Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Sezincote

Thank you for all your useful comments and advice regarding my computer problems. With help from my computer man and blogging friend Jim, who mentioned that he sometimes uses a different browser for blogger, I remain hopeful that the solution may have been found, and that I can continue to be present here.
A journey along blossoming Cotswold country lanes brought us to Sezincote house and gardens. The house is an extraordinary mixture of both Mughal and classical architecture, together with gardens reminding us of our recent trip to Kashmir. All of this makes it quite unlike any other house and garden to be found in Britain, and it is in fact considered to be the finest example of its kind in the West.

Sezincote was designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in a Neo-Mughal style and built in 1805. Curiously Cockerell had never visited India, and his only encounters with Indian architecture was through the medium of old engravings and drawings.
The poet John Betjeman used to visit whilst a student at Oxford, and captured Sezincote's charm in Summoned by Bells:
"Down the drive,
Under the early yellow leaves of oaks....
the bridge, the waterfall, the Temple Pool
and there they burst on us, the onion domes."

When the Prince Regent visited Sezincote in 1807, he was so impressed with the Neo-Mughal architecture seen, that he immediately changed his existing plans for the Royal Pavilion in Brighton to that of a similar design. 
The Orangery 

The Water Garden, the Indian Bridge, the Temple 
and the Pools are generally attributed to Daniell. However, the original gardens and landscape are thought to have been heavily influenced by Humphrey Repton who, while not producing one of his famous 'before' and 'after' Red Books for Sezincote, did produce a sketch of his ideas for the garden which still exists, and he mentions working at Sezincote in several of his writings.
Temple to Surya
The Indian Bridge


topped with bronze Brahmin Bull statuary along the parapet

Under the bridge are stepping stones and a seat where you can rest awhile. A small waterfall tumbles down into the Snake Pool, and a pathway leads you down to a gurgling stream and the pretty water gardens beyond.



46 comments:

  1. What an impressive building and beautiful garden. Did you go inside the Orangery? It is a very long one! The Solomon's Seal and Forget-me-nots are pretty bordering the stream.
    Just for your information. There are some large gaps between some of the photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is showing large gaps for me too Betty - hopefully they have been closed now.
      We did go into the Orangery where they serve afternoon tea.

      Delete
  2. Dear Rosemary,

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Sezincote is stunning. I would love to see what is inside the Orangery.

    By the way, my monitor does NOT show any large gaps between photos. The photos are perfectly spaced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gina - the Orangery has lots of exotic flowers, tables and chairs for taking afternoon tea or having an icecream.

      Delete
  3. Yes, very exotic for the English countryside!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. However, it does seem to be happily at home.

      Delete
  4. Hello Rosemary, The British certainly know how to indulge an architectural fantasy! The U.S. also had Moorish Revival houses, but nothing like this. One of the most famous was P.T. Barnum's Iranistan, which was quite a creation, although it burned down in the 1850's. Iranistan was influenced by the Royal Pavilion, so it was a direct design descendant of Sezincote. The story is that Jenny Lind was persuaded to tour America after seeing an engraving of Iranistan, so in that sense Sezincote unknowingly altered musical history.
    --Jim
    P.S. All the photos and text here seem to display perfectly for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jim - thanks for the reassurance that the photos are displaying satisfactorily. I remembering hearing about the house when we visited Anna Maria Island, Florida, a few years ago and being told that it had burnt down. We went to the film about him last month - The Greatest Showman, so it was interesting to hear more about it from you.

      Delete
  5. I visited the gardens a number of years ago. Loved your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them. My Mac has now been upgraded, possibly more similar to your computer, and I am not enjoying finding my way around it at all.

      Delete
  6. Amazing architecture and gardens! You've photographed them beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very kind of you to say William especially as I am finding blogging very difficult at the moment now that the computer has been upgraded!!!!

      Delete
  7. What a place and well captured in your photos. I don't think I've ever seen it featured on TV and I watch a lot of UK grand garden/ history/landscapes type programmes.
    For the past few months I've had to switch over to MSN UK browser to leave comments after 10 years with the original one and no problems. I can still post photos and comment on my own site ok but after an upgrade by the browser company itself I could no longer post comments on other sites so maybe the same sort of thing (browsers upgrading automatically) has happened to you. The 'If it ain't bust don't fix it' rule never seems to apply to technology as I keep getting messages to change to the new fancy e-mail upgrade as well and compared to the one I already have it's rubbish :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Bob - for the past 7+ years I have plodded along happily taking no notice of updates etc. Now I have an update on this Mac which I am finding very difficult to use, and both of my browsers have been updated too. From finding blogging easy it is becoming increasingly more difficult.
      Sezincote is in the northern part of the Cotswolds, and well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

      Delete
  8. What a magnificent and fanciful place. The photo of the curving orangerie really caught my eye. Such opulence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something like this could easily look rather tacky, but it doesn't.

      Delete
  9. Such a splendid place and scenery - well done Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wonderful, as usual.
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing Sezincote Susan.

      Delete
  11. I don't know if you were trying to be succinct with your description of Sezincote's history but there were three Cockerell brothers involved in designing the house and gardens. The one who bought the land was returning from India, having married a native wife who was kept mostly in Brighton but her upkeep was paid for by the family, as were his children (most unusual in those days!). The original owner died soon after the work was begun and his younger brother took over the estate and worked with his architect brother to complete the designs. In 1807, it is thought he (Samuel) also designed the Stow on the Wold Spa in Lower Swell, now known as The Pineapple Spa. Stow had great ideas of becoming a successful spa town but it all came to nothing. I haven't been to Sezincote since they used to open the gardens for the village fete in the 1960s. My mother was the infant teacher at Longborough School, where I attended. I was married at Longborough Church which has a Sezincote balcony with a special side door. It hasn't been used for decades and used to store the lawnmower when I was there. I was relief organist for high days and holidays in my late teens. Everyone also talks about Sezincote as if it suddenly sprang to life in the early 19th century but there was a medieval village there. It became abandoned when the farmers couldn't earn enough to keep themselves alive so deserted their fields in search of better land. Eyford and Little Aston suffered the same fate. You've provided some stunning photos. I may have to make another visit some time. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for all of that really good background information Sarah which I appreciate. I shall now make a point of visiting Longborough to see the balcony and special side door at the church.

