North & West Wiltshire National Trust Association members have enjoyed a series of visits.

At Chavenage House there was a talk about the two main owners of Chavenage, also about filming at the property.

There followed a comprehensive tour of the house and chapel, including the tapestry bedrooms in which Oliver Cromwell slept.

Several of the ortraits had been moved to accommodate filming for of the Poldark remake for the BBC.

After lunch at Tetbury members visited Newark Park, where there have been changes to the property since the departure of the last tenant.

Most of spent time admiring the magnificent view as it was very clear and sunny.

A small party of went on a holiday to Brookfield Hotel at Emsworth, en route visiting Uppark.

The following National Trust properties were visited Wakehurst Place, Petworth House and Stonehenge, to see the new visitor centre.

The day visit to the Isle of Wight was disappointing as after a delayed ferry Osbourne House was very busy due to the wet weather.

This spoilt the tour of the island as visibility was poor.

There was a great day at Portsmouth, visiting the Mary Rose and the D-Day museums. Arundel Castle and Chichester were also visited. 

Athelhampton & Max Gate

A tour through Dorset started with coffee at Stourhead, afterwards members were driven through the Blackmore Vale and down the Piddle Valley.

The first major call was at Athelhampton House, a Tudor mansion with an amazing bay window by the main entrance which is quickly followed by a vaulted great hall with fine - panelling and tapestries. These set the pattern for much of the rest of the house.

Among the bathrooms open to view was one containing a deep polished copper bath of late Victorian times. The gardens were equally impressive, broken up into relatively small areas similar to Hidcote.

The last call was very different, to Max Gate, designed by Thomas Hardy and his home for his last 43 years.

Its exterior is unremarkable but inside are diaries, correspondence, photographs and other memorabilia. We were given a revealing introductory talk by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer.

Details of membership and activities can be found on the association website or by contacting the membership secretary on 01225 703730