Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lodge Park - Grade 1 listed

We came across Lodge Park many years ago when we were tootling around the narrow Cotswold lanes not far from where we now live. We were admiring the fine drystone walls that line the fields and keep the verdant banks and verges at bay. Suddenly there was a gap in the walls with two small lodges and a pair of large ornamental iron gates. As we passed I caught a quick glimpse of the building, and urged H to stop the car so that we could look. Sitting in the beautiful rolling Cotswold landscape, bereft of church, manor house, village or barns, was this beautiful little building standing quietly and all alone. We could see that it was empty and slightly neglected but that did not detract from its loveliness.
Moving forward several years, and having come to live here ourselves, we discovered that it was now in the hands of the National Trust, and following restoration opened to the public in 1998.
Last week we travelled the nearby country lanes again to pay another visit.
Passing beside the River Coln running through Bibury, which artist/craftsman William Morris called 'the most beautiful village in England'. Its honey-coloured 17th century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs so typical of the area .
Arlington Row Cottages via wikipedia
The footbridge over the river leading to the cottages.  
Driving along the narrow drystone walled lanes until.....
.......we arrived at the entrance gates to Lodge Park.
In the early 1630s John Dutton created a deer course on his Sherborne estate which consisted of a park for containing the deer, a mile-long walled enclosure for the chase and, overlooking the finish, a Grandstand.
Dutton was a wealthy hard-living squire with a passion for gambling. The point of the deer-coursing was to provide an opportunity for betting and to display the abilities of different dogs. He was often in London as MP for Gloucestershire and was familiar with the latest trends in court architecture. It is thought that his architect was John Webb, and that he modelled the grandstand on Inigo Jones' Banqueting House in London. Inigo Jones was in turn influenced by Palladio.
The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London via wikipedia
The grandstand consisted of two storeys with a flat roof and a basement. The ground floor was the entrance for welcoming guests and the first floor called the Great Room was where guests were entertained to huge banquets. The deer coursing could be observed from the flat roof or from the balcony over the portico. It continued to be used for more than a century until deer-coursing was superseded by racing and fox-hunting.
The Great Hall - the Grandstand was hosting an art exhibition featuring the most innovative contemporary artists at work in London today, as selected by twenty influential individuals in the contemporary art world. I must admit that most of it left us both feeling perplexed.
A white card cutout figure wearing underpants on it's head!!!
A super sized balloon trying to bounce around on the roof!!!
A twinkly YES in the grounds!!!
We did not have the same problems with this lovely drawing.

53 comments:

  1. Bibury is indeed very picture sue, although I do wonder if living in such houses would not be so romantic. They must be cold and dark inside compared to today's houses.

    The modern art certainly does little for me, especially within a historic setting. The massive fireplace and mantel in the great hall is very impressive.

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    1. The cottages are cosy and they get very warm because the walls are so thick, however, today they have modern facilities.
      The fireplace is a re-creation made from architectural archives. It was carved by stonemasons at the Hereford Cathedral workshops, and is as you say very impressive.

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  2. Hello Rosemary, The house is very nice, and I liked most of the modern art. (If I liked all of it, there would have been something wrong with the exhibition, as modern at is supposed to push limits and boundaries.)

    If I were in the area, however, I don't think I could get past that stream and bridge with the grassy banks, as depicted in your first photo, a sight of surpassing beauty.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Dear Jim - You are right of course, I realise that modern art is supposed to push the limits and boundaries - I think I am an old stick in the mud and too much of a traditionalist.
      Bibury is a delightful little hamlet, very popular with Japanese tourists who love it, and its connection with William Morris.

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  3. This is so interesting, Rosemary, and beautifully illustrated as usual. My mother-in-law lives in the Cotswolds not very far from Sherborne, so I must try to visit Lodge Park some time.

