This is Southwick Hall, another one of those houses we visited at the end of the day so we were ever aware of the imminent closing time. They were counting up their money as we arrived.
I made the mistake of asking the room guide why there was a picture of a man with a TV next to him (the old boxy sort). He told me to look closer. I realised the picture was of him. He being the current owner and former head of current affairs at the BBC. Well, firstly, thankfully I didn’t say anything rude about the TV. Second, good on him because whereas a learned man would have painted himself with a book, a navigator with a globe, this man is continuing the long-held tradition of commissioning a painting with an object closely associated with himself.
The house is organic, old, stuffed with all sorts of odds and sods (including an elaborate odds and sods museum in an outbuilding into which we were lured by the gentleman who runs it, a former employee).
When visited: August 2012
House * out of 5: ***
Garden * out of 5: *
Theme tune: A whole episode of The Hoarders!
A slightly weird visit. The house would benefit from being cleared out: the old clothes draped over beds upstairs spoil the architecture and there is an awful lot of junk (sorry bygones) in the outbuildings. Then the house could shine. Right now it’s being a little bit smothered.