As the weather looked drier! we decided to spend a few days in Herefordshire last week. We travelled down on Tuesday morning and again had a "click and collect" from Morrisons in Leominster which saves taking food from home.
Timothy (still in his jumper as its not warm enough yet for a t-shirt) next to an Alice in Wonderland teapot D and E bought me recently. Thank goodness it is not a teapot that drips - every other one we have bought recently does!
D and E bought us a handmade sign for the caravan from a small company on the Isle of Wight for Christmas. It took us a while to work out how to display it and keep it safe. It is "glued" to the lower pot with outdoor adhesive and the plant in the upper pot is a bay B grew. We decided to call the caravan Offa as Offa's Dyke is so close and one my favourite churches in Warwickshire at Offchurch has Offa connections.
Views from the rear of the caravan. Herefordshire is looking particularly lovely at the moment with Cow Parsley filling the verges and Hawthorn in flower. We also saw several orchards with fruit tree blossom.
The tree I have been watching now has leaves!
B noticed on the caravan site's facebook page a recommendation for a place called Kyre Park which is only 10 minutes drive a way so on Wednesday we went to take a look.
The Park was home to the Pytts family from 1756 until the early 20th century. There was once a deer park which dated back to Medieval times and was licensed in 1329.
In the late 18th century Pleasure Grounds with a chain of pools, winding paths and a shrubbery were developed. Many of the trees though remained and were older. Tradition suggests that the grounds were designed by Capability Brown who had just designed Croome Park for the Earl of Coventry and may have been introduced to Kyre by the Dowager Countess. The park also contains follies, waterfalls, bridges and a summer house. There are Peacocks too but we didn't see any sign of them or hear them!
The earliest features of the house and church are possibly Norman. In the cellars at the western end of the house there are the remains of a border castle once the home of the Wyards and Mortimers successively who lived at Kyre until the 15th century.
In 1588 the house was a ruin destroyed either by fire or by Civil War and neglect. In 1754 much that remained of the earlier work was destroyed when alterations were made, stables built and a kitchen garden enclosed. Today's house has a medieval west wing and the rest is a mix of Elizabethan, Jacobean and Georgian architecture.
There were lots of wild flowers - cow parsley, speedwell, dandelions, cowslips, buttercups, bluebells and daisies.
Cropped record shot of a Grey Wagtail.
The first pool known as the Water Lily Pool.
You could actually go along passageways in and behind the tower where there were "surprises" awaiting in a chamber.
There are four or five pools/lakes - to be honest I lost count! I think this might be Hanning's Pool (a fish pond).
St Mary's Church
This tree was just amazing!
The Top Pool
The River - a long winding lake of three acres.
Although it was busier around the cafe the actual parkland walk was very quiet and peaceful. We only saw two dog walkers in 90 minutes!
We also visited St Mary's Church and churchyard (briefly!), Antiques Centre and a Medieval Dovecote but I will write about them in Part 2.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.