GUNBY HALL – POST 14

Gunby Hall near Spilsby is well worth a visit. It is a National Trust property and as well as being very interesting historically the gardens are beautiful especially in the summer
Tennyson who was a frequent visitor to Gunby Hall as it was not far from his parents home in Somersby. He penned the lines

…an English home -gray twilight pour’d
On dewy pastures,dewy trees
Softer than sleep -all things in order stored
A haunt of ancient peace.

These lines are allegedly composed by Tennyson with Gunby Hall in mind.

The Massingberds who had the Gunby estate were a normal family of country squires until Algernon Massing Massingberd nicknamed “Naughty Algernon” gambled away a great deal of their money and subsequently disappeared up the Amazon and was never seen again. They did have some interesting friends, some who visited Gunby. These included Bonnie Prince Charlie, Dr Johnson, Charles Darwin,the Wedgewoods, the Pre-Raphaelites, Rudyard Kipling, Edward Lear, Virginia Woolf and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Life went on peacefully at Gunby until the Second World War when the house and park were threatened with demolition by the air Ministry as they were thought to be in the path of an aerodrome extension. The squire of the day Field-Marshall Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd campaigned vigourously against . In 1944 Gunby Hall and most of its contents and 1,423 acres of land were presented to the National trust to secure their future for posterity.

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