Friday, 10 March 2017

Walford Break March 2017: Post the first

To Herefordshire for a few days with friends. Time to do a little exploring.
Berrington Hall, dating from the late eighteenth century, was the last landscaping project of Capability Brown. Built of a rather dour red sandstone in the Neo-Classical style, it's more interesting on the inside than the exterior might suggest.
Just a patch of daffodils but they appealed to me.
As did this autumn flowering crocus. In March?
The iron brackets along the back wall of the walled garden were a puzzle until we twigged that they originally held a glass frame to protect the fruit espalliers (peach, apricot, nectarine) growing up the wall. The modern plastic tent does the same job, albeit with much less style.
I do like a bit of Box topiary and this is about my level of ability.
Undoubtedly the highlight of our visit to Berrington Hall, was the artwork by the ceramic artist, Bouke de Vries. Entitled War and Pieces, it's six metres in length and filled the table in the Dining Room. It comprises of many porcelain figures engaged in a deadly struggle under the shadow of a central mushroom cloud. The theme echoes the tradition of generals dining the night before a battle and then breaking all of the china as an act of symbolism.
The mushroom cloud. The whole piece was very effective and affecting.
A tale of two staircases. This is the one the lords and ladies used...
....and these are the back stairs for the servants.
The Priory Church in Leominster. Very big on the inside but rather too austere for my tastes.
It's not often that I come across someone who was a POW in WW1 so my curiosity was piqued. Although the plaque says one thing, the CWGC site lists George on the Thiepval Memorial amongst the unlocated killed. Perhaps George (32) was missing, presumed dead, in the first instance and his real fate became apparent later on?
John Scarlett Davies - reknowned artist? Not by me, he wasn't. Never heard of him and that is my loss. Mr Google says that he was a landscape, portrait and architectural painter. Unfortunately he died of TB when he was only 41.

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