Thursday, 29 May 2014

An Away Day at the National Trust's Scotney Castle, House and Estate

May is a lovely time to visit Scotney Castle, House and Grounds in the garden of England, viz. Kent.  Although it was half term week with good weather, which draws the crowds, the beautiful NT property is a pleasure to behold.  The last Spring glory of nature makes the trip even more enjoyable.

I have not been to Scotney for many years. On my last visit the house was not open to the public.  It was agreed that the NT should take over the extensive property and grounds in the late 1950s, but while Betty Hussey was still alive the house should remain off limits to NT members.

  Since 2007 the house has been open for viewing, as Betty Hussey died in her 99th year earlier in the decade. She gave instructions that the house should be shown as she lived in it. And today it retains her personal touch and taste. It is as if she has just left for a holiday and everything is in place for her return.

 Her husband,Christopher, was editor of Country Life magazine in the 1930s and during the early years of the Second World War.

 I understand that Betty helped him by taking photographs of selected country houses for magazine articles.

 He died in 1970, so she was a widow for well over 30 years.

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