We are visiting a William Kent designed garden shortly and so when I came across this, as I flicked through my photos on the computer looking for something else,  I gave it a second look. It is Worcester Lodge on the Badminton Estate and it was designed by William Kent.

Is this the loveliest lodge in the UK?

We think so!

When I was a child……..

my parents took me to Badminton House. Not socially you understand, but as a fee paying visitor!

I remember three things:

Being shown a book lined, secret door to a secret passageway – an instant wow to a boy .

The Duchess of Beaufort spoke to us. In those days fewer people visited these places and you sometimes saw the owners. Five year old boy greets Duchess, a trifle gauchely!

And we saw this building:


This was the star.

It both floated like a boat and floated my boat. My father, who was very good at getting people to do things, and taking us to places that you didn’t normally see,  persuaded the lodge keeper to take us upstairs. 

There was this grand room with its windows. One of the huge ones looks to the north over farm land, the quintessential English landscape.

The second looks south down a long avenue to the house.

The room was dominated by a dining table, which the lodge keeper told us was used for supper when the Queen came to Badminton. A mirror at either end of the room meant that Her Maj saw herself endlessly reflected in a long line curving into infinity.

So did little boy!

I thought those mirrors were pretty smart.

I didn’t see this lodge again for almost forty years, but it stuck in my mind as the most beautiful thing.

Now I guess I appreciate the balance, proportions, symmetry, allusions to the classical world etc . The triangular outline of the whole, which the pyramids are crucial to.

But what still gets me is the lightness of it: