Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Landscape and Man - No.1

Over many centuries, man has not caused discord in the beautiful valleys and hills in the Cotswolds but has embellished and enhanced it. He has created a harmonious patchwork of gardens and trees along with buildings, and walls made out of local stone to compliment the landscape.
Lych Gates
Rest awhile
Bus Shelters
The iron rail is to keep the cattle and horses out - they have freedom to roam on the commons - the handcrafted tile feature inside the bus shelter shows local sites
Yew trees
This Yew hedge is thought to have been planted in 1710 and is over 40 feet tall - giving an idea of the scale
Several people have commented on the roof tiles, so here is an extra bit of information about them.
They are an important part of the Cotswold's architectural heritage. Archaeologists working on Roman villas in the area have discovered that the Romans also used cotswold stone for their roofs. They are a very valuable resource, and sadly in the dead of night they often disappear!!! The stone for the tiles is oolithic limestone dating from the Jurassic period, but it is now suffering from a limited supply. The special stone is extracted from the ground and left to lie for a few days before splitting so that it still retains some of its natural moisture. The smallest tiles are used at the peak of the roof and gradually get bigger as they go down the roof as can be seen on some on my photos above.

84 comments:

  1. The Cotswolds are indeed a lovely part of England, and your images show much of its charm. Lovely lytch gates, garden seats, yew trees and even bus shelters - all of them a feast for the eye! Beautiful photos, Rosemary.

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    1. Dear Patricia - next time I will show some of the architecture. I included the bus shelters because I had a friend staying, and she commented "even your bus shelters are lovely". It takes a visitor to point things out sometimes.

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  2. How beautiful are the stone houses and churches of the cotswolds Rosemary. They have weathered the strength of time.. many tales can they tell.
    The yew trees are enormous .. Its all so green and lush.. I truly believe that if England had better weather, I would live there. Its a country full of wonderful history.
    Your stone bench in your garden is so exquisite ,and your kitty looks perfectly happy in the sun. I can imagine that your home is also built of old stone.!
    The tiles in the bus stop are very informative for visitors to the area. What an excellent place to put them.. there one can see all that exists in the forest areas.
    Your photos are beautiful.. just stunning Rosemary.
    I cant wait to go to the UK.. although a different part of the country.
    wishing you a wonderful day
    val

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    1. Dear Val - only the first stone seat is ours, the cat belongs to someone else.
      Next time some churches and houses. Glad you enjoyed your little look at the Cotswolds.
      I can sense your excitement mounting - are you all packed and ready for the off?

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  3. I always look at bus shelters here in England and have seen some amazing ones. Also love the church entry gates. That yew hedge is wonderful, I like to imagine who it was who planted it realising they would never see it at it's best. Lovely photographs. Minerva ~

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    1. Sometimes we take our mundane street furniture for granted - The yew hedge is amazing - I sometimes wonder about all the drystone walling and landscaping we have done in our garden. Will it still be here in years to come, and will the trees be standing proud, and will anyone wonder who planted them?

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  4. A girl after my own heart. My family cannot understand why I take photos of - doors, windows, chimney pots, roofs, old street lamps, gates and lots more besides! Love your photos. Can I just ask, are those lovely Yew trees in the churchyard at Painswick?
    Patricia x

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    1. Spot on Patricia - and the seat in the church lytch gate is as well.
      I love doors doors, windows etc too, I am fascinating by the huge variety.

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  5. Is it we who have incorporated nature into our design or is it the other way around? Nature is a gracious host :) Wonderful pictures Rosemary, makes we want to plan my next trip to the UK.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing them Rosemary - your question is a real conundrum which I shall have to mull over for a while.
      If you haven't been to this area then you must, lots of very fine gardens to visit.

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    2. Rosemary, your blog posts have provided me with a wonderful new map of "must sees" in the UK, thank you!

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    3. I have a couple more posts on this series Rosemary which I hope you will enjoy seeing - churches, cottages and tombs!!!

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  6. I love these photos - something so quintessentially English about them. Love those tiles too!
    June

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    1. Yes, I don't think it could be mistaken for anywhere else.

