Great Houses

Weathering North Bucks

Here’s a few shots from last week. There's a bit of a theme...

Pebble Alcove  StoweThis is the Pebble Alcove in the 18th Century gardens of Stowe. It was built in about 1737 and decorated like an Italian grotto; coloured pebbles are set into the rendering. It’s very charming, and as we found on a family picnic, the alcove is practical too; it can hold quite a few people when it rains.

The Peace Pagoda with bicyclesLater that day I was at Willen in Milton Keynes, for Hiroshima Day the 6th August each year. Usually the lantern ceremony is up at the Peace Pagoda, (in the background) then the lanterns are taken down the steps and floated out on to the Lake. This year, because of the dodgy weather, the ceremony was in the temple.
I stood and waited for the lantern procession and watched the cyclists.

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Bridge to Nowhere

Claydon House bridgeThe bridge. Claydon House is amongst the trees in the distance.

You might just have wondered why there’s a bridge beside the road, between Calvert and Botolph (pronounced ‘Bottle’ by locals) Claydon.

You may have imagined that the road’s been diverted since the bridge was built, as at Thornborough bridge (Scroll down at the link)

I don’t think it ever has. Instead, it forms a nice focal point for the last of the three lakes in the landscaped grounds of Claydon House. I also suspect that it hid the road at a point where you wouldn’t expect to see trees if there really was a small river there, instead of a minor stream.

The grounds were created between 1763 and 1776 for the impressive West front of Claydon House. This house was built by Ralph, the 2nd Earl Verney between 1757 and 1771 to rival Stowe House, a few miles away on the other side of Buckingham.

Some rooms in the West front are big enough to take the whole of the large three bed house I grew up in; roof, chimneys, the TV aerial and all, with ease. Claydon House is a Grade 1 listed National Trust property, open to the public.

Claydon House and churchClaydon House and church.

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