Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another four bridges - 14 December 2008

The Palladian Bridge at Prior ParkThe morning began at Prior Park, now in the care of the National Trust. These are the grounds created by Ralph Allen, a wealthy 16th C philanthropist, who built a grand house (now a school) as 'a noble seat which sees all of Bath and which was built for all of Bath to see'. The grounds contain one of four only Palladian bridges left in the world. It made a lovely walk around the lakes on a crisp winter morning. [The four Palladian bridges are at Stowe Landscape Gardens (UK), Prior Park (UK), Wilton House (UK) {before the blog began} and Pushkin Palace (St Petersburg, Russia)]

LongleatFrom here we drove to Longleat, the home of Lord & Lady Bath. (Not wanting to pull the plug on the weekend’s running Bath theme.) This is an Elizabethan mansion, transformed in Victorian times, to reflect the styles the then Marquis fell in love with during his travels in Italy. LongleatThe original great hall contained an enormous Christmas tree, the only festive decoration in the house. But we were very aware of the season, as the house was very cold; an indication of how difficult (as well as expensive) these grand houses must be to heat in winter. The beautiful rooms had no ceiling light fittings; this also gave a sense of stepping back in time and made the rooms come alive in a different era.

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