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There were seven bedrooms, as well as several other rooms that were able to sleep people if there was a full house, which was often the case when my parents hosted house parties over long week-ends and during Cowes Week.The latter event is a two week nautical festival in the summer, when the who’s who of society descend on the Island for the most famous yachting regatta in the world, complete with a whirlwind of balls and parties.Every room in the house was duly painted or papered and carpeted and curtained and the Island’s antique shops we scoured for suitable period furniture and artwork.
The woods were magical, with pathways and shrubs and mighty oaks and elms, ablaze with daffodils and crocus and snowdrops in the early spring and bluebells and primroses in the summer.
However, my favourite place was the heated swimming pool, complete with diving board and a pool house that was designed like a miniature of the main house, having its own kitchen, bar, change rooms and entertainment area. Given the scale of the property, it is understandable that it took a significant number of people to keep it maintained and operational.
It also housed the brass effigy of the Earl of Salisbury, a Governor of the Island who was accidentally killed in a tournament in 1383 jousting with his father who, heartbroken, created alter tombs in every church in every village in which he owned land or houses.
The house itself was accessed by two driveways, appropriately called the “back drive” and the “front drive”, the entrance to each guarded by a small cottage where the gatekeeper lived, who in exchange for his accommodation would open and close the gate whenever we arrived or left home.
The back drive was gravelled and wended its way for about two miles through the fields and woodlands that surrounded the house, while the front drive was paved and began where the village ended, crossing the stone bridge and trout pond before climbing the gentle slope through the paddocks towards the front of the house.
The house itself was designed in an “L” shape, with two main floors and a large attic area which used to accommodate the servants.The house was surrounded by acres of manicured lawn as well as a croquet pitch which was the scene of many high tempered matches.Where the formal gardens met the woods, there was a mystical dell filled with herbaceous shrubs and which concealed an ice house, a cylindrical structure built into the side of a hill with tiny bricks.The village of Calbourne also has a church with a Norman built tower and records dating back to the Domesday Book, with most of the building remaining from the reign of Henry Ill (1216-1272).The South aisle was specifically reserved for the owners and tenants of Westover.There were fruit cages which produced a mass of strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries as well as heated greenhouses where vines provided red and white grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes and even sweet melons.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating