To Winchester College and Barrington Court

On Monday to Barrington Court in Somerset, a little known National Trust house, but a real gem of an Elizabethan manor house, which was restored as a rich man’s dwelling in the 1920s after it had been used partly as a cider barn.

It has the most charming garden setting and the interiors are part furnished by the Stuart Interiors who do many historic reconstructions such at that we have featured on Edward I’s bedchamber at the Tower.

It was a long journey but I had the company of the expert Nicholas Cooper, and on the way back also fell into conversation with a charming young German lady architect who works in Cambridge and was designing a new church of all things.

I note with sadness the death of one of my heroes,
Sir John Smith
, founder of the Landmark Trust, who I was once lucky enough to travel around Palermo with. He was a very inspiring and rather original talker.

Also on Friday evening I visited my old school for the first time in 20 years responding to a request to give a 20 minutes careers talk; I am not sure I was top billing against the army (two men in uniform) and the city (two men in suits), but the boys were very polite and attentive and even asked some questions. It was interesting to see the old school again, looking very handsome in the spring sunshine. I was kindly shown some of the historic rooms by the Fellows Librarian, Geoff Day, including the new donation of a near complete run of Trollope novels, all autographed for his own son, being formally received on Friday. Trollope was a boy at Winchester College for three years, I doubt he had to suffer any ‘careers talks’.

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