Saturday, 24 March 2012

Combermere Abbey

The highlight of the recent trip to college was a day out to Combermere Abbey, a stately home just up the road from college on the Cheshire and Shropshire border. This place is dripping with history, starting life in the 12th century as a monastery and over the years playing host to the likes of King Charles II and William of Orange. In the 1990s the place was in a state of disrepair, and its future perhaps uncertain. Its heiress was working in New York as the PR Director for Laura Ashley when, one might imagine, a chill wind blew through her office carrying the distant sound of some long-dead relative trumpeting a brass hunting horn! She answered that distress call, and swiftly moved back to dear Blighty to inherit and save the old ancestral home. Since moving in she has effectively saved the place, giving it a new lease of life as a place to holiday or get married, and instigating a program of repairs to keep the Abbey on its feet. This is a property that is generally closed to the public, but if you are in the area on one of the open days I would heartily recommend dropping by! 

The old Abbey, with the library restoration work clearly visible. The floor is collapsing and they are propping it up with some new-fangled supports

A drone fly, basking amongst the dewy blades of grass

Pleached avenue leading from the old walled garden

Ye olde clippery, wonderful shape and proportion

There wasn’t a great deal happening in the garden, but this climber-riddled arch hints to the promise of summer

Time for a quick poke around the greenhouse!

Muscari neglectum ‘Valerie Finnis'

The hexagonal building there is the Game Larder, built in 1815 and recently restored to former glory

Spring bulbs were very much underway around the wider estate

I saw my first butterflies of the year this day, and this basking Comma was an incredible joy to behold!

6 comments:

Rosemary said...

Dear Bertie - thanks for showing Combermere Abbey, somewhere I have never been. Next time we are in that area I shall certainly remember and try to visit.

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi Bertie - Thank you for the introduction to Combermere Abbey. Looking forward to a visit on my next round of tours. Love the game larder structure. Loi Thai

The Green Lady said...

Lovely photos of an incredible place, thanks for the tour. So great when someone invests their time and enegy to save these amazing properties and gardens!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

That abbey looks like it has a lot of potential would love to see it in summer. I went to Fontevraud Abbey last year and I marvelled at the medicinal herb garden.

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

That pleached avenue is beautifully and strangely entrancing... "Must walk down this path."

We have been seeing butterflies around here in PA as well! Though the temps are due to take a plunge tomorrow evening... bad news for our crops, etc. I am thankful for a box full of row cover fabric.

Bertie Bainbridge said...

Greetings all!

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