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Oxfordshire & The Cotswolds #AMBRIDGESHIRE

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Issue 6 - 2015

Annual Publication The Ultimate County Guide

Historic Houses | Attractions | Museums & Arts Gardens & Festivals | Open Air

www.countysignpost.co.uk

tr y o iPho ur free A n d n e an d roid ap p s


Kelmscott Manor

Visit the country home of designer William Morris and see stunning collections in the tranquil setting of this sixteenth-century house & grounds.

‘...the loveliest haunt of ancient peace...’ Explore our riverside gardens, enjoy homemade food in our licensed tearoom and visit our shop for beautiful contemporary crafts and other gift ideas.

• • • •

Visiting Hours (April - October) Wednesday & Saturday 11am - 5pm

Best Small Visitor Attraction (Cotswolds Tourism 2014) Certificate of Excellence (TripAdvisor 2014) Green Tourism Silver (2014) One of the “10 Greatest Places to See English Art” (Telegraph 2013)

www.kelmscottmanor.org.uk Twitter @KelmscottManor admin@kelmscottmanor.org.uk Kelmscott, Gloucestershire GL7 3HJ Tel: 01367 252486


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CONTENTS Historic Buildings Gardens & Festivals Attractions Museums & Arts The Open Air

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Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds County Signpost Tourist Guide, your indispensable guide to the best tourist attractions and days out the county has to offer. We hope that you find our guide, a pleasure to read, both interesting and informative, and that you will take it away with you, to use again and again.

We offer a taster of the visitor attractions and events within the County, for both locals and those who wish to visit from afar.

To be featured in our next edition please email the editor.

For a free download please visit our new map-driven, online magazine website

www.countysignpost.co.uk

Published by: County Signpost Ltd Editor: Adam Davison

Cover image Š Kelmscott Manor

All material in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of printing. County Signpost Ltd does not accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies which slipped through. Copyright County Signpost Ltd 2015. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

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Please mention Signpost when visiting any of the attractions.

County Signpost Ltd 01743 874098 info@countysignpost.co.uk


County Signpost

NSome ATIONAL TRUST special places to see Whether you love to explore houses and glorious gardens, or enjoy roaming through parklands, woods and our wonderful countryside, The National Trust’s special places have something for everyone. Why not make a day of it? Bring a picnic or treat yourself to a delicious meal in the restaurants, cafes and tearooms. There are some great shops selling treats and gifts, and an varied events programme to suit all ages.

Newark Park,

Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7PZ 01453 842 644 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/newarkpark

Newark Park, Gloucestershire © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The quirky interiors of Newark Park, a large estate to explore and fantastic views make Newark Park a favourite for many. Furnished with an eclectic mix of old and new it is easy to relax at Newark Park and discover the story of how it became a home from its origins as a Tudor Hunting Lodge. Surrounding the house

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you will find wild and romantic gardens, which offer fantastic views towards the Mendips, and lead you towards the estate walks down into the valley below. Newark also has footpath links to the Cotswold Way. There are croquet sets for hire, great spots for taking a picnic and lots of space to roam about. Look out for the snowdrops in early spring and events and exhibitions throughout the season.

Hidcote Manor Garden,

Hidcote Bartrim, nr Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6LR 01386 438333 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote

Memories don’t get much better than those you will take away from Hidcote Manor Garden. One of England’s greatest gardens, designed in the Arts and Crafts style by horticulturalist Lawrence Johnston, you can experience for yourself the fulfilment of a quiet American’s English fantasy. A series of exquisite garden rooms each has its own unique character, with rare shrubs, trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from around the world. The garden changes in harmony with the seasons, from vibrant spring bulbs to autumn’s spectacular Red Border. Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire © National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley


www.countysignpost.co.uk Whilst you are there, you can enjoy a game of tennis or croquet, join one of the free talks, or enjoy a delicious meal using home-grown produce from the kitchen garden in the refurbished Winthrop’s Café. Why not visit the largest plant centre in the National Trust where you can buy species from Hidcote – including the famous Hidcote lavender. Nestled in the Cotswolds, with sweeping views over the Vale of Evesham, a visit to Hidcote is inspirational at any time of year.

Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate,

Lodge Park, Aldsworth, Nr Cheltenham, Gloucstershire GL54 3PP 01451 844130 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sherborne Lodge Park, Gloucestershire © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Discover Lodge Park, a unique and beautiful 17th-century grandstand complete with a mile long deer course and accompanying deer park. Created in 1634 for John ‘Crump’ Dutton, Lodge Park indulged Dutton’s passion for deer coursing, gambling, banqueting and entertaining. Here you can find out about the National Trust’s historic renovation of Lodge Park, and the fascinating history of Sherborne Park Estate, Lodge Park and deer coursing. Why not enjoy games and a family picnic on the lawn, explore

the parkland walks and trails, designed by Charles Bridgeman, or take light refreshments from the Courtyard Café.

If you are looking for a unique venue Lodge Park is a stunning and stylish setting and available to hire – there are two different reception rooms, stunning views from the balcony and access to extensive grounds. It’s a magical environment for weddings, civil partnerships, corporate functions, private dining, photo shoots or filming and the National Trust can help you to create your own distinctive celebration.

Look out for a varied calendar of events throughout the year including the summer arts programme, open air theatre and opera and living history days.

A visit to the wider Sherborne Park Estate will reward you with an abundance of wildlife, from fallow and roe deer to badgers and foxes. Ancient trees such as veteran oak, ash, beech and lime provide important nesting and feeding sites for birds, bats and insects, and Barn Owls and woodpeckers can sometimes be spotted. Ewe Pen Barn is the starting point for several of the Estate’s main walking routes. Do make sure you leave some time to visit the 18th-century water meadows (home to otters, water voles and dragonflies) and to follow the sculpture trail in the Pleasure Gardens.

Snowshill Manor,

Snowshill, nr Broadway, Gloucestershire WR12 7JU 01386 852410 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshillmanor

This is a real one-off. Snowshill is home to an English eccentric’s treasure trove. Charles Paget Wade’s passion for craftsmanship, colour and design began when he was just seven years old. His motto was ‘let nothing perish’ and his life was dedicated to finding, restoring and enjoying

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Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire © National Trust Images/Mike Williams

objects of beauty, extraordinary.

both

everyday

and

The manor is packed to the rafters with over 22,000 objects from tiny toys to Samurai armour, musical instruments to fine clocks – all laid out theatrically just as Mr Wade intended. You can start to make sense of it all by hearing the story of Mr Wade, as told by one of the volunteers daily in the garden (weather permitting).

The Manor nestles in a peaceful and intimate Arts and Crafts-style terraced garden with hidden vistas and quiet corners. It is the ideal place to come and relax, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch in the restaurant, with fresh produce from the garden, or take a cream tea on the terrace.

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Chedworth Roman Villa,

Yanworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 3LJ 01242 890256 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworth

At one of Britain’s grandest Roman Villas you will discover the Golden Age of Roman Britain, walk in the footsteps of Romans and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Roman life.

The site was discovered in 1864 on the Earl of Eldon’s estate by a local gamekeeper and then excavated by his estate workers – a visit to the Victorian Museum tells the story of these early days and has a unique collection of artefacts from the site.

Following a major project in 2012 the extraordinary relics of the site were unveiled


www.countysignpost.co.uk Chedworth Roman Villa, Gloucestershire ŠNational Trust Images/ James Dobson

anew. The wonderful new cover building enables you to see amazing in-situ mosaics which can be viewed from suspended walkways. This year you may be able to discover what else lies beneath as the team carry out some exploratory archaeology on the enigmatic North Wing of the villa.

Other highlights to the site include the remains of the dining room, bath houses, water shrine, latrine and the under-floor heating system. In

addition the site is rich in natural history, with breath-taking views of the Coln Valley. Look out for some very large snails which were introduced by the Romans and which are still found living around the villa.

