Over the weekend, we had a lovely day out at Upton House and Gardens, in Warwickshire, close to Banbury in Oxfordshire. It’s a National Trust property, and we have been here before, but this time there was a brilliant exhibition called ‘Banking for Victory’, about what happened to the house during the Second World War.
We started off with lunch in the lovely restaurant, then had a (rather chilly) walk around the grounds. The estate was only partly open as it’s winter, but even so, it was lovely.
Then we went on our tour of the house, which is really homey, and cosy. When war broke out, the Bearsted family move out of the beautiful house, and their family bank, M. Samuel & Co. moved in! The bank stayed there for the whole war, to protect the staff and the banking assets from air-raids in London.
We started in the Dining Room, which was set up as if the family had just left it after War was declared.
That is the only room that looked like it would have done before the war – all the others had sheets draped over the beautiful furniture, and the bedrooms were set up like dormitories for the bank staff to sleep in. The Bearsteds had prepared really well for the war, and moved their business up to the house from London, and also moved their valuable paintings from London too.
If you’ve read my post on our New Year’s Resolutions you’ll know we are hoping to live a more sustainable life, and I found the vintage posters and recycling systems really interesting – good inspiration for us all!
I always like seeing the kitchens at stately homes, and the one at Upton did not disappoint – just look at those Agas!
Ava was really fascinated by the vintage typewriters, though she struggled to press the buttons. We weren’t sure if she’d like looking round the house, but she did, albeit in quite a quick fashion!
We finished with tea and cake in the restaurant again, yum!
It was getting dark as we walked back to the car, and the house looked pretty gorgeous.
The exhibition is on for a few years, and I’d definitely recommend it, especially if your kids are studying the war at school.