Hanbury Hall is another National Trust property we visited in early June. It is a large William and Mary style country house with extensive grounds and a large parterre. It was built in 1701 by a wealthy lawyer and MP called Thomas Vernon.
We wandered around the house at our own speed, asking questions of the friendly staff when we wanted a bit of extra information. Several of the rooms are set up so that you (or accompanying children) can pretend you lived there. There are clothes to dress up in and we sat in the 1920s sitting room and listened to music on the wind-up gramophone. In some of the upstairs rooms there were magnificent views over the parterre garden.
Outside we went to see the parterre – one of the largest we have seen in this country and was in excellent condition. After the cold spring the plants in the various sections were still rather small but should be wonderful in the summer. We also went to the orangery and to the walled garden but think we were too early in the year for many vegetables to be at their best. I feel that if you are particularly interested in the garden parts of the property a mid to late summer might be better. The house is great at all times. We were slightly disappointed by the cafe as we arrived soon after 2pm and the only food available was afternoon tea – no sandwiches, just cake and scones. The shop was OK and there was a good selection of second-hand books for sale.