Wednesday, August 31, 2011

THE GREAT BRITISH GARDEN TOUR DAY 17

Our next stop, on the Sunday, was to pay a return visit to Snowshill. We had last visited in 2009. So many Americans visit the Cotswolds and enjoy the pretty villages with their thatched roofs. Few find their way to Snowshill. You don't even need to be a gardener to marvel at what the eccentric Charles Pagett Wade created at Snowshill. It's not just the garden but the contents of his house. It's a museum.

Although the house is on the main street in the village of Snowhill, access to the house and garden is along side the edge of the property and the orchard and then up the long pathway to the house. We chose to visit first the gardens taking the path along the high wall. Entrance to the house is by timed ticket.

Entering through the gateway, at the bottom of the garden, painted in Wade Blue.

The garden was not quite so colorful as the last time we had seen it, which had been in July, the peak of English summer. Nevertheless Snowshill will never disappoint. We sat on a bench tucked under a hedge and ate our snack lunch.

Looking back to the gate through which we had entered.

The well garden.

The Armillary Court

"The plan of a garden is much more important than the flowers in it" So said Mr Wade. He certainly knew how to design.





Then it was time to go inside. Here's a little bit of background on Mr Wade and his unusual collection. It began when he was 7 years old. His Grandmother had an 18th Century Cantonese lacquered cabinet. On Sundays Charles was allowed to open up the doors to the cabinet. He was fascinated by all he found in drawers, nooks and crannies.

He began his own collection, which in the end amounted to 22,000 pieces. At the end of the First Word War he purchased the derelict Snowshill property with the intention that it should house his collection. He was never to live in the house but lived instead in the Priest's cottage.

Mr Wade was interested in collecting items of exquisite craftmanship and design. He was a treasure seeker traveling from market town to village, to the watchmaker's shop, the smithy, the scrap yard, the ship chandler's yard, mills, barns, cellars and attics in search of treasures. He was fortunate to have the where with all and to be searching at a time when money was short and people were selling their collections and anything they had in order to make ends meet. How fortunate we are that this collection is there for all to see. One really can't take in everything at one visit. The house is a treasure chest of beautiful objects. Here are just a few of the many items he collected.












A beautiful work box.

Rows of leather pails.

I doubt any of us slept on a bed like this but I'll bet most of us heard our mothers say "Goodnight, sleeptight" Now you can see why.


On our way to our B&B in Bourton-on-the-Water we walked in the lavender fields near the village of Snowshill.

5 comments:

  1. That looks like a particularly special place, among all the gardens you visited.

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  2. The shot of the lavender fields makes you want to reach out and touch them. They look all soft and fuzzy. Thanks once again for the tour. I like the leather buckets- have not seen those before- very neat looking and I like how they are displayed.

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  3. Wow...I thought I had 'stuff'. This IS a large collection..of so many things.
    The gardens are just gorgeous.
    Thanks for the tour.

    By the way...in Texas..and much of rural America...way back, beds had rope 'slats', instead of wood. If you were lucky, your featherbed went on top of those. Most often, you had a mattress stuffed with hay or corn husks. And, yes...you wanted to 'sleep tight'. Is the whole bed your picture being held together with the rope?
    Love these old things...to visit...not actually live with.
    Stay cool...

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  4. Snowshill and the lavender fields look straight out of a garden fairy tale.

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  5. Oh, those bicycles! And the antique marine stuff too. I hadn't heard of this house and garden before, so thanks so much for the intro.

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