Ashdown Forest & Saint hill manor

Andrew and Roger enjoy morning tea and biscuits
Andrew and Roger enjoy morning tea and biscuits

On 12th June we had a splendid outing to Ashdown Forest and in the afternoon a guided tour of Saint Hill Manor.

After a washed out spring we had wonderful weather for our outing, the coach picking us up at the Tudor Rose on Old Coulsdon. After we picked up our guide for the day, Carol, in East Grinstead. Unfortunately on our way to Heaven Farm we were caught up in a horrendous traffic jam which closed the road. When we reached Heaven Farm we were treated to tea and biscuits before our tour of Ashdown Forest. Carol gave us a interesting history of the forest including details of the social structure of the common lands.

Relaxing in the sun
Relaxing in the sun

 

We arrived back at Heaven Farm for lunch which was described as a ‘Ploughmans Lunch’ but was in fact a full ham and cheese salad that was greatly appreciated.

After lunch we headed to Saint hill Manor for a guided tour of the manor and grounds. The manor is owned by the Church of Scientology and was the home of it’s founder L Ron Hubbard. Regardless of one’s views of Scientology Saint Hill is a small but impressive manor house, formally owned by the Maharajah of Jaipur and later by the wife of the American ambassador, Margaret Biddle.

 

The undisputed boss of Heaven Farm
The undisputed boss of Heaven Farm

We had cream tea in the famous ‘monkey Room’ before heading for home. The monkey room mural was painted by the nephew of Sir Winston Churchill, John Spencer Churchill, and depicts famous people in the guise of monkeys.

After a tour of Ashdown Forest we came back to Heaven Farm for lunch
After a tour of Ashdown Forest we came back to Heaven Farm for lunch
Saint Hill Manor. The ‘Saint’ comes from the old English translation of ‘Saynt’ meaning ‘Singed or burnt, a reference to the practice clearing sites in the forest by burning
Saint Hill Manor. The ‘Saint’ comes from the old English translation of ‘Saynt’ meaning ‘Singed or burnt, a reference to the practice clearing sites in the forest by burning
L Ron Hubbard in the gardens of Saint Hill Manor. His critics, including his own son have characterized him as a liar, a charlatan, and mentally unstable. (Ref. Wikipedia)
L Ron Hubbard in the gardens of Saint Hill Manor. His critics, including his own son have characterized him as a liar, a charlatan, and mentally unstable.
(Ref. Wikipedia)
The Monkey Room mural was painted by John Spencer Churchill, his signature on the table by the carousel
The Monkey Room mural was painted by
John Spencer Churchill, his signature on the table by the carousel
Cream tea in the Monkey Room
Cream tea in the Monkey Room

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