Prior Park Garden in the Cotswolds – A National Trust Must-See

The Palladian Bridge at Prior Park

Prior Park is a must-see landscaped garden built high on a hillside with spectacular views of Bath as just one of its many attractions.
IMG_4641This National Trust Grade 1 listed garden was created by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen and begun in 1734.
IMG_4621Allen, who made his fortune by reorganizing the post office, took advice from the poet Alexander Pope and the garden designer Capability Brown before creating this masterpiece.
IMG_4618There are few flowers and no formal beds in this garden – it is all about breathtaking views, restful green lawns, reflecting water from the lakes and sculptural bridges – creating a mellow mood that is immensely pleasing.
IMG_4657Meandering across the elegant Palladian Bridge, one of only four left in the world, is a joy and there is much more to discover including: a Serpentine Lake, a Cascade, a summerhouse, and a horseshoe walk.
IMG_4655Winding and sometimes steep paths lead to hidden retreats, tranquil lakes, a ruined Gothic Temple, a Grotto and finally, stunning vistas over Bath. Prior Park was the matrix for style that became known as the “English garden”.
IMG_4623-1The Palladian mansion, which tops one of the garden’s sweeping green slopes and overlooks Bath, now houses Prior Park College and was designed by John Wood, the Elder in 1742. He was commissioned by Ralph Allen to build a house “To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see”.

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This house, with its classic symmetry, should be on the list of all the overseas visitors who, caught up in Downton Abbey fervor, are now interested in seeing other examples of the great houses of Britain.

Afternoon Tea can be taken at a tiny, clapboard tea house, with outdoor tables, tucked away in the foliage.
IMG_4647A five-minute walk from the garden leads on to a six mile circular walk around Bath, with amazing views, that passes through woodlands, meadows, an Iron Age hill-fort, Roman settlements, and an 18th-century folly.

Prior Park Garden is south of Bath, Somerset, by Ralph Allen Drive, and 3/4 mile (1.2 km) from the Kennet and Avon canal path. BA2 5AH

Click here for National Trust Link

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New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

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A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

COTSWOLDS DRY STONE WALLS Keeping Rural Skills Alive

Dry Stone Walls

Traditional country crafts keep the Cotswolds beautiful.
Fortunately, recently care is being taken to keep the disappearing art of
Dry Stone Walling and other rural skills alive. See ruralskills.org

Excerpt from Cotswolds Memoir:

Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage.
(Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle & Audio Book)

During the hike, we came across a farmer repairing a dry stone wall. These walls are characteristic of the Cotswold region and add enormously to the beauty of the landscape. Made from the local honey-coloured stone without any kind of mortar, they are assembled like giant jigsaw puzzles. We watched, fascinated, as the farmer took pieces of jagged, uneven stone and fitted them together perfectly as he talked. I asked how he did it so expertly.

‘Mainly by feel,’ he answered in his broad country accent. He was a great old character and he gave a terrific impromptu talk on dry stone walling.

‘Its limestone, see, and we gather the stones from all around when we rebuild like this. After you do it for a while, you even know where the stones come from by their colour. See this one in my hand? Now that’s from Guiting, and that one – that’s from Oddington. These walls don’t just divide the fields; they provide shelter for small birds, toads, frogs and insects. They have all sorts growing in between the stones too. Wild flowers, herbs, berries – you name it. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t a few Roman coins in there too.’

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order
a.com_logo_RGB  

 

 amazon
A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.