Cottesbrooke Hall and Brixworth Church

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Cottesbrooke Hall

Fresh from our soaking at Deene Park a few days ago, we braved the elements and headed off to Cottesbrooke Hall today. The Queen Anne style House dates from 1702 and enjoys Grade I listed status. It has Gardens too!

It’s not the first visit for me (apparently, we came here 20ish years ago), although it might as well have been, as I don’t recall any of it! 😁.

The House opened at 2pm and when we arrived at around 1.45pm, there was already a queue.

True-to-form, just as we got out of the car, it began raining – but as we were on the first guided tour of the House (2.15pm), it didn’t matter much initially.

The House

The House is still occupied by the owners – The MacDonald-Buchanans – and because of that, no photography is allowed inside the House. That’s a shame because there’s plenty to see here, including a massive collection of paintings of race-horses. Unfortunately, our Guide wasn’t the most interesting we’ve met on our travels, and we were slightly relieved when the Tour ended after its allocated 40-minutes.

The Gardens

Next stop was the Gardens. That’s more like it – an opportunity for photographs! Unfortunately, the weather continued its cold-and-damp-plus-rain, which took the edge off our visit! 😒

Then we had even more rain, so we hurried round. I’m sure if the Sun had been shining (or, at least if it wasn’t raining) we would have stayed for longer!

It was turning colder too! Time for a ‘strategic withdrawal’. 😊

I think overall, as lovely as the House and Gardens were, the experience had been a tad disappointing. Perhaps on another day, when it’s hot(ter), and with a Guide who’s a bit more engaging, we might have a more positive view. See you again in 2039!!

Click HERE for the Website

Brixworth Church – ‘All Saints’

We headed back to the car and on the way back decided to take a short diversion to nearby Brixworth – more specifically, the Anglo-Saxon Church: ‘All Saints’. It’s pretty old, dating back, in parts, to the 7th century. Wikipedia comments: “It is the largest English church that remains substantially as it was in the Anglo-Saxon era. In all the time we’ve lived here, we never visited this village – and Ann confirmed the fact too! A truly impressive structure!! 👌👌

All Saints, Brixworth
An impressive entrance

It certainly boasted some impressive stained-glass windows!

Approach to the Altar

It is the largest English church that remains substantially as it was in the Anglo-Saxon era – Wikipedia

This had been an impressive visit – definitely worth a look if you’re in the area! 👍

Click HERE for the Website

The King’s Men

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Well, it wasn’t quite all of the them (see the photo below) and luckily, we didn’t have to go to ‘the top of the hill’ to see them.

What we did see (and hear) was 7 (of the 15) guys who are Choral Scholars from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, performing in a close-harmony group, as part of their annual Tour. And, in short, they were just fantastic! As a bonus, if they ever decide to give up singing, their future as Raconteurs is also assured as they had us in stitches between the songs.

The Church was packed, and although the ticket sales were driven (slightly unusually) by Coleman’s the Stationers, it was a sell-out!

As you can see, it was a varied programme (our fave being Part 1), where they performed a very wide range of tunes – ‘Prayer of King Henry VI’ through to ‘Postman Pat’ by way of ‘In the Bath’! There was also some limited audience participation for the final track – ‘Minnie the Moocher’ (where I think some of the congregation got a bit carried away).

The Organ Interludes was just as spectacular with one of the ‘Men’ playing as if his life depended on it (and it may well have done, as we learned it was to be his final performance with the ‘Men’). He really made the organ come alive!

For many there, tonight was probably the best fun you can have on a Saturday night – and keep your clothes on! (well, maybe!?)

The Church had also laid-on some quality nibbles during the interval too! It all finished just before 10, and as David and Valerie were good enough to act as chauffeurs, we were soon home.

All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.