"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Charlecote Park

I had a day out with a friend last Monday and we decided to visit Charlecote Park near Stratford.

Fallow deer have been in the parkland since Tudor Times. Of course, I had the wrong lens on the camera and, as I can't face carrying a bagful of lenses the 70 - 300 telephoto lens had been left at home!! I will take it next time I visit though as you can get quite close to the deer.

Gatehouse - I managed to resist the temptation of the second hand bookshop located in this building!

The Lucy family have lived here for over 900 years. Sir Thomas Lucy began building the house in 1551 and it was completed in 1558. The estate has been in the hands of the family since the thirteenth century.

We had some carrot and coriander soup in the Orangery first of all and then went a wander round the newly restored woodland garden which is absolutely delightful.

150 year old Mulberry trees

More of the Woodland Garden

Hampton Lucy church is in the distance - looks well worth a future visit. The parkland at Charlecote was designed by Capability Brown.


The River Avon runs through the parkland.

We had a look round the interior of the house - today the house is shown as it would have been in Victorian times. Staff are still replacing items due to recent rewiring of the property. Elizabeth I visited in 1572.

Sorry interior pictures not very good - usual problems of no flash, low light and very very slow shutter speeds. Really I must experiment with using a monopod!

Dining Room


The Drawing Room

Florentine pietra dura cabinet made arounnd 1620

Bust of Sir Thomas Lucy 1585 - 1640 - friend of William Shakespeare

Stained Glass in the Great Hall

William Shakespeare - who was allegedly caught poaching deer at Charlecote and many years later he immortalized Sir Thomas Lucy in "The Merry Wives of Windsor"

St Leonard's Church - will visit the church on another occasion - sadly we had run out of time.

The visit produced my first Swallows and first Brimstone of the year.

A quick look round the nurseries - I bought a few plants for the rockery and bog garden including a Ragged Robin as I seem to have lost my one and only plant of this species in our garden.

Lovely day out in the Spring sunshine - thanks J :)


Jerry said...

What a lovely visit and that pietra dura cabinet looks so impressive and fiendishly difficult to create especially in a time before electricity, I couldn't cope without it in my workshop! Well done on that first Swallow - mind you I saw a Swift this morning - the earliest I've ever seen one! By the way, just thought I'd tell you, Karen and I are so excited today as we have finally exchanged on our little bungalow in North Norfolk :D

Tricia Ryder said...

Was there a couple of years ago... lovely place to visit and looks as though the sun shone for you :)

Really like your composition of the picture of the river with the urn at the forefront.

Em Parkinson said...

A lovely day out indeed. I feel I have been round there too - thank you! I think your picture file sizes must be smaller than other people's as my hopeless broadband has managed to load all of them.

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - So thrilled to hear the news re: the bungalow - you must be over the moon :) I really do wish you all many happy times there :) I hope you are having a glass of home-made wine to celebrate :)

Charlecote (house) had some lovely items in it including beautiful marquetry and the most wonderful 16th century Florentine table in the Great hall made of marble and semi-precious stones. Sadly, the photos I took were even more blurred so had to leave them out.

Well done on the Swift - very very early but I will be looking out for them now :)

So pleased again for you all about your exciting news and all the wonderful wildlife you will be seeing when you visit :)

Tricia - Glad you've been able to visit - it is lovely there. We used to go a lot when I was a child to see the deer but I've only been once with the family about 10 yrs ago on Mother's Day. I don't know why I've left it so long to revisit - it doesn't take long if you whizz down the M42 and M40.

I think the photo you mention was my favourite too :)

Em Parkinson - Thank you - what a lovely compliment :) Interesting that about my picture file sizes because I always thought they were bigger than most people's :) especially as Twitter nearly has a nervous breakdown when I try and upload one :(

I only use the medium size Blogger picture size though perhaps that makes a difference? Anyway glad you managed to upload them ok :) Any news on your broadband being fixed? Hope it won't be long!

Wendy said...

This looks like a fascinating place to visit and it must be the perfect time of year to see the woodland garden. I'm glad you had sunshine to really enjoy those impressive grounds.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) What a delightful post, beautiful photos too! Difficult to pick a favourite but I rather like the one of the parkland with Hampton Lucy church in the distance. It would look lovely on the wall or as a painting. The lovely photo of the river with the urn in the foreground is particularly familiar, I have a few of those in my archives :-)

It is a lovely place to visit. I used to go quite often with my parents and have been since but it is a few years since I last went and I don't think we went in the house that time. I'm not sure if it was since I've had the DSLR, in which case it would have been in the last five years, or if it was while I had the 'point and shoot' which could even have been ten years ago, I must have a look back at my photos. The newly restored woodland definitely looks worth a visit. Is it very recently restored?

Not sure how you managed to resist the bookshop ;-)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Many thanks. Yes we were lucky with the weather - it was raining on the journey and then the sun came out as we arrived! The woodland garden was so pretty and looked well established considering how recently it was restored.

ShySongbird - Hi Jan:) Thank you - glad you enjoyed :) I think the 2 photos you mention were my 2 favourites. Not easy when you are with someone else to take too much time over photos! Had to smile that you had a similar urn photo in your archives :) Great minds...... :)

I did wonder again if it was amongst the places you have visited as we'd gone South again!!! :)

We used to go a lot when I was a child as well (as I said to Tricia) - we used to go and see the fallow deer. We last went as a family about 10/11 yrs ago but I don't think we went in the house. Let me know if you find out when you last went - actually I'll have a look and see if we have any old photos it was quite a few years before I had my dslr and we used to make more video in those days.

The woodland is very pretty if you get chance to visit. I have a feeling it was only restored last autumn time - but that's from memory so not 100% reliable :)

Ran out of time hence missing out on bookshop. I must go back soon and look at churches and take the telephoto for deer pics so will have a look round it then plus have a piece of cake :)

Chris Rohrer said...

You live in such a wonderful area to explore history. Love the shot of the flower with yellow petals. I've never seen that before. The deer look very interesting. I've done that as well....wrong lens for the wrong moment....but your shots of them came out great!

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - thanks Chris. The flower with the maroon and yellow petals (hope that's the one you mean :) ) is a variety of primula.

Choosing a lens to take out can be a problem! On holiday I tend to lug them all around with me but on day out just choose which one I am most likely to use and then get caught out :)