Kingston Lacy and Cinestill

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

I’ve re-joined the National Trust! For my readers outside of the UK, the”NT” is a charity that exists to “… help look after all our special places for everyone, for ever.” Kingston Lacy is the closest property to where I live and happens to be one of their largest estates, and houses one its most important art collections, including works by Titian and Ruebens.

During my “stay-cation” I’d decided to use as many of the different film stocks, in as many different film cameras that I have “in stock” and this was the turn on Cinestill XX Negative, 120 in the Fuji GSW690III. Rated at 200asa. Another film I’ve never used.


Kingston Lacy was the home to generations of the Bankes family, but it was William John (1786-1855) who made the most changes to the house.  When he inherited it in 1834 he considered the renovations his father made before him, in the late 18th century, ”no longer fashionable”. So he instructed the architect Sir Charles Barry (who was involved in the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament) to remodel the house.

The house is kept quite dark to protect the art and as such is not really conducive to photography. I’ve toured it before, so didn’t bother again this visit. Happily it has a garden that was celebrated in the early 20th century as a horticultural masterpiece and an 18th-century parkland covering some 8,500-acres.

A photo of the south side of the house of course is essential and gives an idea of the scale of the place. (Above)

The Philae obelisk

In Egypt, William encountered the Philae obelisk,  it dates from 150 BC. It was one of a pair that originally stood outside the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae in Aswan, southern Egypt. It is carved in pink granite and it was later transported to Kingston Lacy with the aid of the Duke of Wellington’s gun carriage. Apparently it’s 9 meters tall.

Statue with small addition!
Contrasting Trees
The Japanese Gardens

The results above all look a little flat, and this seems at odds with what people usually expect from this emulsion. That said it was a misty, murky morning at the light was very flat. Just as the light improved and the sun started to emerge, I’d finished the roll, so carried on with some Ilford Delta 100.

A Place to think
The pepper and chilli house!
Sheep at rest
..and so back towards the house

The Bankes estate  actually covers a total of some 16,000-acres, which includes Corfe Castle, but more about that in another post.  It was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1981 by Henry John ‘Ralph’ Bankes – the last “Bankes” to live there. It is to date the largest single gift that the trust has ever received.

As for the Cinestill, well I enjoyed using it as a trial, it performed well enough, as one should expect from what is actually Kodak film! To be honest though, to my eye I can’t see that it offers anything different from good old FP4, and that is more readily available and based on this roll – cheaper. So I’m glad I’ve tried it, may try another roll in 35mm at some point, but won’t be in too much of a hurry!

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