June Squares | Roofs

It’s June and another 30 day challenge from Becky.  ‘The Life of B’ This month she is looking for a roof or roofs or even rooves. Follow the link for the rules.

My first one is the thatched roof of the tiny shop / post-office in the little Gloucestershire hamlet of Adlestrop in the Cotswolds. Open Mon / Thurs / Fri from 1600 – 1700 and Thurs 0930-1230.

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

~ by Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917)

June Square | 1st June

A Lingering Look at Windows: # 1

This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story.

“Summoned by Bells”, by John Betjeman

Down the drive,
Under the early yellow leaves of oaks;
One lodge is Tudor, one in Indian style.
The bridge, the waterfall, the Temple Pool
And there they burst on us, the onion domes,
Chajjahs and chattris made of amber stone:
‘Home of the Oaks’, exotic Sezincote. 

Sezincote (pronounced seas in coat) is a British estate, located in Gloucestershire, England. It was designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell in 1805, and is a notable example of Neo-Mughal architecture, a 19th-century reinterpretation of 16th and 17th-century architecture from the Mughal Empire. At the time of its construction, British India was becoming the “jewel in the crown” of the world’s largest empire…. Wikipedia

It was also the inspiration for the Brighton Pavilion.

This extraordinary Indian house set in the Cotswolds hills has a central dome, minarets, peacock-tail windows, jail-work railings and pavilions. The main photo above shows the curving Orangery which frames the Persian Garden of Paradise with a fountain and canals. A more in depth post about the gardens is on my flower blog: Earth Laughs in Flowers

Orangery
Orangery

Just Back From… the Cotswolds

the old post officeWhen you think of the Cotswolds it is the warm honey-coloured limestone and cute thatched cottages inviting romance and tranquillity that spring to mind and where market towns (formerly centres of the wool trade) have wide squares and streets and are the centres of activity. Brooks and rivers bridged by tiny stone arches  meander through the hidden villages in the rolling hills and farmland where country pubs have flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and inglenook fireplaces with log fires.

You may also think of crowds of tourists and visitors from London up for the day, often on large touring coaches, ancient churches and manor houses, picture-book tea-rooms, expensive antique, retro and vintage shops. You’d be right about all of these things, but there is another side to the Cotswolds to be explored.

The Cotswolds district is mainly in the counties of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire with parts of Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Somerset at the edge. It is an area filled with hundreds of small towns and villages that don’t appear on the calendars and book covers or hog the limelight, but are equally attractive. Discover them by driving along the plethora of narrow, winding roads which often provide the most amazing views over the Wolds and the valleys. There are public footpaths, national trails and bridleways galore. Find yourself in a charming and unspoilt village away from the main tourist spots and walk around listening to the birdsong and admiring the chocolate box cottages and striking parish church. In the late spring sunshine, with so many shades of green it is impossible to count, you may stumble across a woodland carpeted with bluebells.

adlestrop laneIn the north of the region take a romantic circular drive from Moreton-in-Marsh to Stow-on-the-Wold stopping at Broadway Tower and Country Park for a picnic with a view, Broadway village with its wide main street , Snowshill Manor with its collection by the eccentric Charles Paget Wade, Snowshill Lavender farm in the summer, and Hailes Cistercian Abbey ruins, a most peaceful spot on the Cotswolds Way. Continue through Guiting Power with the ‘Hollow Bottom Inn’ and the picturesque Lower Slaughter with the tiny River Eye running through it.

There are dozens of lovely homes and gardens for you to visit, some owned by the National Trust, others in private ownership. Some are large estates such as Sezincote or Hidcote and attract the coach parties, others are smaller and often quieter. All are worth a visit.

sezincote

The Cotswolds is a vast region and requires several days to explore it thoroughly. We only touched on a small part in four days; there is a lot more to discover.