The RAG Team & Friends fill coach to Lord and Lady Heseltine's.
Our coach set off soon after 11am on Saturday in pouring rain but we were mindful of the fact that the weather was set to improve precisely at 2pm when we had entry to the Thenford estate of Lord and Lady Heseltine Our first stop was the New Inn at Middleton Cheney for lunch where the barn had been prepared for us along with two very helpful waitresses's. After a few problems with computers we all got our meals and snacks and the last of us started to enjoy the grounds at 2.20pm. The sun shone the sky was blue and finally we were able to enjoy the elegance and beauty of the 70acres that our hosts call home. We explored the eighteenthcentury walled garden having gone through the gate where 2 elephants stand guard and you can see the aviary of birds, mostly
from Australia on the far side. Next was the stunning 'Rill' with its many fountains (picture) that cascaded with a waterfall onto 4 levels into the medieval fish pond area, the lake with its stunning sculpture of The Cormorants (picture) Another area was full of sculptures and for me amongst several interesting bronzes was a granite 'injured elephant' Very sad.
As you walked around the arboritum you could see that most of the trees and shrubs were labelled. The area is looked after by 6 full time gardeners but I am told that usually there are 9 so if anyone wants a job>>>>>>>>>you know who to apply to!
Our hosts as promised were around and the final picture is of Lord Heseltine with Linda Ashwell the organisor of the day and leader of The RAG Team (Remenham Amateur Gardening) The picture was taken in the Walled Garden.
The final hour of the afternoon was spent dodging the showers by having tea in the magnificent Old Hall Barn which is all that remains of Thenford Hall that was partially demolished in 1760 and stands in the grounds of Thenford House.
Last visit was to the beautiful and small St Mary's Church with its hotch potch of architectural styles. It is known that this building is certainly over 700 years old and it contains the tomb of 'Fulk' who was Lord of the Manor and died in 1613. The Chancel dates from the fourteenth century, the Poor Box is considered to be fifteenth century. A parishoner, John Tooley, who has a framed plaque hanging on the wall, bequethed four pounds yearly to the parish and to this day that investment has meant that at Christmas pensioners of the parish, widows and young people starting out on a career are all given 'a decent sum of money'.
To conclude. A really interesting and memorable afternoon.
Sunday 29 March
11.15am sung matins with hymns (BCP)
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