You can enjoy various Roman-themed events and activities throughout the year including talks, workshops and re-enactments, and the family tracker packs, available from reception, are a great way to make discoveries and have fun.

Chedworth Roman Villa Š National Trust Images / Allan King

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CHAVENAGE HOUSE

This wonderful welcoming Elizabethan home, offers something different. Visit Chavenage House near Tetbury and enjoy guided tours by the owner or his family. Learn of the two families that have occupied the house since the reign of Elizabeth I. Hear of the legends and stories (especially the ghosts) – Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Cotswold countryside.

The name Chavenage dates back to AngloSaxon times, from the Norman Conquest until the Reformation it was monastic land. After the dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII gave the property to the Seymour family. In 1551 Chavenage was purchased by the Stephens family who resided there for over 10 generations. The house and surrounding farm were purchased by the present owner David LowsleyWilliams’ grandfather in 1891.

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The main historical interest centres on the English Civil War, when the house was owned by Col. Nathaniel Stephens MP for Gloucestershire. He was persuaded against his better judgement to vote for Charles I’s impeachment and subsequent execution. Soon


www.countysignpost.co.uk after the King was beheaded, Col. Stephens died and it is said that his ghostly form was seen leaving Chavenage in a carriage driven by a headless coachman wearing the Royal vestments.

These days, the property is very much a family home and even though it is open to the public on a part-time basis.

Chavenage has been used as a film/TV location on many occasions including Agatha Christie’s Poirot story ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ and is being seen as Candleford Manor in the BBC’s ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’, and was recently featured in Channel 4's 'All in the Best Possible Taste' with Grayson Perry. Filming for a new series of Poldark, based on Winston Graham’s novels, which were previously adapted for TV in the 1970s, took place at the historic Chavenage House during the summer of 2014.

Being Human star Aidan Turner will take on the lead role of British officer Ross Poldark, who returns to his native Cornwall after the American War of Independence. Turner will star alongside Death Comes to Pemberley actress Eleanor Tomlinson playing Elizabeth Poldark, and Chavenage House will double as the Poldark’s Cornish family home – Trenwith. Filming also took place in Corsham, Wiltshire, the Bottle Yard Studios Bristol as well Cornwall proper. The original BBC TV adaptation of Poldark aired for two series in the '70s and starred Robin Ellis, who will return play Reverend Halse in a episodes of the new series. The eight hour-long episodes of Poldark will air in 2015.

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Open May-September Thursdays and Sundays 2-5pm. Also Easter Sunday & Monday and bank Holiday Mondays. Telephone 01666 502329 www.chavenage.com

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BROUGHTON CASTLE

Broughton Castle is a moated and fortified manor house near Banbury in North Oxfordshire. Set in parkland and built of the rich local Hornton ironstone, it was selected by Simon Jenkins as one of only twenty to be awarded five stars in his book England’s Thousand Best Houses.

The core of the house was built in 1306 and the gatehouse in the early fifteenth century, but most of what you see today dates from the 1550’s. It was a centre of opposition to Charles I and was

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besieged and damaged after the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.

Broughton Castle is home to the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, whose family name is Fiennes. The ownership of the Castle has remained in the same family since 1447.

Broughton Castle was one of many fabulous locations used for BBC2’s Wolf Hall series starring Damien Lewis, Mark Rylance and Claire Foy. Filming took place in 2014 and the series is


showing on BBC2 in Jan/Feb 2015, and on PBS from April 2015.

BBC 1's ever popular Sunday evening programme ANTIQUES ROADSHOW will be filming for its 38th series in the grounds of

Broughton Castle on Sunday 21st June. The doors open at 9.30 am and close at 4.30pm. Entry to the show is free.While the garden and Tearoom are open for visitors and for the Antiques Roadshow from 9.30am to 4.30pm, the Castle itself is not open that day.

