One Sunday last month my parents and I visited Down House, the home of Charles Darwin. I drove, which was a bit of an adventure as I still only have my provisional license! But thankfully, despite the small country lanes (which I find seriously scary to drive on as they are so narrow!), we arrived safely. :)
Front of the House. It was rather hard to take a good photo as the area in front of the house is not large. Inside the house there was an exhibition on Darwin's life on the first floor, and the rooms on the ground floor had been set out as close as possible to how they looked in Darwin's time.
The first floor exhibition:
Darwin's mother. I love her outfit!! :)
A photo of the house when Darwin lived there.
A model of HMS Beagle - the ship that Darwin sailed on from 1831-1836
Some of the items that Darwin took on his voyage
A recreation of the Poop Deck on HMS Beagle, where Darwin spent most of his time whilst on board, recording what specimen's he had found. You can also see an actor playing Darwin (projected image)
Emma, Darwin's wife.
A picture of Emma's childhood home.
Anne Darwin's beautiful writing case. Anne was Charles and Emma's eldest daughter, who really sadly died at I think the age of 10.
The contents of Anne's writing case.
A beautiful tiny smock, made by one of the Darwin children.
Some of the children's childhood belongings .
Emma Darwin's work box.
A beautiful grandfather clock on the first floor landing.
A close up of the case.
The Ground Floor
The Drawing Room
One of Darwin's sister
Darwin and his sister Emily Catherine (known as Catty).
The bookcase in the hall where the morning post was put when it arrived.
The Billiard Room
The Dining Room
The back of the house
The old servants bells in what is now the cafe.
The house was very interesting and I really recommend visiting it. The only sad thing is the cafe, which was a real disappointment. When you visit a country house you expect it to have a lovely tea room/cafe selling delicious cakes, scones, sandwiches etc., not a cafe with a very plain and limited menu. It has so much potential, but for some reason it is not being fulfilled. :( Oh well.
Anyway, overall it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday. Oh and an interesting fact (well I thought it was quite interesting :) ) Downe House (the girls school) was founded at Down House once the Darwin's had left. I had no idea, I thought they just had similar names!