Sunday, 27 March 2016

Gardens to Visit: Thornbury Castle

This pretty little garden is in the grounds of a swanky Gloucestershire hotel. 
But that hotel started life as a Tudor palace. It looks as though it has fallen into ruin, but in fact work was stopped mid-flow when Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham fell foul of Henry VIII and the building he envisaged was never completed. It seems that Henry (or his advisers) was suspicious of the grandeur of Stafford's plans and he was suspected of having designs on the throne. Today it seems amazing that anyone might be beheaded simply because their building schemes seem too fancy.

You do not have to stay in the hotel to visit the garden. 
I know they provide afternoon teas on the lawn, and perhaps you can also drop in for a coffee or glass of wine and take the opportunity to explore the garden.
The garden is not as fancy as the building but adds a little extra something to a visit to this amazing building.
I can't help feeling that had Thornbury Castle been completed the gardens would have been considerably grander, but perhaps not so charming.

If your garden is surrounded by a high Yew hedge you can't go wrong.
The tea tables are set out on the lawns in the garden courtyard but the flowers are mostly planted in a room hidden behind the Yew.

Old brick or 500 year old stone walls serve as a beautiful backdrop to any planting.

A wander round the garden offers views from all angles of this fabulous building.

After a large hotel breakfast it was nice to have such a pleasant little garden to stroll round. 
It probably did me a power of good.

There are some large trees to admire on the other side of the building, and a vegetable garden too.

Next door to the castle there's a nice country church in a graveyard, and then about 5 minutes walk away the little town of Thornbury.
It's always fun to stay at a grand hotel like this but rather than have dinner there we ate at a local pub, Hawkes House, which was relaxed and welcoming, and the food was very good too.

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