The fixtures and fittings were a mixture of antique fair purchases and creative up-cycling and in some cases new pieces made in the style of ... As nothing is irreplaceable or intrinsic to the house, visitors are allowed, nay encouraged, to sit on the chairs, open cupboards and drawers and bounce on the beds.
The whole project was something of an experiment and it is probably fair to say the National Trust had certain reservations, but it has been a resounding success and on each subsequent visit I have made the house has been busy, so much so there is a timed entry to prevent the rooms becoming too crowded.
Now I'm not suggesting taking down the red ropes in the state rooms at Lydiard House and letting people have a rummage.
My idea would be to convert a couple of rooms on the first floor (not all of them) presently occupied by Chartridge and give them the Avebury treatment. Yes, there would be an initial expense, but there maybe grants or sponsorship available - the idea could at least be explored!
I wasn't going to write about Avebury Manor House today, but I was going to show you some images of the gardens. In 2012 there was an exhibition called Celebrating Art in the Garden, which I think is ideally suited to the Walled Garden at Lydiard House.
We have a thriving artistic community in and around Swindon whose members could easily stage such an exhibition - so why don't we ask them?
Why not visit the Swindon Open Studios blog where Linda writes about a recent visit to a celebration of art in a garden (well I never) - see below and get in touch.
Swindon Open Studios: Barbara Hepworth Museum, St.Ives: Having missed out on visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden previously, it was a must on a recent visit, and will be so ...
My time-travelling little granddaughter at Avebury Manor.