    I'm with you on being a traditionalist where art is concerned and prefer my boundaries not to be pushed very far nowadays. :-)

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    1. Do go and visit Perpetua - the views from the rooftop alone are lovely, and it is such a charming little building.
      I do like some contemporary art, but I need to understand it without explanations, which often still leave me in the dark.

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  4. Fantastic, Rosemary! I have seen many hunting lodges, but never a grandstand. I wonder what kinds of dogs were used for this sport? Definitely Scottish deerhounds, right? I will make a note to visit charming Bibury. Thanks so much!
    Loi
    PS - Hmmm, I think the figure with the underpants is silly.

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    1. Dear Loi - if you remember all of the Bs - Barnsley, Bibury, and Burford, all are charming.
      I just do not know what the figure with the pants is meant to be telling me, I am at a loss, so relieved that you are too.

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  5. Dear Rosemary - I would never have guessed in a million years (well, maybe a thousand years) that the building was used to watch deer hunting. Surely this is one of the grandest grandstands of all time! Thanks for the puzzle and for the insight to 17th century society. (And I'm glad the National Trust recognized its value.)

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    1. Dear Mark - it was extremely naughty of me to think anyone could possibly guess - it is the only one in the whole wide world.
      I will try and make the next architectural quiz easy - but knowing me it may not be!!!

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  6. I'm totally in love with that view on your second picture! Like a fairytale. Do you really live near that? You live in a fairytale land then Rosemary. Now I'm going to look up what exactly a Deer Coursing is.... Don't think it's something I've ever heard of....

    ...

    Oh my goodness, and gone was the fairytale. Did people really want to watch that? I really love deer and wouldn't want them to be coursed, let stand watch it. Luckily nowadays things like that are prohibited... well, I certainly hope they are....

    I'm not a big fan of modern art, but it's better than a deer coursing.

    Bye,
    Marian
    PS Thanks so much for your comment on my last post.

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    1. This is all on my doorstep Marian. When we first moved here I thought that I was on holiday all of the time, but like most things you get used to where you are. However, I do realise it is very pretty with some wonderful architecture.
      Fortunately things have moved on greatly from the 17th century when what was acceptable then is unacceptable now, but I agree that modern art is better than deer coursing.

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  7. Dear Rosemary,
    What an interesting building and quite beautiful albeit for a somewhat bloodthirsty pursuit. I would never have guessed its purpose.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Yes Bibury is very 'touristy', but it is also very lovely.
    Like a few of the other commentators I am of a more traditional bent when it comes to art and I agree with Loi that the underwear on the cut out's head is silly. I do wonder if (as has been alleged about Picasso) if they are just having a joke with us . . .
    Your photographs, as always, are really nice.
    Kirk

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    1. Dear Kirk - as I mentioned to Mark it was naughty of me to think anyone could guess, I will make the next architectural quiz easier!!!
      Were you not impressed with yourself? You got so many details correct - The Banqueting House, Inigo Jones, a pavilion of some sort. Definitely a gold star for you.
      My youngest son is a teacher and also an artist. He does traditional linocuts, which I love, but the people who make the money in the art world are the Damien Hursts.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,
      I must admit that I did feel rather good when I read that I had answered some of the details correctly.
      I do love that Jacobean/Early Stuart architecture... It can be very dramatic when it chooses to.

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  8. Dear Rosemary,
    A very interesting post. England is full of such great old ancestral homes.
    Now I know what the building was used for, gentry sport of the day.
    I love the village, its so beautiful. I can imagine that to live there would be magical.
    The scenery in your part of the world is stunning.
    We all have our preferences , when it comes to art. There is always a method of madness in an artists world! The onlooker sees it through different eyes and with a different point of view than they do.
    Thank you for this visit to a beautiful part of England
    val

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    1. Dear Val - glad you enjoyed seeing my little part of the world. We seem to be having our summer weather again with blue skies and sunshine - what is going on. However, best to make the most of it whilst it is here.
      I do like some modern art, but so much of it today is lost on me.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,
    Great and interesting post, beautiful photos!
    I especially like the second one.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you're having a great weekend.
    Mette

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    1. Thanks Mette - hope things are going well for you and your family. I loved your pheasant - a very handsome fellow.

