VISIT TO FIRLE PLACE
Quite a good number of members and wives attended this occasion, our President and Mrs. Morgan being amongst the numbers present. The day was fine and warm.
There are no formal gardens as such at Firle, the entrance, very soon after leaving the A27, is via a longish drive through the extensive parkland scene with the South Downs including adjacent Firle Beacon – 700 ft. plus above sea level – forms a back drop to the house and there is an extensive area of woodland, mostly Beech adjacent to the southern aspect of the house and reaching back to the foothills of the Downs.
Lewes, the East Sussex County Town is approx. 5 miles North-West of Firle.
May 6th was a well chosen day (must have been intentional on the part of the organisers – well done men) because the first Wednesday in a month is designated as “Connoisseurs Day” unfortunately, unguided nowadays. These special days result in more rooms being available for inspection by visitors and it is often the case, as at Firle, that the extra rooms are generally those used intimately by the residing family.
Visitors interest in the rooms was assisted by the attention of stewards of both sexes, who could provide deep knowledge, both of the house’s long history and of all the fine effects which are housed there. Viscount Gage’s family have been in residence at Firle Place since the 15th Century. Sounds like “Guinness Book of Records” material!
Journeying through the lovely rooms each with their own charm, one is filled with admiration for the unfolding collection of fine furniture, famous pictures and the collections of porcelain including Sevres and English.
House inspection commences at 2.00.p.m. when the entrance on the East Side is opened, this gives plenty of time to enjoy a meal in the restaurant opening at 12.30. at the opposite house end. This most of us did. Later on, after having “done” the house, one could again return to the restaurant for one of Firle’s famous cream teas speciality, which could be taken outdoors on a courtyard adjacent to the restaurant. Altogether it rounded off a fine afternoons outing.
General acclaim was expressed for this first visit of “Outings with Ladies” in our 1992/3 programme, aided by the good weather.
The President and committee deserve our thanks for including this
VISIT TO FIRLE PLACE