Thursday, 20 January 2022

Attingham Park Revisited

As it had been eight months since we last visited Attingham Park (HERE), a return trip was well overdue. A forty-minute drive from home, Attingham Park was built in 1785 for Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick who received his title a year earlier during the premiership of William Pitt the Younger, in recognition for being instrumental in the reorganisation of the East India Company. The Whig MP for Shrewsbury, Lord Berwick already owned a house on the site of Attingham Park called Tern Hall, but with the money he received along with his title he commissioned the architect George Steuart to design a new and grander house to be built around the original hall. 



Let wealth be his who knows its use. 

Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick (1745 – 1789)


Created in the 1780s, the kitchen garden had fallen into disrepair when the National Trust took over the estate but has since been restored and supplies the produce used in recipes in Attingham's on-site cafe all year round.

It may be the middle of winter but we spotted rhubarb, sprouts, parsnips, perpetual spinach and chard thriving. 




After the recent icy spell, Wednesday's temperatures of 6°C felt positively balmy. 







Established in the early 1780s, around the same time as the house, Attingham's orchard extends to three acres and is home to 37 varieties of apples. The Georgian gardeners cultivated a wide variety that ripened at different points throughout the year. The first, Red Joanetting, are ready in July while the last, Sturmer Pippins, are picked in November but in January the trees are bare. 


As usual, in my vintage Afghan coat, chandelier earrings. lipstick & block printed dress, I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Gore-Tex clad visitors.

The house sits within 500 acres of parkland which includes woodlands with mature oak, elm beech and pine trees and a deer park that is home to 200 – 300 fallow deer depending on the season. Unusually we didn't see a single deer on our visit. The initial layout of the park was created by Thomas Leggett in 1769 – 1772 but the planting is reflective of the work of Humphry Repton. 


The river Tern runs through the centre of the park and joins the River Severn towards the outer boundary of Attingham Park.


"It is very true that large pieces of water may be made too trim and neat about the edges… but if the banks are left perfect at first, the treading of cattle will soon give them all the irregularity they require.
Humphrey Repton



Jon's also a Gore-Tex & fleece free zone in his 1960s wool overcoat, charity shopped Clarks' boots and Levis.



The house is closed to visitors until the Spring and the 1780s sash windows (all 60 of them!) are currently being repaired and repainted but there was plenty to occupy ourselves wandering around the grounds and two hours just whizzed by.



Lunch was, as is the norm on our Winter National Trust visits, a picnic in Patrice although Lord Jon had to dash off mid-sandwich to assist an elderly lady who was having trouble getting her Labrador back into her car. Of course, Jon had no such problem, he's a modern-day Doctor Dolittle.


Thanks for (virtually) joining us on our trip to Attingham, see you soon!

40 comments:

  1. I love the idea of the cafe using produce grown in site. I really need to take myself on day trips now that I'm in the boring part of winter and spring us still so far away.

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    1. We've only eaten in the National Trust cafes twice but the food really is fantastic, seasonal and locally produced, being cheapskates we usually take sandwiches and a flask.
      These Winter walks really do life the spirits, even when it's icy and bitterly cold the fresh air is so invigorating and life-affirming! xxx

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  2. Another lovely jaunt and National Trust adventure! I have really enjoyed exploring some of Victoria's parks with my mom this past year - I'm looking forward to sharing them with L and my friends.

    Love the pic of the door/window with your reflection in it, Vix. You have a good eye! I have long suspected Jon was a Cat Whisperer (L is too), but a Dog Whisperer as well? The man is multi-talented!

