Thursday, June 02, 2011

A La ronde

Yesterday we visited A La Ronde, a sixteen-sided house about 2 miles north of Exmouth in Devon.
The original house was built in the 18th century for two sisters after their grand tour of Europe. There is a central lobby on the ground floor, from which seven rooms lead off. It's very tardis-like in that it seems much larger inside than from outside. Because there was no electric lighting in those days the sisters would move from room to room following the sun through the day.

The sisters were great collectors and at the top of the house is the famous shell gallery. Its fragility means visitors aren't allowed to go up and see it but you can catch glimpses of it from the lobby. They also decorated one of the rooms with a frieze made of bird feathers.

To make the rooms square-ish there are lots of little cubby-holes like the one in the photo containing book shelves.

Any ideas what the brown holey object in the bottom photo could be? I suggested a hat pin holder but I was wrong.

It used to be filled with a sweet-smelling sticky substance then put in the armpit to attract fleas.


3 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

There is a circular church on the island of Bornholm ( in Denmark), built that way to stop The Devil hiding in the corners ;-)

BTW: Yes, Christians can be possessed by The Devil. Haven't you read Faust (either Goethe's or Marlowe's version?).

Leslie: said...

Why on earth would anyone want to attract fleas to the armpit? LOL

Liz said...

There are lots of corners in this house, stu! And, no, I haven't.

I still can't think of the word I was looking for there, leslie!