We joined four members of Eltham WI for a pleasant lunch on a lovely day, at Tudor Barn in Well Hall Pleasance which was built in the 16th Century. It was owned by William Roper who married a daughter of Sit Thomas Moore - Lord Chancellor of Henry VIII, it was also the home of Edit Nesbitt (Author of the Railway Children) A Flying Bomb exploded nearby in 1944 . Through its life it was built and rebuilt with the final restoration in 2002 and the Tudor Barn was back in Business. The gardens were lovely and it was hard to believe we were so close to London. Four other members joined for the second part of the visit.
We moved on to Eltham Palace, the original of which was the childhood home of Henry VIII, since 1930 it was owned by the Courtauld family who built on to it and travelled the world collecting ideas for their home. They were keen horticulturists and this shows in the 19 acres of garden. The Palace reflects the glamour and allure of the 1930's fashionable society. The bedrooms had built in furniture, the bathrooms had sunken baths. There were telephones in every room. Even the Racoon had his own room! We were able to watch old cine films of the family and their guests which brought it all to life - it was fascinating. Hollingbourne's 7 members are now firm friends with the 8 from Eltham and we hope to see them at the Safari on 7th September.