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  7. How beautiful! One looks at all that stonework and has a good sense of the many years it took to clear land. The hedges are spectacular, but my eye went to that simple Gothic fence. Do you think it would be missed if it was brought here?

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    1. Dear Mark - in the next post in the series I am sure you will probably find a little bit more of your passion for gothic, so better wait a while.

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  8. These stone buildings are so beautiful. You’ve introduced many places you traveled, but I think Cotswolds is the best in terms of beauty in harmony and simplicity. I’d like to wait for a bus at these bus shelters in person. How often do the buses run?

    Yoko

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    1. The buses in the countryside, which these are, are not so frequent, probably about every 45 minutes. However, they do not run late at night.

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  9. I have not seen a more beautiful bus stop.

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    1. It really is quite unique - probably better than some peoples homes!!!

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  10. Your photos are beautiful Rosemary. I love that little shelter built around the tree in the middle of the road and the stone walls and buildings but what I loved the most was the tile feature inside the bus shelter, that is just beautiful and it looks like it's being well cared for as it should.

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    1. It is a one off piece and all hand crafted - it happily has never been vandalised which is amazing in this day and age. Perhaps people appreciate the time and effort that has gone into it.

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  11. Dear Rosemary, That is what makes your blog so special. You go out of your way to show us something beautiful every time. Have not seen other landscapes as harmonious as those of your Cotswolds. Your lovely photographs always tell the story.
    Does Mr H really wear RED shoes?

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    1. Dear Gina - they do look a bit red don't they? They are in fact brown, but he does always wear red socks, his only tilt to a bit of flamboyance. I think that he must have polished them with a reddish brown polish!!!

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  12. Hello Rosemary, These photos go to prove just what can be accomplished when an effort is made, which unfortunately is not always the case.

    The photos of the bus shelters remind me of some of the high-quality work of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in the United States, performed during the Depression to create employment. My next trip back I'll have to get some photos of their local (to Cleveland) projects.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Hello Jim - I shall look forward to seeing those when you have been on your next trip.
      I think most of the building here has an eye to the historical legacy and people do take an interest in keeping the cotswold character alive and well. For example where I live there are no fences allowed, only drystone walls or indigenous hedging.

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  13. Quite interesting indeed!! cant believe how old those bushes are!

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    1. Thanks for your visit - just goes to show how long lived they can be - like your red heart avatar.

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  14. Rosemary, this is the most wonderful post! Thank you so much for that! I am really touched to see your examples of human beings build and plant and live in harmony with nature instead of fighting and destroying it. Here in America I so often see just the opposite. Can't imagine that someone here would put the money, work, and love into building a bus shelter like you show in your post. So good to see that it is possible to design a nice one even nowadays!
    Christina

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    1. Dear Christina - thank you for your very kind comment, and so pleased that you enjoyed the post. Sometimes it doesn't take much effort to make an every day object just that little bit more interesting. I often wonder when building with bricks why the builders don't use two colours for example and build in some design with them. It cannot take any longer to do, just requires a little bit of imagination.

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  15. Lovely ! All those greens and greys and the serenity in your photos ... Thank you, Rosemary !

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    1. Thank you Dani - I think that you have hit the nail on the head, it is the colours that harmonise so happily.

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  16. I find the Cotswolds endlessly fascinating, Rosemary, and your photos capture their charm beautifully. A lovely post.

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    1. Dear Perpetua - when we first moved here I though I was on one long holiday. There are always places nearby to visit that we haven't discovered yet.

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  17. Dear Rosemary,
    When my youngest son was about 7 years old, he had his first visit to the Cotswolds. After a long flight and drive up to Burford, he stood at the top of the hill, looked out on the spectacular English countryside and declared, "This is THE place for me." (Especially funny for us since weeks earlier in our very crowded church, he had said "this is NO place for me!") Once again, enjoying your beautiful photos, I feel the same way... What gorgeous images, and what a gorgeous place. Every detail is charming to me--thank you for this little "fix"-- it shall have to do until we can get back again! By the way, H looks dashing his appearance with that spectacular hedge!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika - I am delighted that you are familiar with this area, you are all well travelled. I think that you mentioned just before Christmas that your husband had been in the Lake District.
      Yes, I think that the details are the secret of its appeal.

