National Trust, National Treasures, Castle Ward on DVD.
National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, the breathtaking scenery and intriguing mixture of architectural styles of the 18th century mansion, Castle Ward in County Down.
An artsworld production
An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
Approximately 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasures examines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
Castle Ward's 332-hectare (820-acre) walled demesne is in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough, near Downpatrick in County Down.
Built in the second half of the 18th century, the mid-Georgian mansion's early history is murky, but it is famed as an architectural curiosity of its time, built inside and out in two distinct styles, Classical and Gothic. The house even has two different façades which reflect this difference in tastes, and it has long been noted that the architectural and decorative schemes vary according to their intended use - the 'female' spheres of the building such as the drawing room and boudoir tend to be feminine and adventurous in taste and feature the fashionable Gothic look, while the 'male' spheres - the hall and dining-room - are predominantly conservative and feature instead a restrained Classical style.
The Victorian laundry, playroom, cornmill, leadmine and sawmill give a full flavour of how the estate worked, while the grounds encompass woodland and lough-side paths and horse trails, formal gardens, Old Castle Ward, Temple Water and the Strangford Lough Wildlife Centre.