We visited a National Trust property we hadn’t been to before, the delightfully named Lytes Cary; the Lyte family lived in this area from the 1200’s for more than four centuries, and the River Cary which flows nearby. it isn’t only the name that is delightful, the property is too – we completely fell in love with it. It’s quite small, compared to some stately homes, but very interesting; the house and buildings are charming, and the gardens are lovely. Although you would have to be rich to live in and maintain a property like this, it has quite a homely feel and I could imagine living here, even though it would be very grand and i would need a team of gardeners and housekeepers to keep it neat and tidy!
The chapel is the oldest part of Lytes Cary, built in the 1340’s it is just big enough for the family and thoughtfully provides a little window, or squint, for the servants to watch the proceedings through. However, it was originally used as a chantry chapel, where masses and prayers could be said for the souls of the family. The main part of the house, the great hall was built by Thomas Lyte in the 1460s, and the great and little parlour and the great and little chamber were completed in the 1530’s. The Lytes reluctantly sold the house in 1755 because of debts, and it was leased to tenants until it was bought by Sir Walter Jenner in 1907. It is thanks to him that the house and grounds are in the state they are in today; he left it to the National Trust who have looked after it ever since.