Athelhampton is a Grade I listed 15th-century privately owned manor house in 160 acres (647,000 m²) of parkland, five miles east of Dorchester. The house is inhabited and is also open for public visits.
Being on our doorstep the house makes a handy venue for a day out for Mum. She and I met Liz in the car park there for lunch. They produced an excellent crab salad for me, a wild mushroom risotto for Liz and a chicken salad for Mum. Afterwards, Mum and I walked round the grounds and looked over the house. The West-Wing gallery is dedicated to Marevna who was a prolific artist who worked in numerous styles during her lifetime. When her daughter Marika moved to Athelhampton with her husband Rodney Phillips, Marevna moved as well and spent several years there and produced many works with inspiration taken from the local area. Examples of her work hang in the gallery at Athelhampton.
The young guide gave us some interesting snippets of information, showed us the secret door and staircase from a drawing room to the library above, and on being questioned about a flight of stairs that had been cordonned off, showed us to the top floor where there is a 50-seater cinema. They show a selection of of classic and modern films from early autumn to spring. When Nick returned from France I booked us in to see Out of Africa. We had a curry at The Martyrs Inn beforehand. A Monday evening excursion which made a great start to the week.