Hylands House and park

Before we went for our Sunday roast we visited Hylands House in Chelmsford. It was the first time we had visited and we hadn’t realised how much there is to do there.

Our timing couldn’t have been better because on the first Sunday of the month there is a farmers market. It wasn’t the biggest of markets but there was a good selection of stalls – amongst them a bakers, a butchers,  a very fragrant curry stall and a cheese stall.

The stable block has been beautfully restored and there is now a very welll stocked second-hand book shop, a gift shop and a tea room. But – the best part is that there are still horses in the stables. Hylands Park uses two beautiful suffolk punches to work the land – and one of them was in the stables for visitors to admire. And make sure you go up to the first floor to look at the jewellry and the art gallery!

We walked around the World Garden which was created by the Scouts to celerate their centenary. It wasn’t looking its best on a grey February day – but in the summer it will no doubt be glorious. We were fascinated by the totem pole – especially the little mole peeking out from his hole at the bottom of the pole. There are some great views across the park land towards Chelmsford.

The house was last a private home in 1962, and since then it has been cared for by Chelmsford Borough Council. Over the years there has been an amazing amount of work undertaken to restore the  house and its grounds  The house is now a wedding venue -complete with a sweeping  staircase  for the bride to make a grand entrance, and an elegant dining room.

The rooms have been very well restored, with  display boards showing the various processes in the restoration. There’s also a small exhibition of late 19th and early 20th century dresses – and as always I was amazed by how small women were in those days.

We braved the wind to go for a very brisk stroll around the park land. It was almost empty- it was strange to think that in the summer it wil be full of thousands of people at the V-Festival. It was muddy in places though- so maybe that was  a fortaste of the conditions to come in the summer.

And then – having had the cobwebs completely blown away we went of in  search of a pub for a Sunday roast!