Following mentioning fossils in the last two posts I will move on this week to show you some shells instead! We visited A la Ronde a few weeks back and although it sounds as if it should be in France it is in fact near Exmouth in Devon. It is a quirky 16 sided house full of creative treasures from around the world including lots and lots of shells!
This fascinating house was built for two spinster sisters in the 1790's. They had travelled extensively through Europe, on Grand Tours collecting treasures as they went. They enjoyed buying and creating decorations which included using feathers,shells,decoupage,seaweed,stones and glass.
They would follow the sunshine around the house working under the windows on small fold down tables making their latest creations.
One of the striking features of the house was a two storey "Octagon Hall " off which all the rooms radiate. This makes the shapes of the rooms very unusual and quirky, as can be seen in one of the bedrooms.
This bedroom window in particular had wonderful views looking out towards the Exe estuary and in the far distance towards Dawlish.
On the top floor is a sort of Gothic seaside grotto that is decorated with 25,000 shells. As the contents of this gallery are so fragile it can only be viewed by a remote control camera. The picture above taken from a screen just doesn't do it justice as you can see by looking at it yourself using this Link.
These aren't the only shells as there are still cupboards and shelves covered in them throughout the house!
The sisters would never allow any men to enter their houses or grounds, as this now belongs to the National Trust they are welcome. We enjoyed seeing something completely unique, I hope you enjoyed your glimpses of it too!
Until next time.