Thursday, September 28, 2006
Plantation House Tour
Caleb, Aaron and I did the official tour of Plantation House today. Being World Tourist Day, St Helena had arranged various tourist activities, et al Longwood and Briars’ House tours (Napoleon stuff), a cookery competition, and tours of Plantation House. Since I haven’t been past the diningroom at Plantation before, I thought this would be a good opportunity, so arranged with Steve and Maureen, and we all went together. Unfortunately Nick was busy, so couldn’t join us. We were the only people booked on the tour though, but all the better since I didn’t have to be too embarrassed by the boys leaning on all the antique furniture and hiding under beds and couches in every room. The house is over 200 years old, and really very big. We learned all about the various pictures and pieces on the walls, the furniture, the house itself, which I think is the third house that has been built on that location. Saw “Speedy”, the baby tortoise who lives in the courtyard as he’s too small to be let loose in the field with the bigger ones. He’s only 50 years old. Of course we didn’t actually go into the governor’s living quarters, that is strictly private, but saw the other upstairs bedrooms, including the one which is supposed to be haunted, the kitchen, pantry, library, ante-rooms, diningroom, drawing room, games room, flower room…and then there was also some staff living quarters, although there hasn’t been a live-in staff member since the 1980s. None of the bedrooms has en-suite bathrooms, because when the house was built there was only an outhouse. Each bedroom was built with a dressing room, into which water was brought for a bath. The dressing rooms have since been converted into proper bedrooms, and two bathrooms have been added upstairs.