Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nostell Priory and Parkland, England--The Parkland

The Parkland of Nostell Priory is mostly the land that was part of the original 12th century monastery. The land has been reworked several times by several different people through the centuries. Now it is a pleasant parkland filled with geocaches, stables, adventure playgrounds, and lakes.

We did bring some geocache coordinates with us to the Priory and found a few on our way from the parking lot to the house and the rest of the grounds. J and L enjoyed finding the secret stashes.

Following the GPS

L uses J's camera to record the find

Looking for the second cache

Done caching

On our way to the house we stopped at the stable yard which has been refurbished in the typical National Trust fashion--it's now part cafe, part book and souvenir shop, and part museum.

The stable yard from a distance

The entrance

Inside the yard

The museum part was mostly dedicated to how they kept horses. A few generations of the Winn family (who owned the Priory for hundreds of years) were keenly interested in thoroughbreds and racing, so the horses did more than just draw carriages.

L measures up

Room for one horse!

Water and nice tiles on one side...

...manger on the other!

The stables also have some of the old masonry from previous buildings and a cool lion fountain.

Leftover/discovered bits

Don't let him bite you!

The stables open onto the back of the main house which has some fine gardens.

A scary lawn decoration

Formal gardens in early spring, not much greenery yet

The back of the house

The adventure playground was a highlight for the kids, but I used their fascination to explore more of the estate while Mommy supervised them.

Token playground picture

A few man-made lakes on the Parkland are quite pleasant to walk around. They also provided opportunities for boating and fishing. The first lake has a small boat house and a bridge leading off to the other lakes.

Lake with boat house

Looking into the boat house

The bridge on the lake

Further down is a larger lake with a few trails around it. I walked down one trail and discovered to my delight a swan's nest with the swans still there!

The middle lake

Another pleasant lake view

Swans nesting

More of the nest

After I went back to the playground, we went into the house to see what it had to offer, which will be the next post!

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