The house and gardens will be open in 2015 on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, and then in May, June and September on Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, and in July and August on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and the August Bank Holiday Monday. On these days the house and gardens are open from 2pm to 5pm.The house and gardens are also open all the year round to groups of any size if booked in advance. Private groups can also book lunches and afternoon teas.

To book or for further information please contact :

Joanna James, Broughton Castle, Banbury, OX15 5EB Telephone 01295 276070 info@broughtoncastle.com www.boughtoncastle.com

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SULGRAVE MANOR

Sulgrave manor – the birthplace of the modern western world?

There are many places that turn us to thoughts of history and the events that may have happened there in the past. The Tower of London for example conjures up thoughts of imprisoned Queens and beheadings, Stonehenge gives us ancient druid ceremony and Brighton Pavilion the supposed debauchery of the Prince Regent. So how, you may ask does a small Tudor Manor House in the ever so slightly rolling hills of South Northamptonshire compare to these great and grand places?

The date is 1602 and a baby is born to a wealthy but somewhat undistinguished family, his father is the Lord of the Manor of Sulgrave and home is a Tudor longhouse. He is baptised in the local 13th century church of St. James the Less and given the family name Lawrence. He thrives in this environment and at the age of seventeen goes up to Brasenose College, Oxford. He is bright and almost immediately upon graduation he becomes a Fellow of the college. This is not unheard of but is certainly worthy of note, he subsequently takes holy orders in the then fairly new church, the Church of England, and hence becomes known as The Reverend Lawrence.

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A few years later and the country is in turmoil. The King, Charles 1, has fallen out with his Parliament, political and religious tensions are cursing through the country. The Bishop of London, later Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, also Chancellor of Oxford University, decides to strengthen this city of learning for the King. The population of Oxford includes some of the sons of the richest and most influential families in the country – this has to be a good move! He appoints a Procter for the University whose job it will be to ensure that Oxford, both city and university, remain loyal to the King and to strengthen that loyalty. The young man the Archbishop gives this job to is the Reverend Lawrence. William Laud

The young man performs his task well and Oxford does indeed become a royalist stronghold, so much so in fact that when civil war breaks out in 1642 the King moves his court from London, where the population mostly supports the Parliament, to Oxford, because of its strong Royalist feelings. The Reverend Lawrence, who had left Oxford by now, must have been proud of his achievement – creating a stronghold for his King. By now though he was a wealthy Rector in Purliegh, Essex, married and with children but his job was again political. Essex was Parliamentary supporting territory and his task was to turn it back to the King.


Well, it all went horribly wrong! A year after the outbreak of war Reverend Lawrence was denounced by Parliament and hounded out of his comfortable life. He lost everything almost overnight and the future looked bleak. The war ended in 1649 and the Reverend Lawrence and his family were broken. He died in 1653, almost penniless and therefore leaving little to his family. His wife, Amphyllis, was reduced to begging her relatives for somewhere to live, fortunately some were well placed in this new England.

However when Amphyllis’s step-father died in 1656 he left small legacies to some of his stepgrandchildren. The Reverend Lawrence and Amphillys’s son, John, thus inherited a small sum. Being the son of a known Royalist did not make for a comfortable life for a young man with ambition and so he used this inheritance to buy a share of a trading ship, the Seahorse of London. His plan to trade with the colony of Virginia and thus keep himself out of England for most of the time. He didn’t want to leave England for good but by embarking on this venture he would come back maybe twice a year and see if his propects had changed.

Off he sets on his first voyage aboard the Seahorse, in his early/mid 20s and Second Master, it must have been an exciting time. The ship sails to Scandinavia and picks up a cargo of furniture and house-wares and then across the North Atlantic to Virginia. John must have been a good salesman as the cargo was sold and he purchased tobacco for the return journey. Some say that he may have been too eager (or greedy?), for as the ship was reaching the mouth of The Potomac it encountered a storm and sank.

