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.
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.
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.