"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