This has become one of my favourite places to walk in Swindon,not hard to find should you ever be near Junction 16 on The M4. I took an Autumn walk recently.
He had found the only conker I saw all day.
Back in the day before fridges and freezers, just what could you do for ice in your gin and tonic, or even to keep your Ben and Jerry’s frozen? Why build an ice house deep in the grounds so you didn’t have to see it, then get your minions to hack your frozen lake, and lug hunks of ice back to your ice house, and store it safely. Then send more minions to hack off a piece and fetch it back for cook.
I usually walk around the lake, but on this occasion set off to explore the parkland.
The property actually belongs to the council for the benefit of the populace. The house has a museum , only open at weekends, still not been. It is also a hotel and conference centre. We did actually stay there once, can’t really recommend it. We were in a small room, down a long corridor, and there was a wedding reception going on, need I say more. The following day we were woken by the church bells, from here,
Which was right by our window. Humph. We did however enjoy our walk round the grounds later on, full of crocus and snowdrops. Happy days.
Enough reflections, more walk..
Time for a sit down, and a nice mug of hot chocolate.
After this I went to wander around the walled garden. Now 99% of walled gardens were for the growing of vegetables. Not this one( that 99% isn’t fact, but a literary device, don’t want to be fact checked and in trouble). No, the veggies were apparently grown elsewhere, near the lake I think, also might not be true but an inaccurate recollection. There used to be a formal flower garden in front of the house. Back in day of Capabilty Brown it was fashionable to call in the landscape gardener, rip out your flower beds and create an unnatural “natural” landscape, with lakes , and like Marie Antoinette pretend you were a shepherdess. So the formal garden went, and the stones from that were used to build a walled garden. It’s much smaller than your average walled garden and certainly wouldn’t have grown enough food for the owners and staff. Normally there’s a charge for entering , but on this occasion was free because it was being used as a communal remembrance garden.
There was the odd splash of colour too.
But this lady fascinated me.
I was a bit footsore by now, so headed back to the car, hope you enjoyed my walk.
Those trees will have shed their leaves now I reckon , the ones at home have for sure. Already filled my wheelie bin twice, and there are still more!