Tag Archive: tudor


WP_20160515_13_25_28_ProHaving completed our journey from Skye to East Kilbride, just south of Glasgow, we spent a wonderful couple of days exploring ‘the second city of empire’. We’d never been before…we were wondering what it would be like, given it had a rather ‘mixed’ reputation in former days.

We needn’t have worried. Yes, this is a working city and there are parts which aren’t that pretty. But the efforts to regenerate the centre and its surrounds seem to have paid off. We were impressed at the range and quality of the architecture and cultural offerings here…and the friendliness of the people.

Today’s post sets out some pictures from our first full day’s visit, when we took the tourist bus and initially stopped off to visit the Cathedral…

From here it was short walk to the Necropolis set out above the city, it is a wonderful space celebrating the lives of Glasgow’s worthies…and glorious on a sunny day with lovely cloud formations. We stopped off to chat to a group of RSPB volunteers busy stripping turf in order to create more wildlife (bird) friendly spaces amidst the tombstones….

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And from here we discovered a super museum in one of the oldest merchant houses (‘Provand’s Lordship’) in the city and with its own, rather special tudor-style garden with knots of Box and interesting beds iof medicinal and other herbs…

Our second day featured a trip to the Botanical Gardens, Museums the Mackintosh-designed School of Art and afternoon tea at another  Rennie Mackintosh project….more of that in a couple of days..

Further information: www.peoplemakeglasgow.com

Old School Gardener

IMG_9760I finally fulfilled a long-held ambition last week – to visit Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, especially to see the gardens. Visiting with old friends Dave and Jen, we were first blown away by the sumptuous house with its amazing range of paintings, furnishings, panelled walls and most of all the ceilings- a testament to old-fashioned craftmanship – and lots of dosh! The Hatfield House website says of the house:

‘Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. The Estate has been in the Cecil family for 400 years. Superb examples of Jacobean craftsmanship can be seen throughout the House.

In 1611, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury built his fine Jacobean House adjoining the site of the Old Palace of Hatfield. The House was splendidly decorated for entertaining the Royal Court, with State Rooms rich in paintings, fine furniture and tapestries.

Superb examples of Jacobean craftsmanship can be seen throughout Hatfield House such as the Grand Staircase with its fine carving and the rare stained glass window in the private chapel. Displayed throughout the House are many historic mementos collected over the centuries by the Cecils, one of England’s foremost political families.’

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The outside areas were equally enjoyable, with a range of gardens and parkland, currently home to a display of provocative, beautiful and fun sculptures.

The West Garden was a little past its best when we visited, but was probably a wonderful display of colour just a few weeks earlier from the many herbaceous plants, roses and shrubs set out there. The climax, for me, was the wonderful Tudor Garden with its intricate box knots and clipped hollies. Here’s what the Hatfield House website says about the gardens:

‘The garden at Hatfield House dates from the early 17th century when Robert Cecil employed John Tradescant the Elder to collect plants for his new home. Tradescant was sent to Europe where he found and brought back trees, bulbs, plants and fruit trees, which had never previously been grown in England.

Visitors can enjoy the sundial garden and fountains, and view the famous knot garden adjoining the Tudor Old Palace where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood. Following the fashion for landscape gardening and some neglect in the 18th century, restoration of the garden started in earnest in Victorian times. Lady Gwendolen Cecil, younger daughter of Prime Minister Salisbury, designed the West Garden as it is today.

The adjoining woodland garden is at its best in spring with masses of naturalised daffodils and bluebells.

The East Garden was laid out by the 5th Marquess of Salisbury. This part of the Garden has elegant parterres, topiary and rare plants are a delight for the gardening enthusiast and for those wishing to spend a quiet time in idyllic surroundings. Designed to be viewed from the first floor of the House, the East Garden is only open to the public on one day each week during the visitor season.

