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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Grotto at Stourhead

The Grotto at Stourhead can be viewed from across the water at Stourhead's impressive landscape garden. The landscape garden at Stourhead, created by Henry Hoare II in the 1740s, is considered to be on the the world's finest 18th century landscape gardens. Stourhead is now managed by the National Trust.

The Grotto at Stourhead
One cave in the Grotto features the river god (see below).

The Grotto at Stourhead
A second cave in the Grotto features the sleeping Ariadne (see below).

The Grotto at Stourhead
At the base of the cave wherein lies Ariadne is engraved a poem by Alexander Pope which reads as follows:
Nymph of the Grot these sacred springs I keep,
And to the murmur of these waters sleep;
Ah! Spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave,
And drink in silence, or in silence lave.

The Grotto at Stourhead
Visitors to Stourhead can find the Grotto by following the walking trails through the garden. The garden itself is open throughout the year everyday from 9AM to 6PM.

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

Gillingham is the nearest railway station about 6 and a half miles away. Stourhead is near Stourton, off the B3092 road, 3 miles north west of Mere (A303) and 8 miles south of Frome (A361).

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