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14 June 2018Visit to Lamport Hall and Boughton House

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Visit to Lamport Hall and Boughton House
Thursday 14 June 2018

We are going first to Lamport Hall, home of the Isham family for over 400 years.  Lamport Hall is a Grade 1 Italianate mansion with an impressive collection of furniture, books and paintings and we will be given a guided tour of the Hall and its treasures.  The family has preserved records of personal, financial and estate matters for posterity.  Sir Gyles Isham was an actor who played in the first season at the newly opened Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1932 and went on to a career in Hollywood.  There is a presentation entitled ‘ From Guilgud to Garbo’ about his roles within MGM Studios.  The gardens were replanted in 2010, and reflect the changing interests and tastes of successive  owners.  The large, walled cutting garden  is a vibrant array of colour and variety intersected by gravelled pathways.  Many of the unusual tall perennial plants were sourced from Piet Oudolf’s nursery.
We spend the afternoon at Boughton House, which was inspired by the Palace of Versailles.  Ralph Montagu, later 1st Duke of Montagu, had been English Ambassador to France and was keen to bring French beauty and style to the English landscape.  The highlights of the house include masterpieces by El Greco, Van Dyke, Batoni and Gainsborough, ceiling painting by Cheron, French furniture by the master cabinet maker Boulle, Mortlake tapestries and Armoury.  We will have a guided tour of the house including the grand entrance staircase, the High Pavilion and State Apartments created for the visit of William 111.  There is also a walled Kitchen Garden and a Sensory garden to explore, set in a recently restored landscape.
Coffee/tea at Lamport Hall and a sandwich buffet lunch at Boughton House are included.  The two mansions are a complete contrast of style and history, yet fairly near neighbours, close to Northampton.  The price of the whole day out will be £52.50 pp.