Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bolton Castle Part III--The Gardens

Bolton Castle is not only an impressive example of a medieval fortification and Lord's manor house, but it also boasts of fine gardens right under its south wall.

View of Bolton Castle from the gardens

There is a small vineyard and a herb garden right by the wall. These would have served the needs of the brewers, cooks, and the resident monks, who would make the messy medieval water potable or use the herbs cooking or tending to the sick. A large variety of culinary and medicinal herbs are still grown there, and the vineyard will most likely yield up to 1000 bottles annually once it reaches its prime.

The vineyards

Some nice flowers

A hedge maze also provides delightful diversions. Jacob, Lucy, and Autumn enjoyed finding their ways in and out of the small labyrinth.

View of the maze

Autumn and Jacob find each other

Just down the hill is the Bee House. Bees are important to the gardens for pollination. The house has a display about beekeeping through the years. They even have a window into an active beehive. This was not so popular with the children.

The Bee House

History of bee keeping

The views from the Bee House are quite special.

View of Wensleydale

Bee's eye view of the castle

More of the countryside

The castle offers even more to visitors, with demonstrations of archery and presentations of birds of prey, but I will write about those in the next (and final) installment on Bolton Castle.

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