Thursday, 15 July 2010

Calke Abbey part 2

Onward from the impressive, sweeping drive up to Calke Abbey, we stopped for a bite to eat and to give a few scathing looks at the noisy brat children which were causing havoc around the area, then it was time to press on.
Following the path around the estate, we were afforded a fine view of the Baroque mansion, itself.
The house was built on the site of a 12th century Augustinian Priory. The abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII and the present house was built between 1701 and 1704. Owned by the Harpur family for 300 years, it was passed to the National Trust in 1985 in lieu of death duties. There is a fine, old Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) in the grounds too as you can see here.
The church, sited a little way from the house has unusual status as a 'peculiar' outside the normal diocesan organisation. The original church was built in the late 16th Century and rebuilt in Gothic style by Sir George Crewe in 1827-9. It contains a number of monuments including one to Henry Harpur Crewe who gave Calke to the National Trust.
we were treated to the sight of a small herd of deer as we left the park. A mixture of Red (Cervus elaphus) and Fallow Deer (Dama dama) have grazed the parkland of the Abbey estate since about 1773. This female (hind) Red Deer was too interested in eating the grass to be bothered by me trying to take her picture, she was however, being bothered by the flies.
The flies were also pestering the herd of Longhorn Cattle in the grounds of the abbey. The Harpur-Crewe family traditionally kept Longhorns and they have recently been re-introduced to the site.
More to come tomorrow..........
Post a Comment