Landmark Gems

Our staff tell us more about the Landmark places they love

Fiona Keyte

Engagement Officer

'Shute Gatehouse in Devon was the very first Landmark I had the privilege of staying in, and this beautiful old building will be forever etched in my memory.

The feel of the enormous weighty key in my palm, waving at passers-by from the battlements as if we were royalty, laying down on the floor next to the log-burner staring up at the Jacobean plasterwork that adorns the sitting room ceiling, and watching for deer in the park opposite whilst doing the washing up in the tiny kitchen are memories that I’ll carry with me into old age.'

Brian Millar

Trustee

'Let’s settle the most important Landmark question of all: which one would make the best evil wizard’s lair? The answer, of course, is Culloden Tower. I once stood on top of its roof and conjured a thunderstorm that rolled across the hills, lightning playing across Richmond Castle, black curtains of rain engulfing the town. Obviously, I retreated to the safety of the living room long before the storm actually hit the tower; even wizards must observe health and safety rules. The tower really has everything: a top floor bedroom for captive princesses, a spiral staircase for battling attacking knights, good sight lines for repelling armies of the undead, and piping hot towel rails; all musts for the weekend necromancer. I’m excited to see the completion of Fairburn Tower which promises to rival Culloden’s sorcery. Until then, expect more thunderstorms in Richmond.'

Ant Martin

Housekeeper

'Having worked for the Landmark Trust as a gardener and housekeeper for over 11 years, I feel very attached to Alton Station and I’m lucky being part of a great team. Jo (regional property manager) and Fiona (properties assistant) have given me the right balance of trust and support which has been a pleasure. It’s fun working on the open days! One year whilst at Knowle Hill I was in charge of the garden tour, and full of facts, but I had one visitor who clearly knew more than I did! After learning a lot from John the visitor, I suggested he might apply for a job at Landmark, which he did and as a consequence has been working happily at Knowle Hill for a number of years now. The building is just fantastic, the history is fascinating and is well documented for the guests. I love how John Evetts and the furnishings team furnish the buildings and I always make a bee line towards the pictures on the walls at any of the Landmarks. Alton particularly has some nice historical pictures. The stories are also intriguing as the station master’s daughter mentioned snakes in the garden which puzzled me for a number of years until I recently found a few slow worms!’

Pat Lloyd and Haidee Butler-Rubbino

Housekeepers at 13 Princelet Street

Pat: 'I’ve lived round the corner from Princelet Street for 38 years. Thanks to an excellent history teacher at school, I have a great interest in the past. The house was built in 1719 and in my 17 years as housekeeper I’ve often wondered what tales it would tell if walls could talk ...'

Haidee: 'It has been an ambition of mine to work at Landmark. The experience when you arrive, turn the key in the lock, open the door and discover an incredible building - and then get to actually live in it for a few days - is really special. I get such a thrill from that, I hope our guests do too.'

Housekeepers Pat loyd and Haidee Butler-Rubbino reminiscing on their time looking after Princelet Street in the sitting room

Ed Donohue

Manager of Crownhill Fort

'When I arrive at work I go through the entrance tunnel and it feels like I am transported into a different world, one of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the city. Crownhill Fort is so easy to get to yet so far removed; standing on the Parade Ground it is hard to imagine that there is a city of 300,000 people just beyond the walls.

There is always something happening here...as well as a regular flow of Landmarkers arriving for their holidays, there are also 15 small businesses based within the former military buildings. Add school visits and public open days to this and there is never an opportunity to become bored.

My favourite room is the North Caponier. It is one of six structures built around the outside of the Fort to keep the defensive ditch clear of enemy troops. It has been restored to its 1890s layout, complete with atmospheric lighting, cast iron stoves, wooden shutters and a working cannon.'

Crownhill Fort Manager Ed Donohue sat at the dining table

Kasia Howard

Engagement Manager

'Queen Anne’s Summerhouse was my first project for Landmark back in 2008 and it still holds a special place in my imagination.

"During the conservation and restoration work we invited local school children to the site. We began each visit with a nature walk through the historic woodland that surrounds the building, then met the craftspeople who were busy working on the project.

"It is always a privilege to experience one of our buildings through the eyes of others, and children have a sense of wonder and humour, that cannot fail to enthuse you. They adored exploring this magical place, deep in ferns and foxgloves, surrounded by pine, birch and oak trees.'

Kasia Howard demonstrating the brick manufacture at Queen Anne's Summerhouse