THE 2011 SUMMER OUTING TO HELLENS

John Howe reports

As the years go by, fewer and fewer country houses survive as real family homes, and we were therefore privileged to be able to visit Hellens near Much Marcle for this summer’s visit. Hellens is a remarkable survival of a bygone age, largely unaltered since the end of the 17th century. The earliest room is a fine medieval hall which escaped not only Victorian modernisation but a World War II bomb! The newer wing has well-proportioned, quite small rooms (in stately home terms!), and there is some good furniture and very fine paintings.

After the tour with our enthusiastic guide who led us through the house and the complications of the family tree, we moved on for a really splendid buffet supper in one of the 19th century barns which has been sympathetically converted to provide an atmospheric dining area.

Our only regret was the weather, but we remembered how desperately all the crops needed the rain after weeks of drought, and contented ourselves with viewing the gardens and grounds from inside.