For a rent of one clove of gillyflower….
I used to live only a couple of miles away from Elmore Court, one of the seats of the Guise family. It was sometimes open to the public (every fourth Sunday after Easter, I seem to recall) and I had the good fortune to see around what was already a symbol of a fast-disappearing world.
That was in the days before the house’s present incarnation, which came about after it featured on television, first in an edition of Country House Rescue. (Channel 4, December 2008) http://www.elmorecourt.com/contactold/tv/#/0, then again on a programme about planning permission. Elmore Court is now much changed from the days when I was privileged to enter what was then a country home. http://www.elmorecourt.com/#/0.
One of the things I most remember about the interior of the house is the entrance hall, with its great oriel window, which has stained glass armorial bearings. That window is truly magnificent, and can be seen in some of the photographs on the present-day website.
What I did not know then was that the rent of Elmore Court was first set at ‘One clove of Gillyflower’ each year. Having happened upon this information, I then found http://www.elmorecourt.com/blog/story-behind-name-gillyflower/, from which the above illustration has been taken.