John was penniless (again) and on the wrong side of the Atlantic but he was not going to let this hold him back. He was befriended by (or was this his salesmanship coming to the fore once more?) a wealthy Virginian by the name of Nathaniel Pope and subsequently married his

Great Hall

Oak Parlour

daughter Anne, receiving 700 acres of prime tobacco planting land as a dowry. He flourished and so did his descendants.

There is one thing that I have omitted from this story – the family name – it is Washington!

So did a child, born in an insignificant Manor House in Northamptonshire, change the world because of his Royalist beliefs?

I’ll let you decide – but if you want to hear more stories of this remarkable family, dating from the late 12th century until modern times then you need to visit Sulgrave Manor, the Ancestral home of George Washington!

Sulgrave, near Banbury OX17 2SD Please see the website for opening details. Telephone 01295 760205 www.sulgravemanor.org.uk

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KELMSCOTT

‘...a heaven on earth...’ Kelmscott Manor, the old house with ‘grey gables and rook haunted trees’ became the country home of William Morris – poet, designer, craftsman, socialist – from 1871 until his death in 1896. Initially, Morris signed a joint lease with the Pre-Raphaelite painter-poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The grade I listed house

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was built as a farmhouse around 1600 for the prosperous farmer Thomas Turner; in the 1660s Turner’s grandson added a new, rather grander, wing. Morris loved the house, by then known as Kelmscott Manor, as a survival of traditional craftsmanship in harmony with the nearby village of Kelmscott and its surrounding countryside (one of the loveliest stretches of the river Thames is only a few minutes’ walk away).


MANOR

He found its atmosphere and secluded setting ‘very stimulating to the imagination’; for the rest of his life it was a source of profound pleasure and creativity, inspiring many of his most important designs and writings.

Visitors to the Manor will find an outstanding collection, from early furniture owned by the Turners to a unique collection of furnishings chosen by Rossetti, and pieces from each of

Morris’s London homes including several designed especially for the iconic Red House. Morris’s wife Jane and daughter May are also vivid presences at Kelmscott Manor, which contains many examples of their beautiful and accomplished needlework; much of this was designed by May, who was a significant designer in her own right. It is perhaps the most evocative of all the houses associated with Morris.

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Tea Lawn – home made and freshly prepared refreshments in the Tearoom and riverside tea lawn.

Kelmscott Manor also boasts enchanting gardens, restored in 1994. The front garden features the topiary yew hedge originally designed and ‘trimmed’ by Morris into the shape of the Icelandic dragon, Fafnir. Beyond the walls of the formal garden stand the impressive farm barns – two of these are now home to the tearoom - now serving home-made refreshments, baked on the premises - and shop.

2015 season There will be plenty of exciting events and activities programme, including lectures, new family trails rural skills family workshops during the summer holidays. See the website for more information. Open every Wednesday and Saturday, 1st April to 31st October 2015.

Ticket office opens 10.30am; Manor at 11am – 5pm (last admission 4.30pm).

www.kelmscottmanor.org.uk Twitter @KelmscottManor admin@kelmscottmanor.org.uk Kelmscott, Gloucestershire GL7 3HJ Tel: 01367 252486

Blue Silk Dress – Portrait of Jane Morris by DG Rossetti

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Kelmscott Gallery

William Morris cake on sale exclusive to Kelmscott Manor from recipes found recently in the archives collected by the Morris family.

Free lawn croquet at the Manor – avidly played by the Morris family (Kelmscott still has May Morris’s croquet box at the Manor) included in the admission price.

The White Room

The Tapestry Room

Awards: · Winner Small Visitor Attraction of the Year (Cotswolds Tourism 2014) · Certificate of Excellence (TripAdvisor 2014)

· Green Tourism Silver (2014)

· Short-listed for ‘Most Inspiring’ museum or visitor attraction (Guardian Culture Pros and M+H Awards, 2014)

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WATERPERRY GARDENS

Seven miles from the heart of historic Oxford lies Waterperry Gardens – 8 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens with a fascinating history. Established as a School of Horticulture for Ladies by Beatrix Havergal in 1932, in addition to the much-extended formal gardens and nursery, it is now home to a plant centre and garden shop, gallery, gift barn, teashop, gardening school and museum.