The Garden is maintained by Lady Salisbury and her small team of gardeners’

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Further Information: Hatfield House Website

Old School Gardener

IMG_8624The second and final stop on our trip home from Devon recently, was Montacute House, Somerset. Surrounded by beautiful, formally laid out gardens, the warm, honey-coloured stone of the house glowed in the spring sunshine. There was a splendid display of tulips and wallflowers and a magnificent ‘cloud’ yew hedge reminiscent of those at Blickling House, near our home in Norfolk. We were fortunate to meet  a gardener in the ”orangery’, which, she explained, was not really in the best spot for this and had in the past been more of a shady water feature, with its tufa – clad grotto. This and it’s surrounds are gradually being replanted with ferns and other suitable species. Pots of standard Bay trees line the terrace outside where once orange and lemon trees would have been placed in summer.

‘Montacute is a masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design. With its towering walls of glass, glow of ham stone, and its surrounding gardens it is a place of beauty and wonder.

Sir Edward Phelips, was the visionary force and money behind the creation of this masterpiece, which was completed in 1601. Built by skilled craftsman using local ham stone under the instruction of William Arnold, master mason, the house was a statement of wealth, ambition and showmanship.

Come face to face with the past in the Long Gallery, which is the longest of its kind in England. The gallery houses over 60 Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.

Beautiful gardens surround Montacute, constantly changing, filling the house with scent in summer and providing an atmospheric backdrop for a winter walk…’

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Further information: National Trust website

Old School Gardener

IMG_6583A rather lower key garden visit this one, but still very enjoyable.

The Godolphin Estate is the former seat of the Dukes of Leeds and the Earls of Godolphin. It contains one of the most fashionable Tudor/Stuart mansions in Cornwall. The present house is remnant of a larger mansion. At one time it was a secondary seat of the Dukes of Leeds, but the Duke sold it in 1929. The Estate is a total of some 550 acres (220 ha). The early formal gardens (dating from around 1500) are said to be among the most important historic gardens in Europe, having barely changed over the years.

These include some interesting formal walled gardens and further afield remnants of grassed areas, ponds and ancient trees, with the addition of some meadow areas. The atmosphere is one of quiet and restraint, typical of its age and predating some of the more exuberant formal and landscape gardens of the following centuries.

It was very pleasant exploring the gardens on a sunny August afternoon, the peace and quiet, interrupted only by the sound of bees humming around a series of hives which are part of a study looking into the qualities of the Cornish bee, one of the oldest breeds around. In some areas the gardens and planting are in need of careful restoration and renovation, to bring out their full interest and attractiveness. This process is being pursued by the National Trust, which has also been improving public access to the Estate. since they acquired it in 2000.

Further information :

National Trust Website

Old School Gardener

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Well, we had a great day out on Sunday visiting this garden near Fakenham, Norfolk. A Tudor Hall with some fantastic chimneys and gables plus a superbly crafted and well-kept garden. Not normally open to the public, on Sunday the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade were the beneficiaries of the garden day.

Thorpland Hall is a sixteenth century hall set in 6 acres of quintessentially English country gardens.  It is a gem of a place with some very nice touches:

  • grass cut to varying heights to create informal paths and visual interest
  • subtle shrub and plant combinations
  • well stocked, traditional kitchen garden with Broad Beans as well as peas held up by brushwood and interesting intermingling of herbaceous and other perennials
  • A stone flag path with side planting pockets from which various ‘low growers’ soften the edges
  • Use of ‘saved’ architectural features from local churches as well as its own ‘ruined chapel’
  • a vast variety of trees and shrubs all looking mature and well cared for
  • a lily covered lake excavated by the owners, Nigel and Annabel Savory, with a ‘nod to Monet’ in its wooden bridge
  • a delightful ‘shepherds hut’ summer house and ‘his and hers’ rustic chairs.

Well worth a visit, if and when you get the chance!

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Cotehele House in Cornwall, England, is a ‘ Tudor house with many stories and legends, festooned with tapestries and adorned with textiles, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture; a magical experience as little has changed over the years.Outside, explore the formally planted terraces, or lose yourself in the Valley Garden, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote. Seek tranquillity in the Upper Garden or visit the two orchards planted with local apples and cherries.Cotehele Quay is the home of the restored Tamar sailing barge ‘Shamrock’ and gateway to a wider estate. The Discovery Centre tells the story of the Tamar Valley.’

Source and further information:

National Trust Website

Wikipedia

Old School Gardener

 

 

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