A Visit to Stourhead National Trust: a Perfect Vision of an Idyllic Landscape and Lake; an Infamous ‘Romantic’ Encounter in the Temple of Apollo

Before visiting the gardens at Stourhead, Wiltshire the other day I looked forward to seeing for myself this ‘living work of art’, for I had created a brightly coloured, stylised copy of a photo of that iconic view just last year, during the first UK lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. When we visited the garden,Continue reading “A Visit to Stourhead National Trust: a Perfect Vision of an Idyllic Landscape and Lake; an Infamous ‘Romantic’ Encounter in the Temple of Apollo”

Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home

I was fascinated to see this Maori meeting house in the grounds of Clandon Park, Surrey. It immediately attracted me as I loved learning about the Maori culture in New Zealand during my November 2019 visit. I discovered that the original meeting house, Hinemihi, had been sited in an area of New Zealand’s North IslandContinue reading “Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home”

Paranormal Warwickshire Part 17: Coughton Court, Alcester

This is the seventeenth in a series of glimpses into my new book Paranormal Warwickshire which will be published by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020. The Tudor house at Coughton Court, for centuries the family seat of the Throckmorton family, is one of the loveliest National Trust properties in Warwickshire and it has aContinue reading “Paranormal Warwickshire Part 17: Coughton Court, Alcester”

Cornwall Mini Series Part 15: Lanhydrock National Trust

A vast parkland, a major historical house which has so many associated buildings clustered around it, alongside its own church, it seems like a village in itself – and a garden of ingenuity, beauty and variety, which surprises and delights you as you explore its paths, its structure and colourful planting: this is Lanhydrock. CloserContinue reading “Cornwall Mini Series Part 15: Lanhydrock National Trust”

Cornwall Mini Series Part 12: Trellisick National Trust

What an enchanting location this is for a grand house: situated on the Fal estuary in Cornwall, views across to the water are to be glimpsed from the terrace at the back of the house, and also from many places in the parkland. As one of my friends on social media remarked, grand houses likeContinue reading “Cornwall Mini Series Part 12: Trellisick National Trust”

Cornwall mini series Part 9: St Michael’s Mount

This is the ninth in a series of short reflections on places in Cornwall. There will be few words, and mainly images. St Michael’s Mount is just off the coast at Marazion but may be reached on foot by the causeway when the tide is out. It is one of those places which has aContinue reading “Cornwall mini series Part 9: St Michael’s Mount”

Cornwall mini series Part 8: The Screech Owl Sanctuary

This is the eighth in a series of short reflections on places in north Cornwall. There will be few words, and mainly images. The Screech Owl Sanctuary is located near St Columb Major (where we were staying when we visited). This is home not only to a collection of beautiful, talented owls full of personality,Continue reading “Cornwall mini series Part 8: The Screech Owl Sanctuary”

Cornwall mini series Part 7: Trerice

This is the seventh in a series of short reflections on places in north Cornwall. There will be few words, and mainly images. Trerice is an Elizabethan manor house set in well-kept gardens, not far from St Columb Major (where we were staying when we visited). It is at Newlyn East, near Newquay. It isContinue reading “Cornwall mini series Part 7: Trerice”

Great Gardens of England: Hidcote Manor Gardens, near Chipping Campden

A great garden is an image of paradise, in more than one religious outlook. Perhaps this is because  within such a garden, all the very best of the natural world is taken by human ingenuity, and then gifted and skilled gardeners weave their own design and creativity into it. Our dreams become realised through aContinue reading “Great Gardens of England: Hidcote Manor Gardens, near Chipping Campden”

The Throckmortons of Coughton Court, Warwickshire: A Family Forever Linked to those Who Conspired to Murder their King

Approaching Coughton Court, the ancestral seat of the Throckmortons, near Alcester in Warwickshire, we may admire the mellow sandstone sixteenth century house with its dramatic battlemented gatehouse tower and lovely timbered north and south wings. In front is the most exquisitely laid-out garden packed with abundant lavenders. Everything about this house and its surrounding groundsContinue reading “The Throckmortons of Coughton Court, Warwickshire: A Family Forever Linked to those Who Conspired to Murder their King”