Explore the tranquil gardens featuring a 200 foot long pure herbaceous border, formal knot and rose gardens, colour and contemporary borders, waterlily canal, riverside walk and nursery stock beds from which cuttings are taken for all the herbaceous plants sold in the plant centre.

The garden shop stocks the essentials for the gardening season and the plant centre sells Waterperry-grown plants. You’ll also find a wide range of Waterperry apples during the season

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© Andrew Lawson

and, throughout the year, juice and cider made at Waterperry from our own apples.

For some retail therapy, the Gallery and Gift Barn offer beautiful, affordable and unusual gifts to suit all tastes and budgets. There’s also a small

Rural Life Museum, Saxon Church and “Miss H’s” for delicious lunches, patisserie and cakes. Waterperry offers a full programme of year round events, including horticultural-themed weekends, and a wide range of arts, crafts and gardening courses.


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Events 2015 28th March - 13th April Easter Bunny Hunt

18th & 19th April Fritillary weekend

23rd May -1st June Gnometastic Hunt in the gardens

28th June Rare Plant Fair

10th & 11th July Opera Anywhere in the amphitheatre

16th to 19th July Art in Action (Waterperry is closed to all but Art in Action visitors) 23rd July - 6th September Fairy “Tail� Trail for children

6th September ABF, The Soldiers Charity Day

9th September Bulb and Container Day supporting UCare Charity 19th-20th, & 26th-27th September Michaelmas Weekend

Contact details: Waterperry Gardens, Waterperry, Near Wheatley, Oxford, OX33 1JZ. Telephone: 01844 339226. Email: office@waterperrygardens.co.uk Website: www.waterperrygardens.co.uk

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10th-11th October Apple Weekend

24th October - 1st November The Great Pumpkin Hunt

14th - 15th November & 12th-13th December Christmas Market


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PAINSWICK ROCOCO GARDEN

Situated outside the beautiful Cotswold town of Painswick, and famous for its snowdrop display, the Rococo Garden is a fascinating step back to a flamboyant and sensual period of English Garden Design. This gem of a garden, which was originally laid out in the early 18th century, is set in a hidden Cotswold valley with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

A magazine article of 1753, describing this style of garden, finished with the line .......You are taken to a pompous and gilded building, consecrated to Venus for no other purpose that the squire riots here in vulgar love with a couple of orange wenches from the local playhouse. It seems he was unimpressed with the frivolity of the owners of these gardens.

New for 2015 is a Bluebell Walk and also the return on Monday 6th July The HandleBards a troupe of 4 actors traveling the UK by bike. They will be performing Hamlet.

Telephone 01452 813204 www.rococogarden.org.uk


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Mill Dene Garden

itate, and which will nourish the senses.

Mill Dene Garden is hidden deep on the north scarp face of the Cotswolds. It surrounds an old, pre-Norman water mill, with its pond and stream and is set in a tiny valley.

Barry and Wendy Dare fell in love with a building that was falling down with no garden. They had no money and no experience of either restoration or horticulture, but learned on ‘the hoof ’ so to speak, whilst doing other jobs and raising children.

Their creation over a lifetime is there for everyone to enjoy: two and a half acres of interesting planting; of surprises round every corner and a lot of fun. Mill Dene has a tiny misty grotto in amongst the bog garden on the stream and a ‘trick of the eye’ apparently extends the boundaries of the garden. It is an exercise of making the most of a difficult site. It is also an exercise in creating something beautiful in which to med-

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In this watery wonderland in a steep valley around an old mill, one follows winding paths from the mill stream and pool to a wild garden, through a rose walk, to a potager and fruit garden and down steps to a cricket lawn – all imbued with touches of mischief and incorporating quirky statues and notices. Moreover, the garden changes remarkably through the seasons. Tulips in spring make way for a profusion of culinary and medicinal herbs, attracting pollinators for the nearby fruit. Box hedging and patterned stone retain winter interest, when the garden takes on a meditative feel, possibly because of its historic use a Saxon burial ground. On a lower terrace, a miniature cricket lawn and pavilion, with full sized stumps, are like something out of Alice in Wonderland – a reflection perhaps of the character of Wendy Dare, who designed the garden, and who has lived here with her husband for forty-seven years.

