What a wet and windy day we are having here today, such a contrast to yesterday's sun. Walks, outings and picnics have been popular blog topics this weekend, prompting me to make the most of the sunshine yesterday and take a walk myself - to the Post Office (well, musn't get carried away!).
Normally I take a direct route along the road but today I decided on the scenic route. We are lucky to have a large park just a couple of minutes walk from our house. It used to be a country estate, owned by the local Lord. Sadly, the Manor House fell derelict, and having been used and damaged by the military during WWII was demolished in the 1950s, but the parkland remains for the use of the townspeople. It's complety surrounded by the town now, but I love to come here and imagine how it once was.
It's uphill all the way, but fortunately there are benches at strategic points if you need a rest. It's a godsend for dog walkers in the area who otherwise would have to drive to a suitable spot.
Part of the family church still remains, open at weekends only now for a look around the private cemetary.
This secret path now leads to a locked gate, I wonder where it led to once - a secret garden maybe?
What once was a formal garden at the side of the house is now grassed over.
I found this archive photograph of the original house, taken in 1925. If it hadn't been demolished I suspect it would be luxury apartments by now!
I found this write-up about the house on Wikipedia:
When last occupied by the family, the house had an outer and inner hall on the ground floor (giving access to a lobby and drawing room), a dining room with adjoining study, billiard room, library and gun room.
There were two staircases leading to the various bedrooms, some with adjoining dressing rooms and also the nursery and servants' quarters.
The grounds included an arboretum, lawns, artificial lakes and ornamental gardens and was used for entertaining, garden parties and fêtes. During cold periods the frozen lakes were used by the family and local residents for ice skating.
Can you just imagine?
Behind the house the grounds slope down again, an outcrop of stones in the bottom left, and a view of the downs in the distance.
A solitary lamp post, have I stumbled into Narnia? - of course not, there's no snow!
Down to one of two lakes, a popular spot for local fishermen. As well as ducks there have always been a pair of swans on the lakes. There have been some sad incidents, one year a swan was savaged by a dog, another year one was shot with an air rifle. The saddest thing is to see is the other swan left alone and grieving. When such incidents occur, a nearby swan sanctuary always take the remaining swan back to the sanctuary and replace it with a new couple. All the birds were at the opposite side of the lake today.
I think this building might once have been the ice house.
I often bemoan the fact I live in town, but with this on my doorstep it's not so bad I guess.
Through a tree lined avenue I end up on the high street and at the Post Office. A rare sight to see an original Post Office building that hasn't been turned into a trendy bar.
I posted my Pink and Green Giveaway parcels, then popped into the charity shops. Nothing much doing today, some pretty china ambitiously overpriced. I bought this pink and green brooch - apt considering the purpose of my walk. Had I not already posted the parcels I might have popped it into one of them! ;-) Maybe next time then, it needs some attention first.
I was tagged this week by Mere of These are the Days. I have to reveal 5 things about myself. Thank you Mere - I'm going to save that for another day.
Hope you are all having a good week, we have severe weather forecast for the South West today, not sure if it will extend to here, but it's certainly blowing up a gale outside so I'm staying firmly indoors today!