Sunday, June 13, 2010

Charlecote Park

While Scott's parents were with us at our house (post Germany) having some additional down time before they went on to Scotland, I went with them for an afternoon at a nearby National Trust property - Charlecote Park. Luckily the rain held out for us for while we toured the property and grounds.
Charlecote Park is a grand 16th century country house in a deer park on the banks of the River Avon. It has been home to the Lucy Family since the 15th century and the grounds feature a beautiful formal garden, woodland walk, and great parkland which has a herd of deer that have been in the park since Tudor times. Charlecote Park was built in 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy and Queen Elizabeth I stayed in the room that is now the drawing room
The entrance to the property is this gate and this fence runs all the way around the property. The fence is uneven in nature on purpose, as it apparently confuses the deer so they cannot escape over it.
The main house at Charlecote Park. (Unfortunately it was closed on the day we visited so we did not get to tour the inside).

Craig & Cris in front of the "gate house" on the property.
The beautiful formal garden with the river Avon just below it.
The ugliest sheep we have yet to see! These Portugese sheep are roaming all over the property (but not near the house where most of the tourists go). Not only are there sheep wandering around on property, but there are quite a few deer. Charlecote Park covers 185 acres, so there is a lot of room for the animals to wander. Historical stories recount that William Shakespeare poached deer in the park as a young man - but apparently it wasn't a deer park at that time.

Across the street, near the parking lot for the property, is a lovely nursery and garden centre that the National Trust runs. It featured many beautiful flowers, vegetables and plants of all kinds. We enjoyed wandering around the nursery area looking at all of the flowers in bloom, to see what various kinds were on offer. The prices at this nursery were super reasonable as well - a great find for a planting or gardening addict!

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