Memories of Beaulieu
My parents were managers of The Montague Arms for a short while. On sunny days I was allowed to cycle to Hythe and back. I was twelve and fit enough to reach Hythe within half-an-hour! I heard rumours from the staff at the hotel that the Abbey nearby was haunted by the ancient monks who had lived there. I was told that some had heard chanting as the sun went down at certain times of the year. I dared to go there several times at dusk - but heard nothing. Instead, during the daylight, I would climb the old walls and view pretty eggs in the nests that had been made within the mossy stones.
In the late sixties a school friend Eric and I were employed one summer at what was then The Montague Motor Museum. We worked for the catering department. In those days on occasion the Beaulieu Estate held medieval banquets, they took place in the great hall on the first floor of the Domus. One morning we were tasked with collecting a large jar of mead from the vinery and taking it up to the banqueting hall. When we got this huge jar of mead upstairs we were handed flagon jars to decant the mead into. When we asked how this was to be achieved we were then handed a length of garden hose. When management came back an hour later to check on our progress they found two very drunk fifteen year olds lying on the floor!