National Geographic : 1954 Aug
Little changed since 1520, the romantic, bat tlemented house of Compton Wynyates may be visited every Wednesday and Saturday. Warwick Castle, ancestral home of the Earls of Warwick, dates from Norman times. You can see the Earl's fabulous collections of armor and paintings, as well as his gardens, every weekday. Honeymoon couple in the lovely gardens at Penshurst Place, Kent, the home of Lord de L'Isle and Dudley, V.C., and birth place of his famous Elizabethan ancestor, Sir Philip Sidney. How to visit the Stately Homes of Britain IT'S an ill wind that blows nobody any good. When high taxes threatened the existence of Britain's ancestral homes, most of their owners decided to keep them going by opening them to friendly visitors like you. Over 200 great houses in Britain are now open to the public. You pay about 350. The whole operation is delightfully informal-very different from trudging wearily through impersonal museums. Most of these famous houses are still in habited, and their owners are gracious hosts-some times they will show you round themselves. In the entrance hall, you may see a suit of armor worn at Agincourt. Perhaps you'll find a minstrel's gallery in the dining hall, a priest's hole in the smoking room, a letter from Queen Elizabeth I in the library, a secret staircase-and occasionally, they say, a ghost. Many famous gardens, too, are open to you. You may even visit some of the Royal Palaces Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. To find out just where in Britain these palaces, castles and historic houses are - and how and when to visit them-write for free illustrated literature to British Travel Association, Box 181, 336 Madison Avenue, New York 17, N. Y. And talk plans over with your Travel Agent.