Never, in our many years of country house snooping, have we had such a warm welcome as that which greeted us when we pushed open the door to Burton Agnes Hall
"Please feel free to sit on our chairs and our window seats, and you may take photographs of all our antiques and works of art!" There were no prickly holly leaves and not a dried teazle head in sight.
Situated near Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire and built between 1601 and 1610 to plans by Robert Smythson, the house contains fine 17th century plaster ceilings, carved chimneypieces and more...
...Here, mingling with Chinese porcelain and finely painted ancestors, is a large collection of modern art.
I love this set of tree-decorated drawers by John Makepeace
There are intriguing views through glass up here in the long gallery.
The family who live here are devoted to Art. This person, glimpsed sketching, may be an artist in residence or perhaps a local season ticket holder, all of whom are encouraged to "treat the garden as your own".
As we were leaving, I noticed this view - Burton Agnes church, St Martins, where distant ancestors of Mr N were married.
Photo: Paul Glazzard on Geograph
I wanted to find something inside the church that a wandering family eye might have rested on during the service - and there, in the chancel quite low down on the wall, I spotted this characterful face - it looked familiar.
I wasn't sure of the date. Do you recognise this stubborn brow, those determined lips?
It is William Wilberforce, leader of the movement to abolish slavery, from nearby Kingston upon Hull. His carved stone likeness was placed in the church by his son Robert, Archdeacon of the East Riding and vicar of Burton Agnes in the 1840s.