Visiting as a guest, you are first confronted with the traditionally decorated hallway, dominated by a dark wood staircase. The sobriety continues into the dining room. Decorated in blacks and reds, dinner is watched over by the souvenirs of Mr Lighthall's youthful adventures in Shang Simla and Al Simhara. The paintings show places closer to home but no less dear. Nonetheless, despite the nostalgia, the dining room is formal and, despite the large windows, seems never to allow much light.
A more familiar visitor may, however, be allowed instead to visit the more recent addition to Lighthall House's architecture. The conservatory was the brainchild of Mrs Lighthall and features pale, neutral colours and views of the surrounding land. The stone floors and cool wicker furniture are ideal for a lazy summer days' entertaining or reading, although visitors often complain of a chill as winter draws in.
A visitor would not be permitted to look around upstairs but the rooms are no less well-appointed or well-kept.
The first floor features the master bedroom. Decorated in red and white, the room features a large, four-poster bed. It is very much the domain of Mrs Lighthall, holding her drawers, mirror and a washstand. Although the curtains are often drawn for modesty, the room also features three large windows overlooking the road below and is well-lit and bright during daylight hours.
Beyond the bedroom sits Mr Lighthall's study. The windows here have been blocked entirely behind his many bookcases, stretching across the walls from ceiling to floor and filling the room entirely. Still, there is not enough room for Mr Lighthall's knowledge, books spilling forth across his desk and the floor. To many it might seem dingy, cramped and almost dangerous yet, to Mr Lighthall, it is his sanctuary and, more often than not, the place that he calls home.
The second floor once again features a handsome landing. Mrs Lighthall has instructed that flowers be kept fresh upon the decorative table and, although dark, the landing always holds the fragrance of a summer garden.
The bedroom belongs to the Lighthall's daughter, Beatrice. It is the brightest of any room beyond the conservatory, decorated in the pale, pastel colours that young Miss Lighthall favours. Once again, the room features a chest of drawers and a washstand along with Miss Lighthall's easel. An avid and gifted painter, Miss Lighthall appreciates her position at the highest point in the house where she can look over the land beyond, free from the distractions of the, in turns, dark, cluttered and busy floors below.
The Lighthall's are not the only residents in Lighthall House, as I have yet to mention the basement level. Here, the kitchen dominates, bursting with fresh ingredients for Cook to turn into fine meals fit for even the fussiest of guests. Cook has a room of her own, although she is close at hand to always be ready when hunger strikes. The maid, Ann, is not so lucky. She sleeps inside the large and busy kitchen, often awoken by the creak of floorboards above or the constant drip of water from the kitchen tap.
Outside of the home, the servants keep a small vegetable garden that is often productive enough to meet the demands of the kitchen below. Further across the lawns, with a view of the pond, the conservatory and the trees, a small gazebo is set, as always, waiting for a visitor to call for tea.