Day 1 - Wednesday
Our first outing was to Dartington Hall which you may remember I had visited on my bus pass trip a couple of weeks earlier. I wanted to show it to Mr M and so on Wednesday we set off on the train to Exeter where we caught a connection to Totnes and from there we walked to the Hall along the River Dart footpath as before. It was so much easier without the backpack I must say!
I had meant to take a photo of the pathways round the courtyard and forgotten last time so now I was able to do so. I loved the mix of cobblestone, flagstones and pebbles (taken from the River Dart). I had discovered that the path was designed by Beatrix Farrand an American landscape gardener whose first task was to redesign the Courtyard. The gardens were developed under her direction between 1934 and 1939.
Here is something else I hadn't seen last time - St Mary's church tower which is 13th century with a top added in the 15th century. The church stood here until 1878 and materials from it were used in the building of the Church of St Mary's elsewhere at the upper drive entrance to the estate. The tower remained and was used as an American radio communications tower during World War 2. Now it stands lonely and looking a little odd without the rest of the church peacefully in its little graveyard basking in the sun (or at least it was when we visited it) ......
... and just along side is now a Japanese Meditation Garden designed by Philip Booth in 1990. Quite an appropriate place to site a meditation garden I thought.
Joseph's Pillow 2005 (a bit on the uncomfortable side I'd say!) by Peter Randall-Page is a sphere of 12 spirals aligned with and inspired by the Twelve Apostles - the 1840s row of topiaried Irish yews alongside the Tiltyard which I showed in my post here.
This bridge was also designed by Peter Randall-Page in 2011 and links the access paths between the 12 apostles and the sculpture.
We had lunch in the White Hart where I had eaten during my stay here - this little alcove alongside our table had this beautiful jug of flowers in it - just my kind of floral arrangement! Dartington Hall was busy with preparations for the upcoming Ways With Words Festival but it still managed to retain its tranquil ambiance away from the courtyard and lawns nearest to the Hall which were having drinks tents, marquees and so on errected. What fun a weekend being here during this festival would be especially if the weather was good - I am keeping the idea in mind for next year.
After lunch we set off to walk through the grounds to the Shops at Dartington taking a different route to that which I had done a week or so ago.
... in to the right we could see Dartmoor in the distance. We had a potter round the shops which are mainly situated around the area which was once used for cider making.
Just along the path past this little stream and a little distance from the rest of the shops is a fascinating shop called Restore which sells items recycled or restored from what might otherwise become landfill ranging from furniture to jewellery and including a rather clever little pendant made using electronic items and wire based on a bit of printed circuit board (now maybe I will have a go at something like that for Mr M has tins filled with coloured wires, resistors and capacitors and old PC boards in the garage I wonder if he'd let me lose with the soldering iron!) I also wonder if they'd like some of my little packets made from old book pages or brown paper lined with tissue and fastened with a button?!
Day 2 Thursday
Lock Keeper's Cottage where we were planning to have a sandwich lunch again.
Day 3 - Friday
I had arranged to meet up with a couple of friends on Friday so once again I was at the station Senior Railcard at the ready to purchase a ticket, this time to Salisbury. Again it wasn't an early start as we were not to meet till 11.15 so I didn't need to leave till the 10.29 train.
Doom Painting which was painted probably in the late 1400s but in 1593 was covered in whitewash and a wooden panel of the coat of arms of Elizabeth I was placed over the chancel instead. This wooden panel is still in the church and the painting has been restored over the years and is now considered to be one of the finest in - was it Europe or perhaps just Britain?I forget! Whichever it was an interesting and scary painting which would have ensure the congregation didn't stray from the right path!
As you can see from the church clock it was now time to set off for the station and our respective trains home. Another interesting and enjoyable day and it stayed dry and at times sunny for us but oh boy did the rain come down once I was home!
Three days of outings and this weekend has been spent on the neglected chores! How was your week?