Posts Tagged ‘maze’

2015-05-02 11.03.23

The tile courtyard is a maze, best viewed from the upper floors.

A few months ago (seriously–when does time slow down again?) we took a day out and went to Kentwell Hall, a 16th-century manor house here in Suffolk. They were having a Tudor Day, and I’ve been missing a “traditional” USian Renaissance Faire type of thing. I think that our Ren Faires are so over the top because, well, we make them up; the history and culture that the Ren Faires celebrate come from here, so the UK doesn’t necessarily feel the need to put up fake villages and dress up in historic dress and gnaw on turkey legs. They’re *surrounded* by it. All the time. Hell, I live in it: I can walk five minutes from my front door and see a tower built in 1120 next to a cathedral from only a few hundred years later.

ANYWAY. Kentwell Hall was glorious. The kitchen (of which I have no pics) was my fave. Ian said he’d never seen me smile so much. I have a thing for historic kitchens. I like rooms that work!


2015-05-02 11.04.14

Near the house are several dead trees that have been carved into fanciful, Alice-in-Wonderland type creations.

2015-05-02 11.10.03

Between the Hall and the walled garden is a canal.

2015-05-02 11.11.07

The walled garden is (like the one in my novel) centuries old.

2015-05-02 11.11.14

While we were in the walled garden, a young lad in Tudor-era dress joined us. He spoke in historically accurate language the whole time, and I wondered what his 21st-century self thought of being 16th-century for a weekend, whether he missed his phone and xbox. Or whether it’s just normal to him to follow his parents every odd weekend to do this sort of thing.

2015-05-02 11.12.05

Obligatory flower close up. Forget-me-nots.

2015-05-02 11.13.05

Apple blossoms!

2015-05-02 11.13.27

Gnarly, bent, crooked, beautiful centuries-old apple trees.

2015-05-02 11.23.42

View of the back of the Hall and the topiary Pied Piper parade.

2015-05-02 11.56.41

Okay, so a gargoyle is the correct term for an animal-type sculpture that diverts water from a house, while a grotesque is just the sculpture (without the practical use). I’m not sure what this one is because it’s a human but it’s a water pipe!

2015-05-02 12.40.35

The majority of the faire that day was held in the outer buildings (the barns, etc.), but I loved the vignette of the old wooden wheelbarrow in the rough potager. It looks very much like the woodcuts in Thomas Hill’s books from the same era.

2015-05-02 12.43.25



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I forgot about my birthday. I mean, I didn’t FORGET forget. I never do. But I rushed ahead in the catch-up to September, skipping my birthday.


Went to Hatfield House. I’d been before, but not to ALL of the gardens. And I needed to go again, for research and personal reasons. Pictured is the *new* palace, built in the early 1600s.


I’d not been in the house before. It’s a *tad bit* grand.


Elizabeth I lived at Hatfield as a child.


…And was there when she found out that Mary had died, leaving her the new queen.


Serious library porn.


Its own pipe organ, right next to its chapel. (for Joanie)


The great hall in the old palace, built in the late 1400s.


Hatfield is important to my research because of its re-creation Tudor-era gardens. Close to the old palace are knots; a bit farther are parterres, topiaries and pleached trees.


John Tradescant the elder laid out the gardens in the early 1600s for Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury. If you dig back through posts here, you’ll likely see his burial place in London behind what is now the Garden Museum. Important bloke, John Tradescant: he brought exotic new trees and flowers to England from far-off lands, but didn’t have a sense of smell. Bummer.


Behind the new palace is a giant maze. You can’t tell from this photo, but it’s sunken, so the walls look to be at least 6 or 7 feet high. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public.

me in Hatfield

Geometric topiaries, partially hidden behind the birthday girl.


Obligatory flower close-up. Anemones.


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