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  18. Beautiful photos! I have never been to Cotswolds, but after seeing your photos, I really want to go there!

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    1. Dear Lise - I do hope that one day you will come.

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  19. You have convinced me once more Rosemary. I really really want to visit your beautiful country sometime.
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - it doesn't look very beautiful this morning, the rain is back!!!

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    2. Same here Rosemary! And I think the flu that's been going around in our house finally found me too. Aches all over, rain, grey, a very dreary day.
      Bye,
      Marian

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    3. Sorry to hear that Marian - wrap up cosy and take care.

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  20. What a wonderful example of local distinctiveness - the photographs could not be from anywhere else. The group Common Ground work to encourage this kind of ethos, which your photographs illustrate so beautifully. Thank you.

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    1. Dear Freda - it is true that it is easy to take our surroundings for granted, and we do so at our peril. I shall have a look at the Common Ground website thank you for the information.

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  21. I have never been to the Cotswolds too. Those stone structures, gates and hedges are wonderful creations of men. Good thing they are still beautifully maintained and preserved. Amazing photos Rosemary.

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    1. Dear Pamela - they are good examples of something being built to last and built with care and love. Yew trees are incredibly long lived. I hope the ones we have put in our garden go on and on too.

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  22. Woww, Is very very beautiful your blog, congratulations. Kisses from Spain.

    http://redecoratelg.blogspot.com.es/

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    1. Thank you for your visit Maria - do come again.

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  23. Hello Rosemary
    The Cotswolds always delights and your photos bring it to life. We painted in this area about fifteen years ago. I have fond memories and we met some wonderful people.The yew hedge is enormous and how stylish H is with those great shoes.
    Thanks for this post

    Helenx

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    1. Hello Helen - Gina mentioned his shoes too - they are just brown shoes, but definite look a bit red on the photo!!! I think he must have polished them with some reddish brown polish. He does, however, always wear red socks, his only touch of flamboyance.
      It must be quite a feat trimming the hedge - I have never actually seen them doing it. The juice extracted from the Yew clippings is used in a cancer treatment, so this area is very good at supplying that.

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  24. All very lovely. Photos we would see down this end of the world if you didn't post them. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you - and I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them.

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  25. What a fantastic vieuws of your countryside. Its really beautifull Rosemary.

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    1. Glad you liked seeing them Marijke - spring is in the air and your beautiful flowers will soon be blooming.

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  26. Dear Rosemary -Is quite striking how that these bus stops are so beautifully preserved! The area with beautiful clean gardens, offers to the visitors peace and rest! Thanks that you took me with you on this wonderful walk !
    Have a nice day !
    Olympia

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    1. Dear Olympia - glad to have you accompanying me. Next time I will show some churches and cottages.

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  27. Dear Rosemary,i realy enjoyed this lovely walk that you took us!Beautiful countrysides!!I like the bus shelters!!And your pictures are amazing as always!
    Thank you for your comment on my blog!I'm always happy seeing you comming!
    Wishing you a lovely day!
    Dimi..

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    1. Thank you Dimi - so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos.

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  28. Beautiful and charming!! Terrific photos, Rosemary.

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  29. Wonderful photographs Rosemary, as always.
    I really like the last one - the trees look like mossy stones.
    I do love the Cotswolds.
    Can you tell me where that second photograph in the series was taken - I am sure that I have been there but just can't place it.
    Bye for now
    Kirk

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    1. Thank you Kirk - it is the lych gate to Cranham Church, and is built in the Arts and Crafts style. Next time I will show some cottages and churches, and you may recognise some more.

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  30. Although I'm a Berkshire 'girl' at heart I do love the Cotswolds, especially Burford and the church. We have stayed in the area several times. The yews are amazing and trimming them must be as labour of love.

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    1. The last two photos of yews belong to Painswick church where they have 99 trees, and every September a ceremony known as "clipping the church" takes place. Local children wear flowers their hair and join hands around the church. The clippings go off to be crushed to become part of a cancer treatment.

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  31. Incredible photos showcasing such an unique corner of the world. What amazing stonework and hedges and shrubs! Im very intrigued with the handmade tiles, too!

