Sussex-Part 2: Knole

Knole was and is owned by the Sackville family who claimed they came to England with William the Conqueror. Thomas Sackville, the 1st Earl of Dorset, got this house in the 17th century. He renovated the house and the house has stayed as it was after he renovated it. Enough of history??? hehe I thought so. Anyways, apart from the usual big and expensive collections of paintings and china, this house also has the prototype of the Knole Settee and it looks really uncomfortable if you ask me, but they are not unlike our modern sofas.

Anyways, the first thing you will see when you come onto the grounds is the deer park. This is the only remaining medieval deer park in Kent where the deers roam about freely. So Bambis walked around everywhere but they are still scared of people. This 1000 acre park was originally created for the archbishops of Cantebury for hunting and recreation.

As you walk in through the Green Court, you will see statues on the lawns. The statues were placed here by the 3rd Duke in the late 18th century. The one on the right is Venus rising from the Bath. The left is the Borghese Gladiator.

Then you go into the Stone Court through the Bourchier's Tower. See the clock at the top? Well, there is a clock at the top of the tower. On the bell is an inscription that roughly translates to "St George is my name: may my sound be pleasing to God." This bell was cast in 1540. I didn't even know they had clocks back then... hmmm...when were clocks invented anyway?

Now, the first thing that strikes you when you enter Stone Court are the deer antlers on the opposite wall.

This one is a pair of prehistoric elk horns. See how incredibly massive they are? These were given to the 1st Duke in the early 18th century.

We also went for a tour of the house and in there is a billiard table! hehhe.. it looks like a billiard table but instead of using cues to hit the balls, you use lacrosse-like sticks... so it was like playing billiard with a long stick which is curved at the end and you hit the balls with the curved L-shaped end on the table and the long handle resting on your shoulders. if that made sense at all... can't show you a pic cos you are not allowed to take pics in the house.

Another interesting thing in the house was a white plaster statue of a naked woman 'reclining voluptuously'(according to the book) on a mattress and cushions at the foot of the Grand Staircase. This woman was the mistress of the 3rd Duke. And she was very voluptuous for a ballerina.

Among the paintings on the walls is a painting of a Chinese man in the chinese costume with the round pointed hat. He was a page of the 3rd Duke. His name was Wang-y-Tong. Wonder why he had a portrait done of his page...


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