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    1. You'll have an absolute blast exploring with your friends and L. I can't wait to see the blog posts!
      Jon is amazing with animals, he can charm them all! He grew up with a dog, there's photos of him sharing his cot with her! xxx

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  3. I love your hat ♥ I've always wanted one of those, but where I live it's too hot to wear it

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    1. Thank you! I wish it was warm enough not to wera the hat here, I've been known to wear it in the Summer! xxx

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  4. We so nearly went to Attingham yesterday. We were in the Telford area for a time, but we ran out of day! Looks like a major undertaking, sorting all of the windows. I do love Attingham though. As you say, you can wonder around for hours without even venturing inside! xxx

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    1. We need to syncronise visits next time! The grounds are fabulous, I was a bit disapointed that I didn't spot any deer, I wonder where they were hiding?
      Those windows will take an age to replace, I think theres 60 of them! xxx

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  5. I think a visit to Attingham Park is long overdue for us too :-) How lucky you are to live only 40 minutes away! We loved it on our two visits, but will forever associate it with you and Jon, and always have to smile when I think of the fact that initially neither of you remembered having visited before!
    The garden and grounds are still full of interest, even in the middle of Winter.
    Repairing and repainting 60 sash windows sounds like a daunting task indeed! xxx

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    1. It is! We thought of you and Jos and that gloriousl;y hot Summer's day we we spent there, comoletely forgetting we'd been before until we spotted the Bee House - how places change over the seasons!
      It was bad enough when we had our upstairs windows replaced in 2020, I can't imagine replacing 60 of them! xxx

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  6. I love the way you have found positives to embrace in our winter here when you're having to stay put because of the travel situation. Will you resume your annual trips to India when you can? Arilx

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    1. Thanks, Aril! I hope we'll be back in India for 2023 but in the meantime we're loving the British Winter, its been so long since we experienced one the whole way through.
      We're off on another adventure today, combining charity shopping with a museum visit and a pub lunch! xxx

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  7. What a nice day out - I love the kitchen garden. We must visit a National Trust garden soon, I like it in the winter when they're quieter. We are off to Bournemouth this weekend to catch up with some friends so looking forward to a nice long walk along a different seafront. x

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    1. The kitchen garden was so pretty despite it being January. It gave me lots of ideas for this year's planting.
      I do love visiting the NT properties mid-week in the Winter, we often seem to have them to ourselves! xxx

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  8. Fab outfits! Much colder today; positively icy and with a cold wind on top of that..

    You certainly get your money's worth out of your National Trust membership. I think you are also blessed with lots of wonderful places to see nearby. Lucky you!

    Have a great weekend,
    xxx

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    1. Wednesday was positively tropical after the last week or so. The frost is insane this morning, it looks like its been snowing it's so thick.
      We are so lucky to live slap bang in the centre of England,there's so many NT places to visit, the only struggle we have is deciding which one is next! xxx

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  9. You may have stood out like a sore thumb, on your visit, but my goodness - you look fricken amazing!!!! Gorgeous. Keep being You. It's inspiring.

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  10. Don’t you look gorgeous!
    Thank you for taking us on your day trip with you
    I had a very sad day - a wheelchair walk with a friend who is terminally ill, but so alive and appreciative of the “ small things” - today it was a Robin who stopped and had a poo in front of us!
    And coming to terms - and ongoing struggle- with my husbands diagnosis of terminal cancer

    You have cheered me up on a not great day
    Thank you Vix
    Siobhan x

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    1. Dear Siobhan,

      My heart goes out to you having to come to terms with the shattering news of your husband's terminal diagnosis and I know anyone reading your comment will feel the same.
      I hope knowing that we care helps you a tiny bit.

      I'm glad you were able to spend some time with your friend. What a special person to see joy in everything. Our garden birds often astound me with their cheek, that Robin must have made you both smile.

      Sending you lots of love, Vix xxx

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  11. Love that coat - you both look great, warm, comfy and stylish rolled into one! I would like to see cattle trampling the riverbank to make it more 'messy' as described by Mr Repton. I think in a few weeks those gardens are going to be heaving with flowers; despite being flowerless the dried heads on the beds around the walled garden look really pretty and worthy of picking for a vase display.

