Althorp House was the venue for the 13th Althorp Literary Festival a celebration of the written word. In its first 12 years the festival has hosted great names from; actors, politicians, sportsmen and tv personalities. Such names as; Boris Johnson, Michael Palin, Darcey Bussell, Sebastiam Failks, Julian Fellowes and Sir Tom Stoppard.
Althorp was built in 1508 by the Spencer family and as it does now for over 500 years. It is a lovely walled 550 acre parkland in unspolit Northamptonshire countryside. It is also the final resting place of Princess Diana. The actual area for burial is on an island in an ornamental lake known as The Oval An ancient arboretum stands nearby, which contains trees planted by Prince William and Prince Harry, other members of her family and the princess herself
Althorp houses one of Europe's finest private collections of paintings, furniture and ceramics. I was impressed with the staircase leading to paintings of family members past and present. A recent addition is the painting of 'John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer' which was done from a photograph and not still life. I happen to know that the current Earl Spencer is particularly pleased with the result.
I have to say 'Gambaccini' is an excellent orator, and that voice, he could read the telephone directory and make it sound interesting. Had a brief chat with him afterwards about music , he was telling about about an interview he once did with 'Ritchie Blackmore'. I told him that I thought RUSH were the best band in the world and I got the impression he didn't disagree?