Francis's Room

This room is named after Francis Plumptre, the youngest son of the 21st Baron FitzWalter, FitzWalter Brook Plumptre. His dedication to the estate and love of the countryside is reflected in the room’s pastoral décor. Francis Plumptre is in charge of the gardens and runs the Goodnestone Park nursery, which sells plants cultivated from some of Goodnestone Park Gardens’ own varied array of floral specimens. In fact, the gardens are home to a number of rare plants in the walled garden, such as Abelia triflora, a shrub with dark green leaves that features collections of pink-tinted flowers. In the woodland garden, rarities such as Nothofagus fusca, a tree with bronze-coloured leaves originating from New Zealand, can be found. These were floral displays planted by Emily Baird, the second wife of Henry FitzWalter Plumptre, the 20th Baron FitzWalter, between the wars. Similar warm fiery bronze and golden colours are replicated in Francis’ Room alongside more traditional countryside patterns such as tweeds in the armchairs, lampshades and plaid Colefax and Fowler curtains. Floral displays are prominent in the dahlia painting that was found at the Ardingly Antiques & Collectors Fair. Similarly ubiquitous are images of dogs, apparent in paintings, cushions and statues, a further countryside symbol that reminds its guests of the interests of its former owner.

Further familial mementos frequent the bedroom in the blue-and-white Japanese pottery of Francis’ elder brother William, a now well-known potter whose work displays the Japanese influence of his years spent in the country. Reminders of the former stately home in its prime are also inescapable in the original wooden flooring, put back into place after the 2015 restoration, as well as original furniture such the rustic oak wardrobe, chest of drawers and grandiose fireplace feature. This room also features an en suite with a bath-shower which along with the bedroom has glorious views onto the east-facing garden. Located in a corridor lined with portraits of the family’s ancestors from as far back as the first Earl of Sussex in the Tudor period, the abundant historical complexities of the estate remain captivatingly inescapable.

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