Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn Colours

Autumn has arrived and the days are getting crisp and cool.  Luckily the colours are pretty so it's not all bad.
Last weekend we went to Stourhead, an 18th century landmark garden that influenced the designed parks to come.  It is littered with funny greco-roman follies around a pretty lake and lots of other interesting stuff.  A workmate heard on the radio they speak to the head gardener here each year for a "autumn leaves watch"

 The gates to the house are suitably grand....
The full moon for Eid.

And then this weekend we checked out the Blenhiem palace just near Oxford to enjoy the moments of sunshine during a rainy week.  It is the historic home of the Earls of Marbourgh since the 1700s and birthplace of Winston Churchill.  Someone must have a flash set of hedgeclippers.

 I'm afraid my photos are a bit dark to show off the Capability Brown designed Lake and "natural" landscape.

 Its rather grand but they do still have a farm like all good estates....

Walking around town today even the college courtyards have a splash of colour.
Last night they made a huge bonfire in the local park for Guy Fawkes with fireworks and the lighting of a spectacular (1 storey + hight) pile of packing pallets that went up in a glowing mesh inferno.  Slightly different style to Australia with a focus on getting the biggest fastest fire going rather than slow burn but it was very safely run and spectacular. ;-)

Salisbury and Wells Cathedrals

On the way to Stourhead we stopped at Salisbury Cathedral with it's famous "wonky" spire, the talest in the country.

 They have my favourite baptism font.

 It also has some interesting modern ecclesiastic art and stained glass as well as the more standard gothic stuff and one of the (apparently original) copies of the Magna Carta.

The same weekend we visited Wells, also in Wessex.  The cathedrals were built around the same time and share some similar features.  Both claim to have the oldest medieval clock in England.  The Wells one has a cooler front and little jousters who spin around every 15 mins so I think it wins (sadly the photos didn't really work out)

 Some of the design elements have a simplistic modern/ timeless quality.  The chapter house roof reminds me of the Welsh parliament (or should it be the other way round)

While waiting for the service to finish we got to enjoy the singing coming from the Quire.