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    1. Thank you - I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing them. I have another two posts on different architectural aspects that I shall show.
      The roof tiles are incredibly valuable and part of the cotswolds architectural heritage. Regrettably they sometimes disappear in the dead of night!!! Archaeologists working on Roman Villas in this area have discovered that the Romans also used the stone for their roofs in much the same way. The stone for the tiles is oolithic limestone dating from the Jurassic period. It is extracted from the ground and left for a few days before splitting so that it still contains some natural moisture. The tiles used at the peak of the roof are the smallest, and they gradually get bigger as they go down the roof.

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  32. Wow stunning photo's, love the porches, but the yew hedge is amazing.
    Annie

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    1. The yew hedge is rather wonderful, and as you can see offers complete privacy to the owners of the very large estate. I wonder if you have ever seen the very tall hedge in Meikleour, Scotland. It is a beech hedge and planted around the same time as this yew hedge but it is even taller, twice the height. It is worth seeing if you are ever passing nearby.

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  33. What an absolutely magical place!!!!!! I truly hope to visit there someday!!!!! Thank you for the pictures : )

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    1. Dear Marica - delighted that you enjoyed seeing the pictures - do hope that one day you will visit.

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  34. Very stately and beautiful walls, benches and gateways and you are right in that they do enhance the landscape. I look forward to someday seeing this area in person.

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    1. Dear Carol - perhaps it is because of the use of the local stone, using part of the landscape within the landscape.

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  35. Dear Rosemary, I am so pleased to see this wonderful post. It reminded me of the time I lived in Coventry and the drives we took into the beautiful Cotswalds. I can remember an old church with a Lychgate similar to the ones you have shown. I think it was at Ladbroke. That was fifty years ago and I am coming back this year for a visit. I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful English countryside again. Thank you for taking us on this most interesting and lovely tour.

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    1. Dear Betty - I have just looked on google and the lychgate you mentioned is similar and really very beautiful, no wonder you have remembered it for all of these years.
      I shall look forward to following your journey when you return on your visit.

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  36. cool trip...
    very interesting post!
    Rosemary, thanks for sharing!

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing the post Juliana and thanks for your visit.

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  37. What a beautiful place!
    I love that marble(?) semi round bench!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend : )

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    1. Dear Demie - I must admit that the bench does look similar to marble but it is in fact cotswold stone. Glad you enjoyed seeing the post.
      Take care.

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  38. A rustic place in an unspoiled countryside. The way they put stones together and created the wall with the fenestra is simply wonderful.

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    1. The wall with the round porthole in it is in our garden. When the stonewaller was building the wall I suddenly thought it would be nice to have a window through it, and as far as I can remember I think that he made a round wooden template that he built the stones around.

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  39. Gates, doors and windows - they do something to me - in life and in pictures. What a beautiful collection here. I can't even begin to imagine such lovely structures over here - they'd be defaced very soon. We seem to have a love affair with concrete, glass and steel, even in areas with abundant stone.

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    1. If there is abundant stone then it is a shame not to use it, but concrete, glass and steel can be very attractive too if used with imagination of course.

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  40. I just had to read and look at your previous posts about the Cotswolds as well Rosemary ;) and then I had a look on the internet to see where exactly in the UK the Cotswolds are situated. They're no further than Wales! In fact, just the opposite. I always thought the Cotswolds were more north, towards Scotland, no clue why I had such a crazy idea in my mind. Now I'm even more certain I will be visiting the beautiful Cotswolds. Why we decided on Wales this year? Well, I wanted nature, oldest son wanted history and at least one castle, husband wanted no big cities, other son and daughter wanted beach(and daughter is all about shopping as well nowadays). So there you go ;) It is easier to go an a family vacation when the kids are younger believe me. Something one of the neighbours once said to me, years ago, when our kids were still little. their children are now on their own feet and out of the house already, and I begin to understand what she meant then.... ;) I think the Cotswolds will be something for me and my husband to visit by ourselves sometime.
    Marian

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    1. Come when your children have left home and want to do there own thing Marian. Join the National Trust as overseas visitors on a special rate, and visit the wonderful Cotswold houses, and gardens that belong to them.

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“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them too.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh