Friday, May 11, 2012

Clumber Park

On the May Bank Holiday weekend, we visited Clumber Park, a National Trust site near Sherwood Forest. This estate was formerly owned by the Dukes of Newcastle. When the seventh duke died in 1928, his brother (who inherited the title) already had an estate in the south. His children would come to visit Clumber Park on holidays, but the estate mostly fell into disuse. The house was broken up and sold off in 1938. Much of the rest of the estate, including the Victorian-era chapel, remained untouched and can still be enjoyed today.

Of course, for our children, the most joy to be had was at the play park, which had many challenging climbing obstacles. They were a bit too challenging for Lucy. In a couple of years, she will be big enough to enjoy it all.

Crossing the lines

Jacob and Lucy on the spider's web

Help with the rings

Lucy goes for a spin

Lucy under the ropes

Jacob's ladder

Jacob's bridge

Jacob's log roll

Mommy and Daddy's favorite thing to see was the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Built between 1886-1889 by the seventh duke, it is a magnificent structure rising 180 feet over Clumber Park. The estate had a small choir school and the students would sing several times a day in the church, including morning and evening prayers. Church of England services are still held on alternating weekends.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Clumber Park

St. Joseph

Mary with baby Jesus

Baptismal font

Amazing crucifix that resisted my photographic efforts

Nice Victorian stained glass


Main Altar

Another statue of Mary and Jesus

We walked some more around the estate. Jacob and Lucy started playing one of their new games, sword fighting. They each grab a stick (or even a piece of hay or grass) and pretend to fight each other. Jacob enjoys being defeated (and will even coach Lucy on what moves to use), so the games always turn out happily for all.

Jacob falls the first time

Taken out by his own sister!

The estate also has a discovery centre, where young and old can learn more about the animals and plants on the estate. We saw several displays on insects, a fine indoor waterfall, and some craft activities that Lucy participated in. Jacob was stumped for what to do there.

Or maybe he was in a jam, logjam that is!

Before we left, we had another go at the playground, where both Jacob and Lucy could appreciate the swing.

Lucy and Jacob enjoying the ride (sort of)

Who will fall first--Lucy or the kid on that roof?

There are many walking paths and bike paths in the 3,800 acres. Don't worry if you don't have a bike, because the stable was converted into a bicycle rental shop.

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!

We saw plenty of people enjoying the grounds, including picnickers, barbequers, and campers. The estate has over two miles of roadway lined with lime trees on both sides, with plenty of clear area to park and enjoy the weather and woods. A large lake winds its way through the estate, providing boating opportunities as well.

This is a destination that we just may return to in the future.

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