Last week, me and my father paid a visit to Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster (it was to celebrate his 60th birthday but he won't thank me for broadcasting that!). While I was ambivalent about the house itself, I found the gardens superb. I think the problem is that the gardens have been regenerated while the house, in parts, has been left to stagnate. While the drawing room and the morning room were gorgeous, other sections of the house didn't live up to expectation. I think it needs to decide whether it wants to be a memorial to the people who lived there last (it was a late sell-off to English Heritage in 1990) or to its heyday. As a Victorianist, I know which I'd prefer!
Anyway, since I was so enamoured by the gardens, I took a few photos to share with you. Unfortunately, you didn't get any of the croquet match that was going on in the grounds - I was too worried about the potential damage they could do to my head if I tried snapping them.
This first one is the fountain and flowerbeds visible, through a break in the hedge, from parts of the house. It's lusciously arranged, very colourful at the height of summer. In the background is the summer house.
This is the view of the house from the heights of the summer house. The clouds add a little atmosphere.
I was particularly attracted by the pet cemetery in a little corner of the grounds.
The little secluded pit is stunning. You come upon it fairly suddenly and there are paths above and below. The first one I took from the vantage point of the steps above and the second one from beside the archway you can see in the first.
This is the shooting house. Very pleasant in both situation and design. I had a quick look inside but it was too crowded for my liking.
Below is a section of the 'showcase' aspect of the gardens, displaying plants and trees of many nationalities. It's very tranquil there and I could have stayed there for hours - again, if it hadn't been for the people.
Finally, this is the church that is just off the grounds and is a beautiful companion to them.
One thing I'm looking forward to about finally getting a job is the prospect of English Heritage and National Trust memberships. It's not just the gorgeous properties I'm interested in. This visit to Brodsworth proved to me that a walk around grounds as beautiful as these can be both calming and inspiring. I could easily spend hours perched up by the summer house writing with the occasional sojourn to the cafe for tea and a scone. Though, next time, I'll make sure to sit inside - four wasps chased me halfway round the courtyard trying to steal my jam.