Thursday, June 30, 2011


Barrington Court was on the first list of gardens to visit this morning. It is known for its Arts and Craft style gardens which were designed by Gertrude Jekyll. A Tudor house built in the 1500s, it was almost derelict when acquired by the trust in 1907. Whenever the National Trust met to discuss whether to undertake a renovation of an ancient house they said, 'Remember Barrington Court' The renovations were far more difficult and costly than anticipated. The house was leased to the Lyle family in the 1920s, who undertook to further refurbish the house and gardens.


It was raining when we arrived at the Court. Taking the long pathway around the wall we entered through a gate into the first of the gardens, the kitchen garden.
The first courtyard held the tables of plants for sale.

The vegetable gardens were extensive and well planted.

The espaliered fruit trees were impressive. Apples are used to make cider.
As was this huge pile of compost.

The next gate took us through into the flower gardens.

I finally got to know the name of this airy white plant, we had seen in so many gardens, in one of the gardens we visited later in the day.

The interior of the house is currently without furniture and the Trust will need a good deal of money to furnish this house in the period.

We had picked up lunch earlier in the morning at this very English shop. We ate in the car before moving on to garden number two. Unfortunately we had trouble locating this garden and went round in circles before we finally found it. We were expecting to see one of those nice National Trust signs pointing the way. One of the things that confused us was having to pass through some private gates, into an estate. The lane got narrower and narrower but there at the end was this medieval manor house


Built in 1480 the house was restored between 1905 and 1912 and presented to the Trust, along with the furnishings, in 1943. It is cared for by the grandson of the last owner, Robert Floyd and his family, who live in the house. The gardens were designed by Alfred Parsons.
Come through yet another garden gate.

The gate leads into what is called the family garden. Yews have grown together and been clipped to form a pavilion.

The archway leads to the wedding bower planted with this unnamed white rose.

Looking back towards the house.

A perfect combination of plants and color against the honey colored Cotswold stone.


The Court Borders with catmint spilling over the edges of the pathway.

The two topiary pavilions, on either side of the lily pond on the expansive lawn, were designed by Alfred Parsons. Planted in 1910 they provided a perfect place to shelter during a brief downpour. The lawn was used for a tented feast in the film 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

Work must go on, even when visitors are around. I asked the gardener if he could identify the masses of airy white flowers we had seen blooming in so many gardens.

He identified them as Crambe cordifolia seen here in the church border.

The Paved court with center well. The roses are a Nathalie Nypels, a small shrub rose with delicate perfume.

An ancient espaliered pear.
We were now racing against time to visit The Courts Garden, close by in the village of Holt, before finding our B&B for the night.


The formal gardens of the Courts lie behind a high wall on the village street. Entering through a simple wrought iron gate we found ourselves walking alongside the entrance lawn. We followed the pathway around the side of the house, which is not open to the public.

Until the 1880s this peaceful garden was the site of a woolen mill. Following the decline of the British woolen industry the property was sold to George Hastings. He was responsible for the layout of the garden.

The garden rooms are much larger than those seen at Sissinhurst, although the influence of that style is still there.

An immaculately maintained grassy path draws the eye down the herbaceous borders to the temple.

The rill.

Standing guard.

Gossiping yews, created by the action of the prevailing wind.

Espalierd fruit in the kitchen garden.

Square foot gardening.

And traditional rows.

By the time we left the gardens had closed. The sun was out and it was time to head off towards Lacock Village and our next B&B, Damson Cottage.


  1. How lovely. I especially liked Great Chalford Manor and the church. The Yew Pavilion is amazing! I can imagine the children of yesteryear having great fun playing games of make believe in that garden :-)

  2. Loved the tour. I hope to go to England to see some of these gardens in person some day!

  3. This is beautiful. It really captured me. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am going to tweet about it on twitter. I also want to write a post about this and link back to you. May I have permission to use a photo from your England tour if I link back to you and urge my readers to see the whole collection here?

  4. There's something familiar about that paved court at Great Chalfield. I've seen that planting style before, but I can't think where ;-)
    Thank you for sharing such evocative photos!

  5. Jayne- Every garden we visited was wonderful but this one was one of our favorites. The British just have a way with topiary and the houses make a beautiful back drop to all the plants.
    Carol- If you do, then you must join the Royal Oak Foundation. Otherwise it would be terribly expensive to visit all these places.
    Cassandra- Please feel free to link and take photo. Glad you enjoyed your visit to my blog.
    Chookie-I'll bet you have it in a book somewhere.

  6. Another wonderful tour.
    Thanks again for taking us along with you.

  7. What amazing gardens! The 9th picture at Barrington Court took my breath away.

  8. I loved seeing your pictures of Barrington Court in June, because I was there in April, and it is fun to see the changes from spring to summer. I blogged about it back then, so it might interest you to check it out to see some differences.
    Your pictures are so lovely.

  9. I've caught up on your travels and had a wonderful time! We did a similar trip in '93, joining the National Trust, visiting gardens, plant nurseries, staying at B&B's, even brought back a few plants and some pottery! I have to say, though, that what you've done in your hybrid English/Texas garden, dealing with ferocious heat and drought, is just as exciting to me and on a scale I can relate to. Thanks for the tour!

  10. These buildings and gardens are so breathtakingly beautiful they brought tears to my eyes. The topiary and the espaliers! I always wonder if the people who l iive(d) there appreciated their good fortune. I love my garden but these could tempt me to do a house and garden swap ...

  11. What a delightful armchair tour this was! I found my way here from Cassandra's tweet on Twitter. Completely lovely!