Thursday, March 14, 2019

Agatha Christie's Holiday Home, Greenway

Do you like Agatha Christie novels?  Do you enjoy her famous writings of mystery and intrigue of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple?  If you do, you may want to visit with us today as we drive to her holiday home, Greenway, located in Torquay, Devon, England.  We have our parking place reserved and are excited to share this beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie and her family.  Come along with us as we travel to Greenway.

Greenway is tucked in an area that is charming and residential.  The home is set in a lovely location by the Dart estuary. 

Today we are traveling by car, but you can come to Greenway by steam train or ferry.  Wouldn't that be fun?

We have our Royal Oak cards and are welcome to tour.  I've mentioned before how wonderful Royal Oak membership is if you are a US citizen and wish to tour National Trust sites!

The view toward the Dart estuary is so peaceful and serene.  I can see why Agatha Christie loved this property.  We can have a seat in one of their chairs for a while or we can go inside. 

Let's go inside.

Agatha Christie was known by her married name, Mrs. Mallowan, locally.  She wanted this place to be a retreat for her and her family away from public eye.

"One day we saw that a house was for sale that I had known when I was young...So we went over to Greenway, and very beautiful the house and grounds were.  A white Georgian house of 1780 or 90, with woods sweeping down to the Dart below, and a lot of fine shrubs and trees-an ideal house, a dream house."  Agatha Christie

Stepping inside one can clearly see opulence, but a coziness that is very lovely.

Agatha and her second husband, Max Mallowan, made changes to the home to make it their own.  They were collectors of many items including archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china, and books.

 Agatha Christie is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short stories revolving around Hercule Poirot.  She also wrote romance novels under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. 

Dead Man's Folly was filmed here at Greenway.

The views out the windows are stunning. It's no wonder her family loved coming here for holidays.  Her daughter, Rosalind and her husband moved into Greenway after the death of Agatha and her husband Max in 1976.  Rosalind and her husband made their home here until they gave Greenway to The National Trust in 2000.  They continued to live here until their passing in 2004 and 2005. 

There is an interesting mural painting in the library.  It was painted by an American Coast Guardsman, Lt Marshall Lee when the home was occupied during WWII in preparations for D-Day.   Agatha thought it to be a fitting memorial and kept the mural when she returned to Greenway after the war when the home was decommissioned on Christmas Day, 1945.

The Dining Room was quite lovely with its curved wall.

The bedrooms upstairs were interesting with items from the 1950's.

Greenway is a lovely estate full of Agatha Christie's mementos.  How wonderful that her family has left it for posterity to get a glimpse into her life as Mrs. Mallowan. 

Thank you for coming along with us.  As we were leaving I had to take this photo. 

I love how the British take good care of their pets, even when traveling. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Fingle Bridge and Powderham Castle

Today I'd like to take you along to visit a couple of charming places in Devon, England.  We are celebrating our Golden Anniversary here in Britain.  Our first two weeks were in the Lake District and Scotland.  Now we are spending two weeks in Devon and Cornwall.

First you must not be afraid, because we will be taking a very narrow road that is bumpy but enchanting along the way.

The reason I'm requesting you not be afraid so Grayden can concentrate and I can be quiet.

The narrow road leads us down, down, down to a very enchanted spot.

I'm so thankful there are no cars coming toward us!  We're headed down to Fingle Bridge that is over the River Teign. 

This ancient bridge is the gateway to the Fingle Woods and Castle Drogo.  If you read my previous post you know about Drogo. 

After parking the car let's walk across the bridge and drink in the beauty.  There are miles and miles of paths one can take and view the gorge that overlooks Dartmoor.  The Fingle Bridge Inn above looks to be a charming spot to spend the night or enjoy a meal.

The view is lovely and so refreshing.  

Fingle Bridge takes its name from Fingle Brook that flows into the River Teign.  Fingle comes from the old English "fang" meaning to catch.  Of course referencing it to be a great spot for fishing. 

Fingle Bridge was built in the 17th century!  It's been repaired several times.  It sits within the Dartmoor National Park.  It was originally built for packhorses to cross the River Teign. 

It's hard to leave this lovely area, but next we are heading to Powderham Castle.  Maybe the road will be easier there.

The lovely blue skies along with the puffy clouds are giving us a joyous happy adventure in Devon. 

Devon has the most charming thatched roof cottages that dot the landscape along the way.

