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08.10.2017, 08:45 A.M.

This autumn we have a treat in store for the London Chapter as we will be visiting two very special private houses in Sussex, not generally open to the public for tours, and only occasionally open to groups like the Irish Georgian Society. Castle Goring has recently been restored by its celebrated owner Lady Colin Campbell. Her Ladyship is a Jamaican born British writer, socialite and media personality. Lady Colin’s biography of Diana Princess of Wales was on The New York Times bestseller list in the 1990s. More recently, she has appeared in documentaries and reality shows. The Grade I listed Castle Goring was built by the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s grandfather in 1797-8. Like Castle Ward, the house has a Palladian elevation (designed by Biagio Rebecca) and a Gothic elevation even though both were built at the same time. Lady Colin Campbell will personally take us on a tour of her house. There will be time to tour the gardens before departing for Bignor Park.

We will have lunch at The Cricketers pub in Duncton, Petworth. Viscount Mersey has very kindly agreed to show us around the elegantly furnished principal rooms of his family home Bignor Park. The 5th Viscount took over the running of the estate in 2010 and has restored the stables, gardens and parkland. Bignor Park is an extraordinarily pretty Regency house built by John Hawkins 1826-29 to the design of Henry Harrison. There will also be time to tour the gardens before departing. 

Tickets for this day trip cost £75 per person (£80 for non-members) and the ticket price covers coach travel to/from London, entry to the houses, and a two course pub lunch (but not drinks), including tea/coffee. Please note that both houses are unable to offer tea/coffee. The coach will leave from the V&A Museum at 8.45am. The coach is expected to return to London by around 7pm.

Numbers are limited for this trip and will be on a first come first served basis. If you would like to attend, please send your completed application form and cheque to Stuart Blakley before Monday 25th September. Full details including menu choices will be sent to those attending closer to the event. Priority will be given to members, but guests will be welcome if there is space.