We took a mother’s Day trip out to this super National Trust Hall and Farm in Cambridgeshire. I loved the parterre with it’s combinations of Box and Euonymous and the Folly tower with some wonderful skeletal trees…
We had a delightful trip to the west of Norfolk a month or two back; to the splendid medieval ruins of Castle Rising with its massive mounded enclosure and monumental masonry.
Equally fascinating was the village next door, where the old ‘hospital’ (almshouses) had a fantastic garden (including a large clipped box seat) and the Norman church featured some beautiful decoration.
A cricket match was underway in the adjoining field …the epitome of English country life (of old)! The sun shone, we strolled, and then took coffee in a great little cafe, where we also found a novel use for a redundant telephone box- a local lending library!
We shall definitely be back. The castle’s website says:
‘Castle Rising Castle is one of the most famous 12th Century castles in England. The stone keep, built in around 1140 AD, is amongst the finest surviving examples of its kind anywhere in the country and, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, ensures that Rising is a castle of national importance. In its time Rising has served as a hunting lodge, royal residence, and for a brief time in the 18th century even housed a mental patient.
The most famous period in its history was when it came to the mother of Edward III, Queen Isabella, following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II. The castle passed to the Howard family in 1544 and it remains in their hands today, the current owner being a descendant of William D’Albini II, the norman baron who raised the castle.’
‘Brown’s work was groundbreaking. He blended art and engineering, and moved mountains of earth and villages, to create beautiful naturalistic landscapes which are still much admired today, 300 years after his birth.’
‘The Farne Islands are possibly the most exciting seabird colony in England with unrivalled views of 23 species, including around 37,000 pairs of puffin.
It’s also home to a large grey seal colony, with more than 1,000 pups born every autumn.
Historically, the islands have strong links with Celtic Christianity and St Cuthbert, who lived here in the 7th Century.
There’s also a medieval pele tower and Victorian lighthouse here, plus a visitor centre and easy access boardwalk.
Many of the islands hide underwater at high tide…’
‘Grace was born on 24th November 1815 at Bamburgh, Northumberland and spent her youth in two lighthouses (Brownsman and Longstone) where her father, William, was the keeper. In the early hours of the 7th September 1838, Grace, looking out from an upstairs window of the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a low rocky outcrop. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half; one of the halves had sunk during the night. Amidst tempestuous waves and gale force winds there followed an amazing rescue of the survivors. Grace’s life would never be the same.’
But the really noteworthy feature- well I think so- is the re-creation of the Fountain Gardens, including (for 50 cents a go) the chance to see the way the fountains might have embellished this calm, sheltered space set amid the bustle of the wider settlement.
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