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  10. My dear Rosemary
    Very interesting post ! The photos of village ,the river look like a fairy tale!
    I never imagine that this building was for watching the hunting !I liked the old
    "map " of this area ! You had a wonderful day ,so we , "beside you "! Thank you !

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    1. Dear Olympia - nobody guessed what it was for, and I am not surprised it is the only one in existence. Glad you liked the village and river which has trout swimming in it, the water is crystal clear.

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  11. Hello Rosemary!

    When I saw your last post I thought: I have no idea where this place is or what it is but it's a gorgeous building and I hope they use it as an art something place.... that was my thought but then life happened and I did not leave a comment...
    Thank you for new travels an exciting place!

    and you know in November I'll be in Norwich for a weekend (since R will be there for a 10 days course)
    I can't tell you how much forward I look to it!!!

    lots of love xoxoxo

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    1. Dear Demie - I shall really look forward to learning about your impressions of Norwich, and hopefully see some photos.
      I think that Norwich is a lovely city with a magnificent cathedral which you must visit. There is also a wonderful visual arts centre on the University campus called the Sainsbury Centre. Norwich castle holds an extensive collection of the Norwich School of Painters. You will have a great time, fingers crossed that you get fine weather.

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  12. Dear Rosemary, the village with its stone cottages and the bridge in the river is gorgeous! All your photos are unique as always! Finally revealed what is this building, which I like too! I enjoyed and this journey with you my friend! Thank you so much!Wish you a nice Sunday!
    Dimi..

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    1. The stone cottages beside the river and bridge are quintessential English, the sort of image favoured by greetings card companies. However, the hamlet is not a showcase but a proper community where people live and work. Thanks for your visit and kind comments Dimi.

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  13. A marvellous place !!! Those cottages and the river ... Pure beauty. You are so fortunate to live near by, Rosemary. Modern art ... hmmm, I prefer something more classic. Have a lovely evening and a great sunday, my friend !

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    1. I think that the cottages and river must have been photographed and painted so many times over the hundreds of years that they have stood there, but they still retain their charm. Yes, definite classic art for me, although there are some contemporary works that I like and enjoy.

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  14. Great article, a lot of work. Like the row of cottages.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Everybody likes the cottages Filip, they sit there in the landscape so beautifully.

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  15. Hello Rosemary

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures and history of the grandstand. Such grandeur and when you mention it the Palladio influence is evident.

    I never tire of seeing the beautiful Cotswolds. I have fond memories of being here.

    Helen xx

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    1. Hello - I am so pleased that you are familiar with the Cotswold, it is easier to picture it if you have been here.
      Glad you enjoyed seeing the grandstand, a unique little building.
      I wonder if you are still enjoying your happy sojourn or if you are home now?

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  16. You serve up a beautiful slice of the English countryside with your pictures of Bibury Rosemary which looks absolutely stunning. The massive fireplace at the lodge caught my eye, dominating that room but I suppose if the doors to the balcony were open to view the coursing then a larger fireplace was necessary.

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    1. The fireplace was reconstructed from archive drawings by the stonemason's workshop at Hereford Cathedral for the National Trust. I seem to recall that the original one was removed many years ago to Sherborne Hall.

