We moved off from Stoke Pound following NB Lillyanne nblillyanne.wordpress.com down through the next six locks. We switched the washing machine on in the hope that it would have finished its cycle by the time we reached the last lock. Storm and Pip did the locks with help from Max while Mick and I helmed. Both boats filled up with water at Stoke Works after which we moored up for the day. There was no sign of the clouds that the BBC had forecasted so having hung out the washing to dry, after lunch we left Max on board and headed off across country to Hanbury Hall. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hanbury–hall/
We should have travelled to the Hall by car though as the house was ill-prepared for people arriving on foot at the back door and we had to re-enter the grounds by the correct route to get our tickets. The Hall was once the home of the Vernon family and is now owned by the National Trust. The house was built in 1701. We learnt how the phrase ‘election canvassing’ may have come about as people seeking election would have a poster painted on canvass which they would display in each place where they were seeking votes and would then roll it up and move on to the next public meeting. We toured the rooms that were open to the public and Pip explained the technique of trompe l’oeil, used by the artist Thornhill, in achieving his magnificent ceiling and wall paintings. After an ice-lolly we toured the grounds, visiting the orangery, the mushroom house, the parterre, the apple orchard, the wild garden and then on to the ice-house before we followed another public footpath back to the canal and to the boat for a rest. We headed out again at 7.30pm to the Boat & Railway for a bite to eat as we’d managed to resist the temptation to eat at the pub at Stoke Pound!