There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Monday, 16 February 2015

President's Day

"I often say of George Washington that he was
one of the few in the whole history of the world
who was not carried away by power."
~Robert Frost

Hailing from Washington State as I do, I couldn't let George Washington's birthday go unmentioned, since today is President's Day back home in the U.S. It's a day to honor the births of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both born in February.  It's also a national holiday--or a Bank Holiday, as they're known in Britain.  Most Americans know the stories about 'the father of our country', like his chopping down the cherry tree and crossing the Delaware, and visitors flock to his home in Virginia, Mt. Vernon. But less well-known are his family roots back in England.  The Washington ancestral home is only 30 minutes from Oxford, between Oxford and Stratford, the beautiful and elegant home, Sulgrave Manor.

The opening of Sulgrave to the public in 1921.
Sulgrave was built by George Washington's great(x5)-grandfather Lawrence, a wealthy wool merchant, in the early to mid 1500's.  The Washingtons owned Sulgrave until 1659, when they emigrated to the colonies.  As family fortunes dwindled for the subsequent owners of Sulgrave, it fell into disrepair until it was restored between 1920-30.  It was reopened to the public in 1921 as a celebration of 100 years of peace between Great Britain and the United States.  Today, as a recipient of the World Monuments Fund, it continues to promote Anglo-American relations, as well as being used for educational programs for agriculture and sustainability.

Sulgrave in the late 19th century, before it's west wing was restored.

The Washington family arms, the 'mullets and bars', still decorates the doorway on the southwest porch, and it's this crest that is thought to have influenced the design of the U.S. 'stars and stripes.'

Sulgrave Manor can be visited on weekends between March and the end of October, bank holidays between April and the end of October, and Tuesdays in August.  Private group tours can also be booked, and Sulgrave  hosts many special events throughout the year.

The Tudor building has been restored to it's former glory which
reflected the wealth of the wool trade in the 16th century.

"The Constitution is the guide which
I will never abandon." ~George Washington


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! I had heard of the Washington roots near Oxford, but had not seen the home. Thank you for sharing the photos and a piece of our joint history with England.