far as your eye can see.
One of our Program Advisors had been to the house before and served as an excellent guide through the overwhelmingly beautiful rooms. When I arrived in this particular one, I was so enraptured by the objects and artifacts around me that I completely missed the ceiling! Thankfully, she gave me a gentle reminder to “look up” and now I have this image in my life.
Stunning paintings and portraits covered every inch of wall that wasn’t too busy being impressively ornate on its own. As I walked around, I noticed that my eyes were always drawn to the same dark, Gothic-style scenes. I discovered that they were all painted by the Pethers, two generations of incredible, moonlight-loving artists. My camera could not have done the landscapes justice, so do yourself a favor and find the nearest original.
Real tears of joy came to my eyes when I walked into the library. The original owners of the Abbey, the Fairhavens, were quite smitten with the Tudors so this room was home to several ORIGINAL(!) portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry VIII, and others. As the very same Program Advisor-turned-guide put it, I was in the same room as something that had ALSO been in a room with those figures at some point in history. WHAT? That means I can say I’ve basically met them, right?
Oh, and Queen Elizabeth II also scratched her name into one of the library’s window panes while visiting… Casual.
Another cool thing about this library was the two gorgeous chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They are part of a set of five made by William Kent. The owner of the other three? Vladimir Putin. I believe they’re hanging in one of the Russian palaces.
I could have honestly sat myself down and stared at this view all day long. I’m in love with stone houses. There it is, I’ve said it.
Lord Fairhaven installed a huge Rose Garden at the side of his house. He gets it.
Unfortunately, I was too busy reverting back to the make-believe lands of my childhood to take many pictures of the grounds we walked around after visiting the house but let me tell you: this place is HUGE! 10-year-old me would have had the time of my life here. Plenty of gardens and woods and paths to run rampant through. Yes, I did pick up a stick and carry it around like a wand for a little while.
Before ending my day with some rose lemonade and a slice of Victoria Sponge, we sat ourselves down in a shady nook and I set to work learning how to make daisy chains. Apparently that is a skill acquired by many a British child in their primary school days, but I had never done it! We don’t really have wild daisies in Rhode Island.
I will confess, I cheated a bit. You’re supposed to puncture a hole in the stem with your thumbnail and weave it that way, but I had to resort to making knots because my nails kept wrecking the stems. Quite a meditative experience, regardless.
As was to be expected, my voyage to Anglesey Abbey left me in a state of hopeless daydreams. I hope these pictures can convey at least some of my love for this wonderful treasure.