Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Inspirational Tours Part #1 - Hanbury Hall

Inspiration is a common topic of discussion for writers it seems. I have blogged about it myself before now. With a few weeks of summer delivered to us here in Britain, I decided to explore some of our local heritage sites. The idea was to blow away some cobwebs to clear my mind for writing the second WIP. This is part one of a few of my adventures!

The National Trust says: "Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, UK is a William and Mary-style country house, garden and park. Built in 1701 by Thomas Vernon, a lawyer and whig MP for Worcester, Hanbury Hall is a beautiful country house."

Countryside view.
 You enter Hanbury Hall through tall, filigree wrought iron gates into a courtyard entrance of formal, close-clipped lawns interrupted by gravel pathways of cotswold stone. The majestic eighteenth century country home greets you with a brick facade replete with Georgian windows. The centre, with stone-pillared entrance is flanked by two protruding wings. Behind the many panes of glass squares awaits a plethora of rooms including a Gothic corridor and majestic staircase, adorned with restored paintings by Sir James Thornhill.

Through one of two side gates you find yourself amid the 20 acres of recreated eighteenth century gardens and 400 acres of parkland. The garden boasts an intricate parterre from where you can sit and admire the view from within several brightly painted blue seated arbours.
Lake view from one of the arbours.
Emerging from the clipped and abundant gardens you can stroll through the fruit orchards, kitchen garden and then take in some of the 400 acres of park. Yet more arbours are found beside the bowling green and if you don't fancy a game there's always a meander to the orangery to see how the lemons are doing! It recently had its windows restored as much of the glass had fallen out and they had not been able to grow citrus fruits for some time. It was nice to see young saplings inside again.

The Orangery.
You can also find an arboretum, with plenty of hideaways and secret groves to entertain young and old alike. I had a go at some forest art!

Walking through the house and estate, the one recurring theme is the care and attention taken to retain the view of the gardens and surrounding countryside wherever you may be. I spent several minutes staring into oblivion from one of the bedrooms, wondering what the guests thought about when they shared the same view. It's easy to imagine yourself as one of the ladies in gowns taking an afternoon promenade past rows of roses. Hanbury Hall is exquisite and well worth a visit.

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