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  17. I’m so attracted by the British countryside. To see the second photo, Arlington Row Cottages, I thought it is the England I'm looking after. The reason of the steep pitched roofs is heavy snow in winter? Houses made of stones are so rare in my country. It must be fascinating to drive or pedal through the narrow dry-stone walled lanes. Do I see a herd of sheep in one of the four photos? I’m afraid I don’t understand modern art well, but other than that (sorry), everything is fantastic. You live in such a lovely place, Rosemary.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - that is extremely knowledgeable of you - yes, the steep pitch to the roofs was because the 17th century builders understood the importance of a high pitch, the better to throw off the rain and particularly the snow.
      It is a flock of sheep in the field, it was sheep that financed the stone houses, and wonderful churches in the area hundreds of years ago. The churches around here are specifically known as wool churches because of that.
      Whenever we pass through Bibury there are always a handful of your fellow countrymen and women taking photos, and wandering around, they love it there.

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  18. We've seen signs to Lodge Park when visiting other NT properties but have never been to this one, the building is beautiful but like you I'm not too sure about some of those art works.

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    1. You must visit Paula, it also has lots of lovely walk you can take.

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  19. What a glorious romp, Rosemary: I love it! My favourite picture, however, says more about me than about this beautiful place. The Figure with pants on his head made me roar with laughter.

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  20. The house itself still has a very grand feeling to it and I love the drive to the estate, especially your second photo of the row of stone houses. I am not a fan of modern art at all, although I have learned to keep that opinion mostly to myself :)

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    1. Dear Rosemary - much of the contemporary art and artefacts left me bemused.
      However, a few days ago I was photographing a piece of modern outdoor sculpture, which I think is lovely. I will show it at some stage in the future.

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  21. Great photos as usual! The cottages are terrific as are the stacked stone walls. I love the contrast between the old buildings and the contemporary art. I actually liked some of that art, however, the cardboard piece with the underwear on its head is perplexing indeed!

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    1. I actually enjoyed the very large captured balloon as I sat on the roof top enjoying the view. Little gusts of wind kept catching hold of it and it tried to bounce away. It could only move so far being restrained by it's net. Curiously I felt as if I had company on the roof top.

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  22. These pictures represent England to me. Especially the first five images are magical and prove that life has once been different. It all looks like in a fairy tale. The Grandstand has an air of "grandezza". I do not know how those people developed the idea to do deer-coursing from there... different times and attitudes! Sometimes I quite like Modern Art in historical buildings - but I must admit that cardboard statue with the underpants over the face... Your reportage is lovely and very interesting, Rosemary! You really have a talent to fascinate the reader! Wishing you a happy week and take your time with your weeding etc. Christa

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    1. Thanks Christa - I am very touched by your kind comment.
      Glad you enjoyed the journey, not one person has appreciated the underpants art work!!!
      I have been clipping my lavender into balls ready for the spring, but much more trimming back work to do.
      Nice to have you back with us again.

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  23. Hello Rosemary,
    Once again, I'm charmed and wishing I were there! It's funny, I was in Paris recently, and, as my sons had never visited, we went to Versailles, where there was a similar installation of contemporary art throughout the house and grounds. Ostensibly, this is meant to lure a "new" crowd to Versailles, or to breathe "new life" into an old space....as if either is necessary! I think neither goal is accomplished, and the juxtaposition makes evrything (the architecture, the art) feel "off". But I have to agree, nothing would have imporoved the cut-out figure with the pants on the head! Thanks again for a beautiful post.
    My warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Some of the artist were due to talk about their work the following weekend, and perhaps we should have returned in order to understand more, but in the end decided not to bother.
      I am sure that you all enjoyed your visit to Versailles, a memorable visit for you and your sons regardless of the art installation!!!

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  24. Felicidades por tu blog,son unas fotografias espectaculares,que transmiten una fuerza increible.
    http://kanito78.blogspot.com.es/

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    1. Gracias por su visita y por su amable comentario.

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  25. Thanks for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. I will now go and have a look at your RHS Wisley post!
    June

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    1. Hello June and thank you for your visit. I hope you give the abutilons a try they are not difficult to grow, but need cover during the winter.

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  26. Stunning images!!!

    Just wonderful!

    ♥ Franka

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    1. Thank you Franka - so pleased that you enjoyed the images.

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