The setting is beautiful. I enjoyed our little drives so much my sister at one point called me a Hampshire girl. I felt a certain thrill going out on the highway and seeing names of places that Jane Austen knew and was familiar with. I couldn’t ride past the Basingstoke exit without thinking of a young Jane and Cassandra preparing for a dance at the local assembly room. One thing I learned about this countryside is that, like in the old days, most of the roads are tucked into a thick growth of trees and hedges, making a glimpse of the gently rolling countryside a rare treat. You can imagine me craning my neck to catch a glimpse of an old church or fine country home briefly visible through the trees.
But back to Basildon- here are my pictures of that lovely mansion.
Beautifully restored ceiling in the entrance.
There were lovely patterns on the wall. These are seen in the background in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Bennet consoles Mary after the ‘piano incident’.
More lovely ceilings.
The dining room.
This is the room where Miss Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet take their infamous turn about the room, but the directors wanted a lighter color for the room. In order to protect the historic red silk walls, artificial walls were created to go in front. Decorative pillars were also added, their real purpose was to hold the walls so nothing would be affixed to the delicate walls of the home.
This was an original ceiling that hadn’t been replaced or restored. It was absolutely lovely. The guide was trying to direct me to take my photo in another area because of the watermark here. I felt like saying “I’m from America and we like old stuff!”
This bathroom had it’s last update after WWII.
One of Basildon Court’s lovely bedrooms.
1940’s style servant’s bells.
A fun surprise in this house- the state of the art (1950’s) kitchen, complete with volunteers making cookies for the visitors to sample.
Another view of the cute kitchen.
The entrance to a walled garden.
There is a room dedicated to the houses roll in
Pride and Prejudice.
Wouldn’t you love to receive notice for this casting call?
One of the lovely statues on the grounds at the rear of the house.
A view of the back face of the house.
My daughter sits at the edge of the garden with a new little friend. Small children were attracted to my daughter throughout our trip, which made for some fun moments, including one little girl who wouldn’t let go of Jordan’s hand on the underground, and screamed when her parents had to pry her away at the exit.
A little picture I hobbled together of me and my daughter living in the world of Jane Austen.