Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lyme Park

Lyme Park as seen from the gardens.
The front of the house with a circular drive.
A visit to Lyme Park was our first outing from Werneth Low.  We are members of the Royal Oak Society, the American branch of the National Trust.  As members, our parking and entry fees are waived.  We soon make back the cost of our membership.  When we drove up to the entry booth, the gentleman looked at our parking sticker, asked to see our membership cards, then had a reaction we have come to expect "Ah! You're Americans!  Welcome!"  He then gave us a map of the grounds and a cd to play on the drive up to get us in the mood.

The inner courtyard with a well in the middle.

The Dutch garden was meant to be viewed from above, so there are two different levels of walkways to give one several perspectives of the plantings.

The drive is long, gently winding, and elegant.  If you have seen the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, you have seen this house, as it was used as Pemberley, Mr. Darcy's home.  Since this is the 200th anniversary of the publication of the book, the house is in full scale celebration of having the movie made here.
The Orangery was full of exotic plants that won't live in the cool English climate.

Voluteers keep the gardens growing beautifully under the direction of 2 master gardeners.

Inside, the house is decorated as in the Edwardian era, the time leading up to the Great War, WWI.  It was a time of elegance, manners, and people staying in their places.  Owners upstairs, servants down.  After the war, everything changed, then by the end of WWII, most of these stately homes could not longer be maintained by the owners, so were given to various trusts.  Unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside the house.

Fallow Deer seen from the gardens, which are well fenced to keep them out.   We hope to go back and hike in the open areas to get a look at the Red Deer herd.

The gardens are beautiful, most in excellent repair.  Lyme Park is home to the largest herd of Red Deer in England.  The Legh family, who lived here from 1388 to 1946, also bred the Lyme Hall mastiff, which is prominent in the current breed of dog, even though the strain is no longer true.  You can, however, buy dogs biscuits with one of their pictures on the label.

Buy your dog biscuits here!

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