We're here at the car park and view these lovely fall flowers popping up under this huge tree.  Let's check in and walk up to Powderham Castle.

Powderham sits on the west bank of the River Exe.  It is the home of the Courtenay family, Earls of Devon.  

We have bought our tickets and we are ready for the tour.  Unfortunately, they inform us we are not able to photograph the interior.  If you wish to view the inside you can go to their website at  

We have enjoyed a lovely day in Devon and hope you did as well as we continue our Golden Celebration in Britain. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

One Old and One New Castle in Devon

Please join us as I continue to write about our time in Britain as we celebrated our Golden Anniversary.

We enjoyed a restful evening in our new accommodations in Devon.  Yesterday was long and tiring traveling into a new area.  We are excited to enjoy our day as we gaze out the window.

The sunny view from our window of our thatched roof room promises a warm day!  Our hotel is a lovely old thatched roof beauty that has all the things we need for our next two weeks in Devon and Cornwall.

The two right windows are the windows to our efficiency suite.  We were both very comfortable with having a small refrigerator to store a few things in for quick snacks.  

Before leaving home in the USA, we planned out our days on this four week adventure to celebrate our Golden Anniversary.  Today we planned to visit three castles.  I hope you will come along with us.  First we are going to the Medieval Castle of Okehampton.

First I must mention we are in a very remote area of Devon.  If we listen to our GPS we will be going down single tract lanes.  We learned this lesson on our first day here in Devon.  

For instance the GPS will take you over the hill to the left on very small lanes intended to move sheep!  The single tract lanes are closer to your destination, but not easier.  Sometimes these are the only roads available.  I'll continue to write about them in future posts.  

Okehampton Castle is a motte and bailey castle.  What is that?  It is a fortification with a wood or stone keep on a raised earthwork called a motte with an enclosed courtyard, or bailey surrounded by a ditch.  

Okehampton Castle was built between 1068 and 1086 by Baldwin FitzGilbert following a revolt in Devon against Norman rule.

The ruins of the castle are all that remain.  In the 1300's the de Courtenays, who became the Earls of Devon used the castle as a hunting lodge and it enjoyed its heyday of luxury.  During the 15th century the de Courtenays were involved in the Wars of the Roses.  Henry Courtenay was executed by Henry VIII and Okehampton fell into ruin. 

The English Heritage now takes care of the ruins.  There is a self guided tour with headphones to learn more about the castle.  We climbed all over these old ruins listening to the audio.

If these old stone walls could talk, I'm sure we would hear some tales.  Some good  and some not so good.

The little British robin that makes his home here was so darling, I had to take his photograph.

Let's say goodbye to Okehampton and off we will travel to another castle that is much newer.

The scenery in Devon is spectacular!  The rolling verdant patchwork makes my heart happy as we drive along.

Next up is the last castle that has been built in England.  Built between 1910 and 1930 by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe.  There is a big problem at this castle--it leaks!  The National Trust is entering the final phase of a conservation project to save Castle Drogo.

This enormous castle is open during this restoration.  If you don't have a fear of heights, you can go on the scaffolding and get a view of the roof that is being repaired.  We passed on that one!

Castle Drogo sits high above the Teign Gorge on the edge of Dartmoor.  One can clearly see why this was a prime spot for such a castle.  Come along as we enter this lovely castle.

The treasures inside are being kept safe because of the renovations.  It would certainly be a shame if the National Trust were not taking care of this place.

There are beautiful furnishings all throughout the castle.

There are many collections to view.

New innovations were in use at the castle.

A butler's pantry that would be the envy of anyone.

One area of the estate that I'm looking forward to seeing are the gardens.  Come with us as we exit the castle and roam about the grounds.

Behind the yew hedges is Lutyens designed terraced formal garden.

There is a Bunty House with its own miniature garden.  This house was originally built for Julius Drewe's daughter Frances.  Now visiting children can enjoy playing here. 

There are miles and miles of walks one can take here at the estate of Castle Drogo.  We decided for us that it would be good to take a break at their cafe'.  Grayden really enjoyed the mocha that is available at the National Trust sites.  They even put the National Trust symbol of the oak leaves on their coffees. 

As always I ordered my cup of tea.  Earl Grey always satisfies me in the afternoon or really anytime.  I do hope you will come back with us as we continue our adventure in Devon. ♥