I just thought I would add to my last post a little detail I’d gleaned on Kingston Lacy. I have always believed that people are people no matter the period of history which they lived in, I think they had the same feelings and motivations as we do. Yes, they had different social constraints in what was classed as acceptable or not, and the language we use to express ourselves has changed over the years. But essentially we have the same mix of personality. Little stories that I hear like this one only convince me of it more.
William John Bankes, Lord Byron’s friend who inherited Kingston Lacy, planted beech trees along an avenue in 1835. He planted 366 along one side of the road, to represent a leap year, and planted 365 along the other. The B3082 Wimborne to Blandford Road is this avenue, you can drive along it. But what a wonderfully quirky idea, just the sort of imagination, forethought and humour I would imagine appealed to Byron and made this man Lord Byron’s friend.
This avenue was originally planted as a gift to his mother, but it has been popular ever since, through generations.
And guess what? There’s graffiti, a little later than the 19th Century admittedly, but many of the trees sport names, carved into their trunks by American soldiers who were stationed at Kingston Lacy during the Second World War.
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