Sunday, 11 July 2010

A day out in Fairyland.

We decided this afternoon to take our new motor for a spin and ended up at Cannon Hall near Barnsley, seat of the Spencer Stanhope family. It's always been one of our favourite haunts and we hadn't been for quite a while so it was the logical choice.

In winter we usually while away a couple of hours in the house admiring the collections, especially the Moorcroft pottery and the paintings, but this afternoon the house just got a cursory glance as the warm sunshine beckoned us into the pleasure grounds.

We headed first for the little area surrounding a carp filled pond known as Fairyland, which was designed and laid out by Sir Walter Spencer Stanhope, a British conservative politician, and Cecily Winifred, one of his daughters.

He cleverly incorporated a number of architectural features salvaged from nearby churches. The last time we visited these were very overgrown but in the last couple of years they've been thoroughly cleared and restored.

Here you can see the amazing water lilies; I don't remember them ever being so profuse but maybe that's just down to how long it is since we've been here!

These carp were simply enormous! And they were getting a lot of attention; there were quite a few children there who were clearly fascinated by them, all looking and pointing excitedly.

We moved on to the walled garden, another favourite spot that always has some really beautiful roses in summer. Neither of us are rose enthusiasts so I've no idea what variety this one is but the colours are vibrant indeed. Not overly fragrant, but beautiful nonetheless.

Now for the kitchen garden and here are sweet peas, one of my favourite cottage garden flowers. Wish I could manage to grow them like this without them becoming straggly! Again I don't know what variety this is; it's a shame there was no label as I'd have taken a note so I could look for some seeds.

Still in the kitchen garden, one of the several espalier trained varieties of old pears.

And finally, a pretty pink flower that we couldn't immediately identify, growing in profusion in the "ha-ha", a deep walled ditch whose purpose was originally to separate the livestock from the pleasure gardens. Will have to consult one of the four or five wild flower identification guides we have somehow managed to accumulate!


  1. Ooo, such beautiful sceneries!! It is absolutely stunning here!

  2. Hi Wingless and thank you! Yes, it's a fave place of ours, especially during the quieter months.

    (I'm going in phases a bit with my blog at the moment hence no recent posts - going to get myself going again over the next week or so.)