Showing posts from July, 2019

Exploring the gardens of Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey is a country house, the family seat of the Duke of Bedford. Although it is still a family home to the current duke, it is open on specified days to visitors, along with the diverse estate surrounding it, including the historic landscape gardens and deer park (by Humphry Repton), as well as more recently added attractions including Woburn Safari Park. It also has (but we did not see) a miniature railway and a garden/visitor centre. It was set out and founded as a Cistercian abbey in 1145. Taken from its monastic residents by Henry VIII and given to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, in 1547, it became the seat of the Russell family and the Dukes of Bedford. The Abbey was largely rebuilt starting in 1744 by the architects Henry Flitcroft and Henry Holland for the 4th Duke. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, originated the afternoon tea ritual in 19th-century England. Lion Lodge is an attractive building at the entrance to Woburn Park along the road leading from Woburn

Rosey filming for Countryfile at Woburn Abbey

A surprise message via Rosey's website led to a great couple of days in Woburn, with Rosey filming with the BBC Countryfile team! The message was from Katie, a researcher with the BBC, who was looking for a Macro bug photographer, preferable a female amateur photographer. Rosey fitted the bill! Katie also loved the images on Rosey's website. The Countryfile 2020 Calendar has a theme of Beauty and the Beast, and Rosey was to be filmed being interviewed by John Craven, and photographing some bugs (Beasts). In the morning we were able to search around the grounds of Woburn, courtesy of the staff, for a suitable area and Rosey did get some images. However, by the time the team got around to filming in the heat of the afternoon, most sensible bugs, and people, had run for cover! With everyone wilting in the heat, filming got under way and was quickly completed. Rosey was later asked to supply some of her images to be used, we assume, in the programme. John Craven, Ro

The magnificent Helmingham Hall and Gardens

Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house in Helmingham, Suffolk, England. It was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. The present Helmingham Hall may have been initially constructed in 1510 on the site of an earlier house called Creke Hall. The exterior was altered between 1745–1760, again in 1800 by John Nash, and in 1840. The original half-timbered walls have been concealed by brick and tiles.  The house is surrounded by a moat, over which it is reached only by two working drawbridges, which have been pulled up every night since 1510. These were originally operated with a windlass but in recent years this has been replaced by an electric motor.  Queen Elizabeth I is said to have twice visited Helmingham: first in 1561, and later to attend the christening of Lionel Tollemache as her godchild. Lionel Tollemache marked the first of ten consecutive genera

Snape and across the fields to Iken

Snape was on our itinerary for today as we knew of a walk from the Maltings toward the village of Iken. Wildlife, the Maltings as a concert venue, the shops - all add to the area being great to visit. As it`s name implies, the malting of barley was the function of the complex but in 1965, after 120 years, the malting of barley ceased, the direct result of inefficiencies of a large complex. The site was then purchased by Suffolk farmer George Gooderham. Meanwhile the composer Benjamin Britten had founded the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts, five miles from Snape, (in 1948) and the festival quickly established an international reputation, outgrowing its small venues in Aldeburgh and other locations around the Suffolk coast. In the course of the 1950s and 60s Britten explored ways to build a larger venue to host the festival, and in 1965 he leased the largest building at Snape Maltings from George Gooderham to convert into the 810-seat Snape Maltings Concert Hall, which