Mill Dene Garden is family owned and run. They have a part-time gardener and for a couple of days a week there are two ladies from WRAGS (Women Returners to Amenity Gardening) who help in the garden.

Visit Mill Dene as part of the Quiet Garden Movement from May onwards (Sundays 25pm). An opportunity to enjoy stillness and reflection for visitors of any faith or none. To be confirmed - see the website for details.


www.countysignpost.co.uk

info@milldenegarden.co.uk Telephone 01386 700457 www.milldenegarden.co.uk

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FAIRYTALE FARM

Once upon a time... Fairytale Farm, was opened in 2013 by David Cameron and is the UK's first visitor attraction to put disabled children first in its design and layout - but is also loved by children (and adults) of all abilities.

There are very few rural facilities for disabled children and their families. As most parents of children with special needs know, much of the countryside is out of bounds. Although there are a number of centres for disabled children, these tend to be institutional and require advanced booking, and most mainstream attractions are not fully accessible, despite the efforts of owners. Nick and Nicola Laister, whose eldest daughter Olivia has cerebral palsy, decided a number of years ago to acquire some land and create a

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tourist attraction where disabled children and their families can spend a day out in the countryside enjoying various rural activities on a site where everything is primarily designed around their needs. Their vision was to create the sort of attraction that they would have liked to have visited with their own children, which Olivia could have enjoyed alongside her brothers and sister.

Fairytale Farm is the first family farm attraction where everything is designed around the needs of children with sensory, learning and physical disabilities, but which can be enjoyed by children without disabilities too. A truly inclusive experience.

For the first time in the UK, disabled children have their own attraction that operates like any other commercial tourist attraction which they can enjoy with the rest of their family - and with no pre-booking needed.


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Huff and Puff

Burn off energy and have loads of fun in our adventure playground area – where kids of all abilities can:

• Race a rubber duck along our pump-powered wacky waterway. • Climb our timber play structures and whoosh down our exciting slides. • Jump on board our giant combine harvester. • Explore our very own Storybook Castle – where fairytales can come to life. • Swing on the Nest Swing or on our fabulous wheelchair swing.

This facility would not be a care facility or an institutional experience, but a family day out in the countryside, built around the needs of the family member whose needs are most difficult to cater for, but open to everybody.

Fairytale Farm is divided into four main zones: Huff and Puff for adventure play; Enchanted Walk for our fairytale sensory experience; Alfie and Friends, where you can meet our amazing animals; and The Stables, where you can visit Mouse Town, play in our sandpit and enjoy our Café and indoor play area. In 2014 we introduced Mouse Town, the Giant Rabbit Burrow, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel and our wacky Rubber Duck Racing. We have lots of new attractions planned for 2015, including a new outdoor seating area for the Beanstalk Cafe, complete with sandpit and wishing well.

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Alfie and Friends

Get to know all our animals (including our mascot Alfie the Alpaca) up close and personal! Our educational animal zone is packed with amazingly sociable creatures who are waiting to make friends with you and your children. Come and say ‘hi’ to:

• Fairytale Ponies – our miniature Shetland ponies are perfect for little princesses. • The Old Woman and her Pig – our TV star pigs. Their house was blown down by a wolf so they now live happily ever after, snoring away in the ark! • The Two Little Pigs – Winston and Edgar are our two little Kune Kune pigs. They’re very gentle and super cute! And meet our three micropigs. • The Four Billy Goats Gruff – they safely crossed the troll bridge and have settled in beau-

