Luckily our coach driver stopped first at the lovely Garden Centre for refreshments after our journey, so we were refreshed and revitalised before starting our Fitzwilliam Tour. We had read Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey and the tour brought the book to life, with its stories of opulence and extravagance. The house is massive and still clearly suffering from leaks and subsidence. Work is taking place to remedy problems but with a house this size there will always be something for builders to do. The tour lasted well over two hours as we walked through one room after another, all with magnificent fireplaces, ceilings and decorative mouldings. Hardly any furniture (it all had to be sold) and we had two ladies toting chairs along for anyone who needed a rest en route. A good idea. I feel privileged to have seen the house at this stage in its life and wish the Preservation Trust well for the future. I look forward to seeing the house in TV and film dramas. The empty rooms make this an ideal backdrop. One little niggle. With all this space and rooms aplenty, why were the cubicles in the Ladies Loo so tiny? There was plenty of space for more generous arrangements. Hopefully these were temporary.