Well, here we are in August already (how did that happen?) and I still haven’t blogged about places we visited back in May. On our way back from our visit to my brother and his family in the Netherlands via Harwich, we visited some old stamping grounds in Essex. We lived there for a couple of years in the late 1970s – early 80s.
Coggeshall is one of those old English villages with lots of half timbered cottages, but it was Paycocke’s that we particularly wanted to see. This house was saved from being demolished in the 1960s when it was apparently in a very bad state and it now belongs to the National Trust. The house is well worth a visit, has lots of wood panelling and I particularly liked that you can see the scorch marks on the wood lined walls where candles had burned too closely. Maybe the draughts blew the flames too close to the wall.
The garden has pretty cottagey plants, but I was interested in the plane tree growing in it. I’ve often read that plane trees were the only trees tough enough to withstand the pollution of London in the days of pea soup fogs and belching chimneys, but I don’t think I had ever actually knowingly seen a plane tree. I can see how they survived, as they have peeling bark so it would seem they can shed the soot and anything else that clings to them pollution wise. You can see more images of Coggeshall here.
It was a beautiful hot day when we visited in May – what happened to our summer since then?
We found ourselves in East Kilbride recently so decided to visit nearby Greenbank Gardens, we had never been in that part of the west of Scotland before.
There had obviously been a lot of rain there recently (where hasn’t there been?!) and it was pretty muddy underfoot in places so we decided that we would take a quick squint at the place and go back another day later in the season when there is more of interest actually flowering. It’s a National Trust for Scotland garden.
Sadly the house that the garden is actually attached to isn’t open to the public, but as you can see from the photo below it looks quite grand. It’s a Grade A listed Georgian building.
The gates in the photo below lead from the lawn to the more informal garden. It’s well worth a look if you find yourself in that area of the west of Scotland.
You can see more images of the gardens here.
We were on our way to visit a friend who lives near Dunbar in East Lothian, it was a gorgeous morning and the roads were amazingly empty, so as we had plenty of time we decided to stop off at Inveresk Lodge Garden, a National Trust place on the way.
The house isn’t open to the public, in fact when we went in we stumbled upon the people who live in the lodge sitting in the garden having their morning coffee. It must be wonderful to live somewhere like that and not to have to worry about doing the garden.
Can you believe we had the whole place to ourselves, I don’t think many people visit it, especially midweek in September, so that’s obviously the best time to go.
Health and Safety have probably insisted that they put in these metal railings to stop people from falling, but it’s a shame as they do detract from the stone steps.
I took loads of photos so I’ll be doing another few posts on this garden, I’m sure. We’ll definitely be going back for another visit in the future – in another season. Apart from anything else I just learned from reading the Wiki link to the lodge that the portrait painter Archibald Skirving died at Inveresk Lodge, and he was some sort of distant far flung, probably off at a tangent relation of mine.