      Delete
  12. Indian inspiration together with the amazing English garden is stunningly beautiful !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane - It is a glorious place to visit and beautifully hidden down the country lanes.

      Delete
  13. The gardens at Sezincote have interesting vistas. I especially like the stream that meanders through them, the waterfall and the Indian Bridge. There's a sense of tranquility there with so much greenery. The architecture is elegant, the orangery beautiful. I must go and read Betjeman's poem written when he was a student and visited. I can hear his voice in my head and I'll look at your beautiful images with a fresh eye and think of him wandering around the garden as well as other guests such as the Prince Regent. I'm pleased that you have sorted out your computer problem although finding one's way around after updating can be frustrating. My computer is very slow and even starts to 'stick' so browsing and scrolling up and down is difficult. It's a mystery why it happens every now and again each day. I have to use it as quickly as possible when the speed is good, turn it off when the screen freezes and go take a rest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Linda - I am delighted that you sufficiently enjoyed Sezincote to want to read Betjeman's poem. I can hear his voice too, and see his interesting face. I used to love seeing him on the TV many years ago, as I suspect you did too.
      I was having exactly the same problems as you on the computer, and my computer man found that the hard drive had failed or was failing. He knew where to look and found a message in red saying it had given up the ghost, so to speak. He has fitted a new hard drive. Everything has been updated - everything, and I have a completely different looking computer screen which I do not understand, emails, exporting photos etc is so different, but the computer I admit is working better. I am sure it will be fine once I can get my head around how to work it all out but at the moment it is one big headache!!!!

      Delete
  14. I’ve read your last two posts Rosemary, to catch up. I hope your computer problem is fixed.
    Buscot looks lovely, and Sezincote, well it’s breathtakingly gorgeous. I wish I wasn’t so far away, I would be a regular visitor. But what really takes my breath away is your photography, did you study it, have you always been this good, what camera do you use, do you have any tips? So many questions, so little time - I wonder how A E Houseman would put it! That’s a lovely thought provoking poem. Have a good weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Polly - the computer appears to be fixed but the new updated look is rather confusing presently - hopefully I will eventually get my head around it. I have got into a particular way of doing things and suddenly everything is completely different, but I expect eventually it will fall into place.
      Sezincote is a lovely place, and it is actually very reasonably priced to visit compared with many other gardens. If you are in the NT then Buscot is of course free.
      Your complimentary comment re: photos has blown me away. No, I didn't study it, and have only had a digital camera since I started the blog. I got the one I have at the moment after my visit to India just 3 years ago this June because I realised the lens limitations with my other camera whilst taking the Taj Mahal and long distant views. I presume that the camera I have is still available but it is of course now out of date. It wasn't a particularly new model when I bought it but I read some good write ups about it. It is just a pocket size Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350, and not expensive. I like a small camera so that I always have it with me - you see things that you would like to photograph when you dont have your camera to hand!
      One tip that I use, and may be of help to you, is to not necessarily show all of a picture that you have taken. Crop the picture to get the central detail, often there are things around the periphery that can distract or are unimportant to the overall feel of the image you have taken.

      Delete
    2. Many thanks Rosemary.

      Delete
  15. Beautiful house and gardens.
    Thanks for sharing these amazing photos.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Maria from
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

    ReplyDelete
  16. gosh that has immediately gone on to my list of places I must visit! it looks stunning, thank you for sharing xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure that you will enjoy it if you visit.

      Delete
  17. Dear Rosemary - The landscape of the first photo is beautiful consisting of fields like a lovely patchwork. Neo-Mughal style is another beautiful architectural style I’ve learned at this blog. Very impressive. Sapphire-colored dome and yellowish sand-colored walls harmonize nicely. Water Garden is also lovely, but I’ll never rest under the bridge as only the sound “snake” gives me the creeps. I can’t bear the coiling one in the right of the photo.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Yoko - you are so right - snakes are not my favourite things either. However, everything else is lovely.

      Delete
  18. Dearest Rosemary,
    One of the most beautiful architectural styles one can imagine!
    The gardens are also very well done, one can wane oneself to be in paradise...
    Your photos are always the best, like being there in person.
    Thanks for sharing and sending you hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mariette - thank you very much and also for your kind comment re: photos. I am experiencing difficulties blogging at the moment as something appears to be wrongly configured on my blog currently, and as a consquence, I have not been visiting around the blogworld.

      Delete
  19. So sorry to hear of your computer problems, it is so frustrating when they don't work! That is another lovely house and garden that you have visited. The architecture of the building is very attractive and unusual, I think Madelief may have visited here many years ago. It must be amazing to wander in the Orangery it is huge. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Sarah - I do believe that I suggested it to Madelief when she asked for places to visit in the north Cotswolds. However, it must be getting on for 20 years since I last visited myself. I do miss seeing her blogs now, by the way!

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing it.

      Delete
  21. Oh this is my kind of place :) So beautiful, I just love it...
    Love from Titti and a sunny Sweden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Titti - it is quite a unique place, and makes for a very interesting visit💙

      Delete
  22. Rosemary,
    Left you also a comment on your Kashmir post...

    ReplyDelete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

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