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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Stourhead, in Wiltshire, is one of the National Trust's most popular sites.

Henry Hoare aka "Henry the Magnificent" started designing the world famous landscape garden in the 1740's. The wooded path through the garden at Stourhead offers access to classical temples, lovely vistas, grottos and Stourhead's own lake.

Stourhead Wiltshire

Visitors to Stourhead can also learn about the history of the Hoare family by visiting the majestic Stourhead House. This Palladian mansion contains a remarkable collection of paintings and world famous Chippendale furniture.

Stourhead Wiltshire

Stourhead Estate Office
Stourton, Warminster
Wiltshire BA12 6QD
Tel: 01747 841152

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Chudleigh Market

The quaint village of Chudleigh, south west of Exeter in the Teign Valley on the road to Plymouth has re-established its produce market, which fell into decline in the late 19th century.

The new market has a high emphasis on locally-produced food and the recent development is part of a plan to regenerate the ancient wool-producing town.

A new paved High Street with tree and flower spaces in the town centre is on the drawing-board along with a new Visitor's Centre, community notice boards and a state-of-the-art sensory garden.

Chudleigh Market is held weekly every Thursday along the High Street and outside the Town Hall.

Weekly Thursday mornings, 8.30am-1.00pm

For further details see the Buy Local Campaign website

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Montacute House

Montacute House was built between 1588 and 1601 by Sir Edward Phelips who started as a lawyer, became a member of parliament and rose to the level of Speaker. He famously led the prosecution of Guy Fawkes in 1605. Montacute House combines Gothic tradition with newer Renaissance ideas borrowed from the continent.

Throughout Montacute House is an extensive collection of portraits and the long gallery on the third floor hosts an important display of Tudor and Jacobean portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Montacute House is surrounded by a spectacular formal garden and 300 acres of parkland.

Montacute House

Montacute, Somerset
TA15 6XP
Tel: 01935 823289

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winchester Cathedral

Construction of the Norman parts of Winchester Cathedral in the city of Winchester in Hampshire started in 1079. Two later periods of construction led to Winchester Cathedral's completion in its present form in 1525.

Winchester Cathedral features the oldest medieval quire in England, 12th and 13th century wall paintings, and perhaps most impressively, the "Great Screen" - the carved limestone backdrop to the high altar begun in 1455.

The Great Screen was financed by money left to the cathedral on the death of Cardinal Henry Beaufort. However the figures of saints in the niches were all destroyed in the Reformation of the 16th century and the figures we see today are 19th century copies.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral is also the site of Jane Austen's grave. She was buried there in 1817 after her death at age 41 (see the image below).

Winchester Cathedral
Cathedral Office
1 The Close
S023 9LS
Tel: 01962 857200

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Devon Stereotypes

The English county of Devon has a number of stereotypes: rolling green hills, hedgerows, rough cider, yokels with a straw in their mouths, red cliffs.

Enjoy the lazy haze over the countryside during the coming summer months.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lacock Abbey

Surrounded by its own grounds and located in picturesque Lacock (pronounced lay-cock) village is Lacock Abbey. Its origins as an Abbey date from the 13th century, but it was seized by Henry VIII, sold, and converted into a house in 1539. The interior of the house can be viewed any day but Monday from 13th March to 31st October.

Lacock AbbeyThe interior of the Abbey was made famous by the appearance of its cloisters in two of the early Harry Potter films. The abbey's most famous resident was William Henry Fox Talbot who played a major role in the invention of photography.

Lacock Abbey Lacock
near Chippenham, Wiltshire
SN15 2LG
Tel: 01249 730459

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Great Chalfield Manor and Garden

This lovely medieval manor and garden is located in rural Wiltshire and is managed by the National Trust. The interior of the house can be seen only by guided tour (Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 1st April to 31st October) and features oriel windows, tapestries, Tropnell's Cartulary, and stone masks built into the walls where one can spy on those below.

Great Chalfield Manor The garden (also open Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 1st April to 31st October) was designed by Alfred Parsons and features terraces, a gazebo, roses, and an attractive spring-fed fish pond.
Great Chalfield Manor
Great Chalfield Manor and Garden
near Melksham, Wiltshire
SN12 8NH
Tel: 01225 782239

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Snowshill Manor & Garden

Snowshill is located in the northern Cotswolds and dates from the Tudor period. It was once owned by the eccentric collector Charles Wade (1883-1956), and is now operated by the National Trust.

Snowshill Manor & Garden

Wade's motto was, "Let nothing perish." He did not live in the manor house himself but kept it as a location to display his collection of crafted "objects" which includes many items from Japan and China, spinning wheels, model ships, beetles and too many other things to mention.

Snowshill Manor & Garden
Tel: 01386 852410
Snowshill Manor & Garden Map

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