Sunday, 1 January 2017

January at West Wycombe Park



"Thursday, 1st January, 1942

West Wycombe Park is a singularly beautiful eighteenth-century house with one shortcoming.  Its principal living-rooms face due north.  The south front is overshadowed by a long, double colonnade which induces a total eclipse of the sun from January to December.  Consequently we are very cold in the winter, for the radiators work fitfully these days.  Our offices [of the evacuated National Trust] are in the Brown Drawing Room and Johnny Dashwood's* small study beyond it.  Matheson, the Secretary, Miss Paterson, Eardley Knollys and I work in the latter room;  Miss Ballanchey, a typist and the 'junior' (aged 15) in the bigger room with all the filing cabinets.  Matheson, Eardley and I are seldom in the office together. Nearly always one and often two of us are away visiting properties."
* Sir John Dashwood, 10th baronet

Ancestral Voices  James Lees-Milne


Lord and Lady Dashwood at West Wycombe Park   Nathaniel Dance-Holland, c. 1776

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