Thursday, 31 January 2008

On my doorstep

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 fĂȘtes. 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!


  1. Hello Lucy
    Well what a delightful walk to your local post office.. I wish mine were as picturesque.. though the hills around us are pretty wonderful.
    It certainly is a blustery old day here... I just poked my head out of the door and ended up with a new hairdo!

    Hope you are having a cosy day indoors..

    P.s I did look for some of that lovely material but I think it has all gone... shame!

  2. Thank you for sharing your walk with us!

    That brooch is lovely but I know we've discussed before the overpriced china charity shops try to sell!

    Thanks for popping over to my blog... my bottom draw is more a bottom room now!!! I've been warned to stop buying!

    Best Wishes


  3. Hi Lucy,
    Thank you for taking us along the beautiful walk to your local Post Office. It certainly was a gorgeous day yesterday - unlike today!
    I'm sure Sue can't wait to receive the wonderful pink & green prize.

    Thank you for the comment on my blog - wish I'd know you were at the flea market - but then I don't know what you look like, so wouldn't have been able to spot you!)

    Keep warm,
    Niki x

  4. Hi Lucy

    What a fabulous place that must have been, and how handy to have it on your doorstep. I think I'd always want to walk to the PO that way!

    If you look at the pic of Orchardleigh and see the 2 windows on the 2nd floor above the small arched doorway, we were in the one on the left and Mum was next to us.

    Cold now flu and chesty cough I'm afraid. So no Dairy House today, just warmth and comfort food!

    Will let you know when my yummy parcel arrives, thank you.

    Sue xx

  5. Beautiful! I wish we had that kind of history around us. Thank you for the walk. :)

  6. What Beautiful Scenery!!
    We have similar weather to you today, in fact I have not stepped foot outside of the door, but I hate it when it comes to the evening and you think to yourself, what was the point in doing my hair and putting make-up on to simply stay inside all day, perhaps the dog will appreciate me looking my best!!

  7. Thank you Lucy for taking me on such a lovely journey. I have been to England a few times and it is one of my favourite places. I love dropping by and finding out what you have been up to. Your blog reminds me of one of my favourite magazines that I buy - English Country Living. I hope the wind has settled down. We have had a few hot days (although not as hot as in Sydney) with some terrible thunderstorms with hail in the afternoons. But today is rainy. - take care - Sandra.

  8. Very interesting, and beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. When you say "town", how big is it? The metropolitan area I live in is probably 2 million, so I would be content just to live in a little "town". Interesting that it's so windy there, halfway around the world; we are having gale force winds here too.

  9. Hi Lucy, oh thank you so much for that walk through such a gorgeous area, I adore old buildings and ruins and that lush green grass, ohI do want to go there. Our old buildings here in Queensland are more than likely old shacks of timber and the grass is sparse and brown...not so romantic...but just for a moment i was whisked away to a place full of imaginings (new word). Thanks for should get your pretty parcel soon, hope you like it, kiss noises Linda Lilly Cottage

  10. Hi, what lovely countryside. Les is lucky enough to work as a joiner on an estate that still functions as a private residence, although they do open the house for weddings. The grounds are fascinating. Lovely parkland with mature trees, sheep grazing, follies and towers and a ice house.
    Margaret and Noreen at THY

  11. Thank you so much for the beautiful walk today!
    The picture of the mansion looks very similar to the library in my home town. It was once a home but then turned into a library and it too set right in the middle of a most beautiful park like area, only it was fenced.

    But I remember many days while waiting for my mother as she looked at books I would wander the beautiful paths surrounding the mansion/library.

    The swan lake path looks very similar to our nearby path that also has swans...a pair named Hanzel and Gretel. They are beautiful!

    Have a great evening!

  12. Hi Lucy,
    Thank you for the lovely walk through the park, it looks very peaceful and beautiful.
    Cheers Linda

  13. Oh, Lucy Bloom..this was such a purely delightful walk with you to your adorable and 'full of charm ' post office. How I would love to visit your country someday. I have a cousin that lives in Bath and I've thought for years that, if I should win the lottery, I would make a trip to see him. He could show me the sights and I would love it!
    Thanks for sharing your stroll....
    hugs, bj
    oh...and my heart beat a little faster when I read that you had sent the packages off in the

  14. What a beautiful part of the world you live in, lots of lovely walks and things to look at. Very pretty're very successful on the charity shop front!!

  15. What a beautiful place for a walk. I love the beauty of England!

  16. Hi Lucy
    I think I'm going mad, I'm sure I've left a comment on this post - must have forgotten to press the button at the end! Anyway thanks for taking us along on such a lovely walk, looks like a wonderful place, love the secret path and the solitary lamppost. We have an identical lamp post outside our house which was great when my daughter had her Narnia party! The brooch is very pretty too.
    I'm definitely going to press the button now!


Thank you for your comments - I am not always able to reply but they are always appreciated.
Lucy x