The wonderfully eclectic Marquess of Bath is known as much for the exotic ‘wifelets’ he gathered at Longleat as the wild creatures he nurtured at the 10,000-acre estate’s safari park. Back in the swinging sixties Zander held the greatest gatherings and it is with some fondness that I returned to Longleat last weekend. The ‘Loins’ was despite poor health in excellent spirits. Personal tragedy has visited him recently with the loss of his adorable wifelet Nola yet he was kind enough to let me look at a fine Turkish inspired Aubusson rug located in the stunning library at Longleat.
The rug is reminiscent of similar rugs found in Topkapi Palace in the Dowager Sultana’s apartments. I will be travelling to Istanbul in two weeks but first I have more exploring to do in Great Britain.
Longleat House is widely regarded as one of the best examples of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain and one of the most beautiful stately homes open to the public.Substantially completed by 1580 and now home to the 7th Marquess of Bath, Longleat House is set within 900 acres of stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland… a bit different from the run-down priory, 60 acres of land, a rabbit warren and an orchard which was purchased by John Thynne in 1540 for £53!