Saturday, July 18, 2009

English gardens keep growing on us - 12 July 2009

Elton HallIt is impossible to see too many English gardens, but this morning we started the day with a rather different type of garden. Capel Manor Gardens is a series of different gardens, almost like a garden show, a really good place to visit to get inspiration for a regular city garden makeover. The gardens are part of a horticultural college on the site and are used for practical course-work by the students. There are also formal gardens, that originally belonged to the Manor, within the 30 acre complex.
Capel Manor GardensCapel Manor Gardens
Our main focus for the day, was a visit to Elton Hall. To reach this we followed a scenic route, which started near Greensted church. This is the oldest wooden church in the world and dates back to the 800s. Apart from its claim to fame as the oldest, it is definitely worth a visit; the church is stunning, with the original walls built from half tree trunks, a Tudor tower, and a fairly old brick extension. Undoubtedly it is much in demand for small weddings.
Greensted historic churchCapel Manor Gardens
The route wound it's way through "The Rodings", a collection of eight hamlets and villages that take part of their name from the nearby River Roding, and other picturesque villages, to eventually join the motorway beyond the lovely village of Ickleton.
Elton HallElton Hall
When we reached Elton Hall, we fell in love with the beautiful modern gardens, which were enhanced by the extremely stunning castle behind them. The castle itself has some very beautiful rooms, with a large art collection.

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