Painshill Park

Painshill Park

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Visit to Painshill Park today on what was quite a chilly day!!!

Painshill Park is one of the finest remaining examples of an 18th-century English landscape park. It was designed and created between 1738 and 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton (MP). The original house built in the park by Hamilton has since been demolished.

Charles Hamilton was born in 1704 in Dublin, the 9th son and 14th child of the 6th Earl of Abercorn He was educated at Westminster School and Oxford, and went on two Grand Tours, one in 1725 and a further one in 1732.

In 1738 Hamilton began to acquire land at Painshill and, over the years, built up a holding of more than 200 acres (0.81 km2). His creation was among the earliest to reflect the changing fashion in garden design prompted by the Landscape Movement, which started in England in about 1730. It represented the move away from geometric formality in garden design to a new naturalistic formula. Many of the trees and shrubs planted by Hamilton were sent to him from Philadelphia  by the  Naturalist John Bartram. The garden was open to respectable visitors, who were shown round by the head gardener for a tip, and was visited by many well-known figures including two visits by  William Gilpin, pioneer of the  Picturesque,  Thomas Jefferson with  John Adams, and Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau separately, on special tours of gardens, and the important landscape garden author  Thomas Whately. Then as now there was a particular route round the park recommended, designed to bring the visitor upon the successive views with best effect. Views from Painshill were painted on plates for a  Wedgewood service of  porcelain commissioned by  Catherine the Great of Russia.

The Great Cedar is thought to be the largest in Europe.

Hamilton eventually ran out of money and sold the estate in 1773 to Benjamin Bond Hopkins, who held the estate until his death in 1794. In 1778 Hopkins commissioned architect  Richard Jupp to rebuild Painshill House in a different location within the park. The house was later extended in the 19th century by architect  Decimus Burton and is now a grade II* listed building.

Today Painshill comprises 158 acres (0.64 km2) of the original more than 200 acres (0.81 km2) owned by Charles Hamilton in the 18th century. The landscape garden stretches along the banks of the winding River Mole on land that has a number of natural hills and valleys.
The central feature is a serpentine lake of 14 acres (0.057 km2) with several islands and spanned by bridges and a causeway. The water for the lake and the plantings is pumped from the River Mole by a 19th-century beam engine powered by a water wheel. Hamilton enhanced the views of hills and lake by careful plantings of woods, avenues and specimen trees to create vistas and a number of discreet environments which include anamphitheatre, a water meadow and an alpine valley. As focal points in the vistas and as sympathetic elements to be discovered in the landscape, Hamilton placed a number of follies, small decorative buildings, which include agrotto, Gothic "temple", "ruins" of a Gothic abbey, a Roman mausoleum, and a Gothic tower with a view of the countryside.

We are so lucky to have such a lovely place to visit a short drive from our house and as we are HHA members we get free admission.

Please enjoy the photographs I took today, on what was a lovely sunny day but very chilly!!

I love to watch swans float by, so graceful!!

Magnolia buds

A display of Autumn fruit and vegetables in the walled garden .

Bacchus statue

 Flowers on the table in the Cafe

Wall sculpture in the cafe

The Grotto

 Five arch bridge

 The swans passing the Vineyard

 If in the area it is a great place to visit, we only walked around the lake today and then had a cup of tea in the cafe to warm us up, but there is plenty more to see and enjoy!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day.

Image result for Always and forever Royal British Legion

A two-minute silence will be observed across the UK later to remember the nation's war dead.

It starts at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the time in 1918 when the guns finally fell silent along the Western Front.
We will remember them!

The Queen led commemorations on Remembrance Sunday, but she will spend Armistice Day privately at Buckingham Palace with other members of the Royal Family.

The Princess Royal will attend the ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffs.

The arboretum's Portland stone memorial is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, falling on a bronze wreath sculpture.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Our visit to Barcelona in October

A lovely colourful collection of flowers and plants for sale along the Les Ramblas

 Below, wonderful market stalls just off LesRamblas. 

 You have to look up at the wonderful decoration on some buildings

The entrance hall to the theatre

Parc de Montju├»c 

The view from ground level, the escalator up ( there are quite a few for the different levels) and the view from the top.

My husband had his portrait drawn along Les Ramblas one day, It has pride of place on our lounge wall!!!

There were some interesting building in the Gothic quarters.

Above the courtyard of the Cathedral 

Inside the Cathedral

 A mass was taking place in English

I lit two candles, one for a very good friend of mine, a very good catholic who died in May aged 53, he had had Kidney problems for years, having two transplants. He died in his sleep of heart failure. The other candle was for an older friend, who had been passed away a week or so before and the day we visited the Cathedral was her funeral. 

The photographs below are of the inside and outside of the Sagrada Familia.

Construction startedMarch 19, 1882

 and as you can see it still continues today!!

Find out more by clicking here

We visited in the afternoon, I had bought the tickets online before we went there as it is such a popular place for tourists to visit. Cruise ships dock in Barcelona and the people usually want to see the Sagrada Familia. The afternoon sun was shining through the stain glass windows and it was beautiful.

I do have loads more photographs of our visit but I don't want to bore you, although I use it as a diary so I can remember where and when I have been somewhere.

We stayed in a lovely Hotel, 
 walking distance to Les Ramblas, the harbour, the beach, the hop on / off bus and Parc de Montjuic.
The reception staff and the porters are very helpful. It is bed and breakfast, it doesn't have a restaurant for dinner but has a lovely bar on the roof with the pool, gym and wonderful views. 
There are lots of cafes and restaurants within walking distance. We would recommend Fresc Co  (All you can eat buffet”) in Maremagnum, a pleasant shopping centre by the harbour.