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    1. Thanks, Betty! There's no reason to look drab and like you're wearing a uniform whatever the weather.
      I loved the sculptural look of the remains of the spent flowers, they would have made a wonderful display or a painting if I was as talented as you.
      Last time we visited the woodland was awash with marsh marigolds and hellibores! xxx

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  12. Haha, does everyone actually have goretex??? Ah well, I expect most visitors on week days are likely to be retired and thus need to stay warm and dry and it is the easiest option. lovely tan leather Leggero boots I'm currently donning have Goretex joins to make them waterproof.
    Attingham looks very pleasant to visit and I adore kitchen gardens. They are the best!! My perpetual spinach is still surviving but the beasties do keep eating it! I did pick some this week though!
    Jon sounds like my Mum who has always been amazing with animals. I think that's why she was a good vet nurse!

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    1. There's a distinct National Trust vistors uniform, I blame the members magazine and all those adverts for drab outdoor gear. Jon's chazza shopped boots have Goretex joins but that's as far as it goes!
      Kitchen gardens are so inspiring, aren't they? I love to see what's flourishing and the companion planting. I'm useless with spinach, I don't know if its me or the garden!
      I didn't know your Mum was a vet nurse! xxx

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  13. Be still my beating heart ... just look at those gorgeous rhubarb forcers AND your purple dress. Thanks for the day out, brrr it was cold. :-)

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    1. I'd love one of those rhubarb forcers, an upturned plant pot just doesn't cut it! xxx

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  14. Good morning Vix! another crisp bright day here. I loved your post the other day too - about jeans. I always comment on your photography like a broken record BUT I can'thelp it. The close up of the spent rose is perfection and again moments captured like you sitting on the table. Well you two could make a living out of it - another talent! Speaking of talents it would appear we both have Dr. Dolittles in our lives. Hubster is so good with animals too and I bet the lady was so grateful for Lord Jon's assistance. Once a fox cub got caught in the boys football net it was squealing away and Hubster freed it. It ran off and then stopped dead still turned and just stared at him as if to say thank you. Ah we are lucky with our chaps. Have a great week end. Shaz x Of course you look fab as always!

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    1. Thanks so muhc, Shaz! I snapped that rose and said to Jon I could print it off, make it into a Vlantine's card and sell it to Goths!
      I love that you also have a Doctor Dolittle in you life, the fox story is wonderful! I've been trying to cat tame today, sitting on the door step in the icy cold, throwing Temptations at Cat and blinking at him to try and show him that we're his slaves when he's ready to move in! xxx

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  15. it was a great pleasure to walk with you around attingham park!
    ...i really need a south facing garden wall for a little greenhouse..... :-D
    meanwhile we have the real winter here - rubarb is sleeping under a thick mulch layer an snow is falling.
    love you colourful and furry outfit!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks for joining us, Beate! Maybe one day we can do it in real life like we did with Ann & Jos!
      I hope your sbow doesn't cause too much disruption! xxx

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  16. i have a recurring nightmare where the people i knew when i was young, who wore matching rally jackets now wander round historic buildings in matching North Face ...a tad worrying

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    1. I think your nightmare might have come true. If you're not in matching North Face jackets you're a weirdo! xxx

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  17. I have tended to wear gortex type clothing for years and horror of horrors only recently realised I've become one of those beige people who I declared I would never be-I think it sort of crept up on me!x

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    1. Get yourself a colourful scarf, Flis. Say no to the beige! xxx

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  18. What a joy to see beautiful Attingham Park. Even with the house being closed due to restaurateur of those beautiful 60 historical windows, I'm sure the surroundings are more than worth the visit. I really enjoyed this digital excursion with you. It goes without saying I loved what you and Jon were wearing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! Even in the Winter chill it's gorgeous to visit. xxx

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  19. I'm sorry, but you did not "stick out like a sore thumb", rather, you shone like a peacock amongst the brown hens.

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  20. Another fabulous National Trust adventure, lovely landscapes and orchard!. Love that their products are locally consumed at the café!.
    Rocking your 'goretex and fleece free' outfits, actually I think that people in their sportgear stand like a sore thumb in this magnificent landscape!. You look fabulously appropriate!
    besos

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    1. People in their practical outfits don't half ruin photos when they wander across my shots! xxx

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Lots of love, Vix