Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A Return to Mottisfont

Mottisfont is one of  those places my wife & I love to visit. Last year we went along to see the roses and felt we were a little too late to see them at their best so this time we visited early in June. We were not disappointed

Their new reception area is now completed.

The lawn looks immaculate as ever

When I walked down here last year there were just the pillars with the roses you see on the right hand side. Since then they have added the posts on the left hand side & the ones in the foreground adding a wrought iron arch

 This is the rose growing on them called the Pilgrim

As you walk in the walled garden the first of  the roses come into view and the smell was heavenly

And you can't help being drawn over to them to look and smell their fragrance.

The roses and flowers in the waled beds were superb.

Even the little box hedges were neat.

The seat made a nice setting for a photo but I had to wait a while before it was empty.

Even getting a clear shot through the arches.

It was the roses we had come to see

and they looked perfect.

The foxgloves, and roses compliment each other.

The flowerbeds looked neat and tidy if a little bear in places.

This wall really stood out with the roses growing along it

Again I was trying to get a photo with no people in it

I was lucky to photograph the seat  through the arch with the roses growing over it and no one sat in it

The small fountain is popular with people looking at it, lucky no one were there when I took this but the seat was occupied

Looking all the way along the arches

Shrub roses with foxgloves

More foxgloves

The borders packed with flowers

It did not matter which way you went the paths had people admiring the roses
Or sat on a bench looking at the guide

Allium I learnt the name from my wife, I like the delicate flowers on them

While we were there looking at them an elderly gent leant over to my wife and asked what type of flower it was. She said" I think it's an Allium" the gent then turned round to his wife and said the lady says it's an Allium. I think he thought my wife was an expert on plants. He's right she knows the names I don't, I just plant them

Walking back along the path

Looking in roses and finding bees and looking at more pink roses.

We wandered out of the wall to look at the grounds

and view the surrounding area

Then walking back I spotted this sculpture I don't remember it from my last visit. It's called Alien and is a Bronze Resin by David Breuer- Iit's on show for a year at Mottisfont

We left feeling really pleased and inspired at seeing the roses again but stopped off at the gift shop and found the plant centre, bad move I ended up buying a load not only that but behind the centre they also sold roses of the same variety as the ones we had just seen. We passed on them even though they were the cheapest I had seen. We decided to come back again a week or so later but nature intervened and the heavens opened up not only doing for our roses but when we came back to Mottisfont  the roses had passed their best and were well and truly trashed and looked dreadful. We took one swift look and went home feeling disappointed.
Hopefully we will return again next year when they are at their best.

This was one of the few I took on our second trip and is of a Veilchenblau one we have bought and are growing in the garden, hopefully it will look like this one day.
Hope you enjoyed our visit to Mottisfont

Friday, 3 June 2016

Farnham Castle

I visited this place with my wife back in 2014 along with Waverly Abbey. Both were religious sites as Farnam Castle was the home of the Bishop of  Winchester which seemed odd to me as the town was nearer London than Winchester. Some history from Wickipedia
Built in 1138 by Henri de Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror, Bishop of Winchester, the castle was to become the home of the Bishops of Winchester for over 800 years. The original building was demolished by Henry II in 1155 after the Anarchy and then rebuilt in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 15th century, it was the residence of Cardinal Henry Beaufort who presided at the trial of Joan of Arc in 1414. It is for this reason that St Joan of Arc's Church in Farnham is dedicated to her. The castle was slighted again after the Civil War in 1648. Since then more buildings have been constructed in the castle's grounds, the most impressive being those built by Bishop George Morley in the 17th century.
The architecture reflects changing styles through the ages, making it one of the most important historical buildings in the south of England. It is an impressive stone motte and bailey fortress, which has been in continuous occupation since the 12th century. The large motte was formed around the massive foundations of a Norman tower and then totally enclosed by a shell-keep, with buttress turrets and a shallow gatehouse. Attached to the motte is a triangular inner bailey, with a fine range of domestic buildings and a fifteenth-century brick entrance tower. The formidable outer bailey curtain wall has square flanking towers, a 13th-century gatehouse and a large ditch.
In the second World War it was the home of the  Camouflage Development and Training Centre The Castle is now under the care of English Heritage. I have written a previous blog but thought I would do one for my Exproation blog

I started taking my photos here in the moat leading to the bridge you see ahead, back in the day it would have looked like you see in the picture to the left

The climb up is steep but you can look out over the Bishops palace below

This is a view you get looking down from inside the keep to the bridge. On the right you can see the old fireplaces still in the walls

Looking down from the view point to the Bishops gardens

and you get an even better view of the palace

The top of the Keep

The building in the middle covers a pit that was dug and shows the various levels of it being built and some archaeology

on the left you cal look down to the old moat. on the right the walkway to one of the viewpoints

You can see the outlines of the various building that used to be in the keep

A quick look over the wall shows how steep they were while on the right a view down the pit in the middle

Anther view over to the Bishops garden and the pond

and the outer wall and beyond is a park

The view above along with the one to the right gives an idea to how sheer the walls to the keep are

This entrance leads to the Bishops Palace

which is this building her

that joins onto this Tudor building

The entrance door 

with the coat of arms 

Remember the steps from earlier, well this is the bottom of them

The Keep from the Bishops palace and another part of in in the photo to the left

The stained glass in the banquet hall was amazing

Which I could only take from the outside as when I went in to look they were preparing for a wedding but it looked stunning from the inside

That's it for Farnham Castle, the building above was probably an old carriage house but to the right where the door is open is a small museum showing the history of the place. It's worth a stop off if your in the area as it is quite interesting to see. More information here at Farnham Castle