Saturday, 6 June 2015

Baronscourt Fête


I have spent a glorious day at Baronscourt, County Tyrone, the country seat of Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn.

Baronscourt estate is a truly enchanting place.


There was a special summer fête today within the grounds in order to raise funds for the Woodland Trust's Centenary Woods project, one of four flagship woods being created throughout the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the 1st World War.



I began the day with a visit to Baronscourt House, where there were guided tours by Lord Anthony Hamilton, the Duke's brother.



I was fortunate enough to meet the Duke and Duchess near the stately porte-cochère. I was warmly welcomed.


Stable-yard entrance

Inside the mansion house, Lord Anthony conducted tours of the principal rooms, including the main hall, the Rotunda, and the long gallery, at the garden front (the present garden front used to be the entrance front).



There is a charming little children's play house within the formal garden beside the House.



Baronscourt boasts a roll-call of old masters, including portraits by van Dyke and Panini, to mention but a few.


Ducal arms

I reminisced with Lord Anthony about his period as custodian of Florence Court estate, County Fermanagh, during the late 1970s.



At lunch-time I made a beeline for the stable-yard kitchen, where ladies of Baroncourt parish were providing delicious cream teas, sandwiches, and pastries.



Later, I ambled towards an army display of trucks, including one mighty beast which had two bunk-beds behind the driver's seat.



At two o'clock, Peter Archdale conducted a most informative woodland walk.



Deep in the woods, there is a replica of a Russian Dacha  (the Duchess is patron of the Pushkin Trust).


Dacha replica



Irish cobs

I left for home at about four-thirty.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the Duke's Panini collection. Does he have any from Italia 1990?

Seamus Bellew said...

Timothy

Thanks for thge blog on the Baronscourt Visit.

I have made a few comments on the heraldry from your photographs.

These can be seen by googling: Baronscourt Heraldry

or following:

http://irishheraldry.blogspot.ie/2015/06/baronscourt-hamilton-heraldry.html

Many thanks,

Seamus.

Timothy Belmont said...

Seamus, not at all.


Anon, I'm afraid I don't know the extent of the Abercorn Panini collection.