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The grand stately home of Kingston Lacy, close to the picturesque town of Wimborne Minster and amongst countryside filled with thatched cottages, is a feast of lavish interior design and beautiful (and extensive) gardens.
The house was built as the new home of the Bankes family in the late 17th century after their original home, Corfe Castle, was destroyed on the orders of Parliament during the English Civil War. Mrs Bankes had been holding out against a long siege by the parliamentary forces (the Bankes family being ardent Royalists) and once the roundheads had possession of the castle they didn't want to risk it ever being used as a royalist stronghold in the south west again, and so they blew it to pieces. About the only thing the family were allowed to take with them from the castle were the keys, which now hang above the fire place in the library of Kingston Lacy.
Through out the interior of this grand house you see evidence of the wealth of the Bankes family in the plush furnishings and decor. Each room has a National Trust volunteer who all seem extremely well informed and very keen to share their knowledge.
It's one of the National Trust's more expensive properties as adult admission is £13 and it's £6.50 for children. Entry is of course free to National Trust members.
As well as the house the grounds are well worth exploring, particularly the Japanese Tea garden, the Victorian Fern garden and the kitchen garden which is only now being restored but has a wisteria over 100 years old and still blooming!
Written Apr 16, 2012
Address: Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA
Phone: 01202 883402