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Items of Interest

Believed to be Tudor or possibly earlier, the main panel of the superb fireplace in the reception area has a carved representation of Abraham about to sacrifice his son to God to prove his love and faith. Angel Gabriel was sent to stay the hand of Abraham, and the ram was slaughtered instead. It is a fine piece of work; its original home being Arreton Manor before Lady St George relocated it here in the 1930s.

The panelling in the Bevin Room is probably Jacobean oak. In this room there is a plaque stating that Ernest Bevin, when Foreign Secretary, prepared his speech here for the House of Commons on 22nd January 1948. In it he proposed the establishment of a Western European Union, which was formed, and subsequently became NATO. Ernest Bevin was also President of the GMBU for many years.

The Drawing Room has an unusual and distinctive feature in that the fireplace has a window directly above it. This is very rare and probably the largest of its kind. Installed by Lady St George, there are actually two octagonal windows set into this chimney, one in the Drawing Room and the other directly above it in Room 4. Although a very unusual feature, it is not a practical one. The chimney flue is split in two and bends round the windows making it difficult to get a cheerful fire to draw in the grate, so alas it is no longer lit.

The Farmhouse, as mentioned before, is Tudor and contains many fine old beams. It would have originally been thatched.
The Dovecote (situated by the deep end of the swimming pool) was built by the monks.

The Clock Tower (situated by the new cottages) was erected by Lady St George in memory of her late Father. The names of her children are engraved on each of the bells.

Just off the main path leading to the beach there is a Folly, probably built around 1799 but in the revived architectural style of the 13th or 14th Century. It was fashionable in the 18th Century for owners of estates to build follies and grottoes, sometimes even installing a Hermit to live within.

The old Tithe Barn is an unusually large building, exceptional in span for thatched roofing. Hundreds of years old, it was restored in 1749. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the impressive thatching in 1999. Outside, on the sea-facing side of the barn, there are two small stone structures. These were once kennels, the dogs presumably guarding the contents of the barn.

Close by the barn is a large flat stone which is supposed to commemorate a happy deliverance from the wrath of the elements. Over 100 years ago a visitor to The Priory was relaxing in the sun in a deckchair on this spot, when a storm suddenly broke. The visitor left his deckchair, which was immediately struck by lightning and turned to ashes!

Across the golf course from the old barn there is a headstone marking the grave of a horse: Redwing. This was the charger, owned by one of the Grose-Smith’s sons, which collapsed and died peacefully at the age of 21 upon bringing his master safely home from war.

The estate extends down to the mean low tide mark on the beach. The tides and storms affect its state, in some years it becomes almost completely sandy while in others it is studded with rocks and pebbles up to its low water mark.