Monday, 9 August 2010

Stately Castle Coole

I've spent an enjoyable afternoon at Castle Coole I parked beside the Grand Yard and proceeded to take a brisk walk round the Lake Walk, which encircles Lough Coole. I signed my name in the visitors' book, which is inside the diminutive Pump-house.

Back at the Grand Yard, I pootered about here and there, before going up to the mansion itself, where there was a conducted tour taking place at three-fifteen.

Two volunteer conservators were restoring pelmet curtains in the library and explained the process to us. Castle Coole does have an air of stateliness about it, as opposed to the homeliness of the Argory.

The servants' quarters in the basement are very extensive indeed. One can well imagine the hustle and bustle down there a hundred years ago. Some stone steps are well worn. The National Trust is presently restoring the servants' dining-room, which has two prosaic dining-tables capable of seating up to forty staff. The ratio of servants to family and guests was considerable.

Seemingly Lord Corry, Lord and Lady Belmore's elder son, lives in a private wing of the House when he is at home. Incidentally, Lord Belmore has an impressive collection of old master-type paintings which are kept in the old billiards-room; one of them being so large that it was brought in through the window (which is much larger than the doorway).

Well, I think I shall venture into central Enniskillen later this evening, where I might well have a little snifter.

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