Local History – September meeting

They say that the sun only shines on the righteous!  Well the twenty-six members of the Local History group must be amongst those numbers as, after days of experiencing dreadful weather, we were blessed with a sunny day for our trip to Lamport Hall.  We all enjoyed a wonderful afternoon, being taken around the Hall by two very knowledgeable guides, where we learned that originally it had been a Tudor Hall but, over the years, was extensively extended to the beautiful building it is today.  Lamport Hall was the home of the Isham family from 1560 to 1976.  Sir Charles Isham, 10th Baronet is credited with beginning the tradition of garden gnomes in the United Kingdom.  Unfortunately only one survives and is tiny (nothing like a modern one) and is displayed in one of the china cabinets on the first floor.  The story goes that one of the Isham sisters hated them so much that one day she took a gun and destroyed them by shooting them!  The last member of the Isham family was Sir Gyles Isham who had enjoyed a successful career in acting in Hollywood in the 1940s but, on inheriting, returned to England to find that the house had considerably deteriorated.  He undertook major renovation works and allowed the ground floor to be opened to the public in 1974.  When he died, still a bachelor and with no children to inherit, he left the building and its contents to the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust, who care for the Hall and gardens today.  Our tour ended with a welcome cream tea after which we were invited to visit the beautiful and well-kept gardens should we so wish.  Altogether a very enjoyable and informative afternoon.  Jan Tilley.