Last Monday we took advantage of the Bank Holiday to go do the tourist thing at Mount Stuart.
Mount Stuart House is the house we can see from our living room and kitchen
windows. Living in the grounds means that we have free roam of the estate but we
don't often go to the Big House.The last time I went was last year when I took
my Mum and step-dad round.
Since last year they've opened up more of the house so you can see rooms
which until recently weren't open to the general public and, best of all,
they've removed the barriers enabling you to stroll around the rooms
uninhibited. You are allowed to get up close and even sit on some of the
furniture. It gives you an entirely different experience of the house and is a
An even bigger improvement is the fact that they allow you to take photos
now. You're not allowed to use a flash inside the house, but otherwise you can
go wild. I'm really pleased about this because there are parts of the house I've
been wanting to share for years.
Here are some of my favourite bits of the house:
In the past you were only able to go a few feet into the Chapel which meant that you missed out on all of the beautiful architecture and decoration. I've never been able to get as close to the altar as this before and it was amazing to stand beneath the centre of the tower and look up and all the patterns in the ceiling.
We also got to the see the Shakespeare First Folio. Above is one of the three books which Mount Stuart holds in their collection, just recently authenticated. It felt incredible to just be in the room with such an important piece of literary history.
I also learned that although Mount Stuart are happy to let people wander around far more freely than they used to, they do get rather antsy if you cross over to the other side of the room filled with expensive and priceless books!
Above are one of my favourite things in Mount Stuart House. There's a hot hot/conservatory off of the Marquis of Bute's bedroom, this room was actually used as an operating theatre during the First World War when the house was used as a hospital for injured servicemen.
The story goes that when the fireplace in this room was being carved, the cat, Truffles, kept stealing the meat out of the stonemason's sandwiches. In order to get his revenge, the stonemason added Truffles to the carving on the fireplace and put a mouse on the other side; so the cat can always see, but never get to the mouse.
They've also opened up the balcony at the top of the house which offers spectacular views across the water and around the estate.
I'm definitely planning on going back to visit the house again, and will again go armed with my camera to take even more photos of my favourite things in Mount Stuart.