Meeting at St Margaret’s Church, Belmont Hill at 10 o’clock, Society member Cilla Bartlett will show us round this fine Victorian building with the extravagant Pre-Raphaelite inspired interior decoration. It is a hidden jewel. We will then walk on to Manor House Library where the librarian in charge will talk briefly about the house and the Baring family. Manor House Park will make a good venue for our coffee and/or lunch stop.
No booking required, the usual suggested donation towards the Society and the Church on joining the walk.
Come and join us.
Although we did not do much walking we did a lot of talking. The morning was extremely interesting. The funding for the current church came from Lady Adelaide who had run away from Ireland with her sister’s tutor. (She was disinherited by her father, but on his death, her mother forgave her). The many wonderful works of art were paid for by Victorian families to commemorate their loved ones. The church was damaged during WWII and during restoration, the Victorian glass was all placed on the south side and that of the north side dates from the 1950s. We noted that the stained glass in the Lady Chapel commemorates mainly lady saints, perhaps because the benefactor was a woman. Women appear in all the main pictures of the church, even “Christ in the Temple.”
Cilla, our guide, has also assembled an excellent exhibition on the lives of the men whose names appears on the War Memorial. It will run to the end of November. To gain access to the church it is suggested coming prior to an event, see www.stmargaretslee.org.uk.
The church will be open specifically for the exhibition on Saturday 24th November from 10.00 to 1.00.
We then visited Manor House Lee. The Baring family owned the house at the turn of the 18th century had extensive lands so that lying in bed overlooking the park all the land they could see as far as Baring Road, was their own.
The house was taken over by the military and then became a library, which it has been for the last 100 years. It is open 7 days a week and run mainly by volunteers and amongst others, supported by the charity V22 Communities. They have several rooms that are available for hire and some that would make a possible wedding venue. www.MHLibrary.co.uk.
We can recommend the cafe in the park for coffee.