Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Belton House, Lincolnshire

April 13 2017 - my birthday outing.

As this was the Thursday before Easter there were a lot of visitors, but the grounds absorbed them easily. This time we didn't go inside the house.
Horse chestnut flowering

Old stable clock and stormy sky

Through the stables courtyard and into the gardens:
Gardener at work

Into the orangery:

The walled garden:
and the church:

The mirror pond:

 A few bluebells:
 A hairy woodland character:
 Tar Lane Pond:

A morel?
 Summer house:
Convenient summerhouse/shelter for a picnic on a windy day.
 Back to the gardens:

The sundial, featuring in Lucy Cresswell's book The Moondial and the 1980s TV series. Note there is a photo from July 2015, without the blue rope, here.

Calke Abbey and Park

March 28 2017.

This is a place I've intended to visit for some years - I remember a nature ramble one Saturday with our junior school teacher, Winifred Hopper, when I was about eight or nine. At that time the Hall was still occupied and not open to the public.
Then later, my mother told me about an article in the local paper - the last member of the eccentric and rather reclusive Harpur Crewe family had died and the estate had been taken over by the NT, as a sort of time capsule. 

Stables - room for a cart too?

Turnip chopper

The house 

The inside is a clutter of furniture and collections of rocks, of insects, of books, of stuffed animals . . .
A huge rocking horse - and a sedan chair

Gruesome trophies

Bells for the servants

It's just as well most of us don't have the space to keep everything.
The grounds are extensive with a pleasure garde, kitchen garden with orangery, now a fern house. The church is close at hand, reached through an avenue of trees.

The Harpur Crewe graves are adorned with heather mounds.
Daffodils were still in bloom. 

This is a tunnel so that gardener could access the kitchen gardens unseen by any family or guests!
There are glimpse of the lake.
 and the herd of deer.
 In the gardens is a romantic grotto

 More deer close to the house 
 Behind the car park, there is a walk along by some large ponds, where a heron was waiting for fish for quite some time.

I can't resist a good reflection. . .

. . .or two .