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tifully at Fairytale Farm. • The Donkey, from the Brothers Grimm – can you make our donkey smile?! • Magical Rheas – gorgeous South American birds, as tall as your children, that were hatched here at Fairytale Farm. • Chicken-Licken – free-range and friendly, you’ll find several breeds of chicken including our fluffy Silkies. • Turkey Lurkie and Friends – Listen to our turkeys gobbling, and watch the boys proudly showing off their colours. • Rabbit Walk - Here you will find fluffy rabbits and sociable guinea pigs, all going about their daily business. • Alfie and Friends – inquisitive and alert, Alfie the Alpaca and his friends love to watch the world go by here at Fairytale Farm.


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The Stables NEW: Mouse Town See a family of mice going about their daily business in our beautifully crafted indoor model village.

NEW - Giant Rabbit Burrow Explore this larger than life burrow and play in the rabbits' kitchen.

NEW - Sandpit Fun in the sand for the kids while the parents enjoy a coffee or an ice cream.

Indoor play area

With toys, musical instruments, books and sensory pictures, it will keep everyone warm, dry and entertained!

Just turn up and have fun - everything is accessible and everybody is welcome!

Telephone 01608 238014 info@fairytalefarm.co.uk www.fairytalefarm.co.uk OX7 5QH

Beanstalk Cafe

Light lunches and snacks at reasonable prices, much of which is sourced from local suppliers. Delicious home made cakes is a favourite, and we sell locally-baked gluten and dairy free cakes.

Shop

Why not also visit our shop, situated in the cafe, where you can buy a selection of Fairytale Farm souvenirs and fairytale toys and gifts.

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County Signpost

DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE 180 years after it was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835, the Great Western remains Britain's best loved railway. It was built on a heroic scale by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, with a broad gauge, beautiful bridges and sumptuous stations. It served some of the most scenic areas of England and Wales and called itself The Holiday Line. It invented the Cornish Riviera as a tourist destination. In the 20th century the GWR’s Cheltenham Flyer was the world’s fastest train. Its locomotive policy in the first half of the 20th century was an object lesson in the benefits of standardisation and evolutionary design. With the end of steam on the horizon by the 1940s, the GWR had built a fleet of diesel railcars and experimented with gas turbine locomotives.

Today Didcot Railway Centre encapsulates the long history of the GWR. The replica of the 1840 broad gauge locomotive Fire Fly offers an experience of travel at the beginning of the railway era. The collection of more than 20

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standard gauge locomotives from the 1890s to the 1940s include many of the standard classes typified by tapered boilers, copper-capped chimneys and Brunswick green paintwork. They are completed by Didcot’s preserved fleet of chocolate and cream carriages. On a steamday you are guaranteed a ride in vintage carriages from the 1930s or 1940s.

But Didcot is much more than a train ride. The original engine shed, built 1932, is an exhibition hall which displays locomotives in their authentic surroundings. As the only complete GWR locomotive depot that has survived, Didcot also has a coal stage and turntable in working order. Within the railway centre, buildings have been brought from around the GWR system and re-erected. These included two signal boxes, one of which is regularly opened with staff to explain how semaphore signalling works. There is a picnic area where you can sit and watch the trains go past.


www.countysignpost.co.uk Whether you want to be entertained, educated or to admire engineering excellence, a visit to Didcot Railway Centre is a great experience.

Events for 2015

April 3-6 Easter Family Fundays

April 18-19 Birthday

The railway centre also includes a comprehensive museum of small relics and artifacts from the GWR. These include the colourful posters which decorated stations, an amazing variety of silverware, glass and crockery used in restaurant cars in the age of elegant dining, and the everyday items crafted in brass or steel and marked with the magic initials GWR.

An interactive Science, Learning and Railways exhibition in two railway coaches explains the theory of steam locomotion to young and not so young visitors. The original air raid shelter from 1940 has been restored as an experience of that dark era when the railways helped to ensure victory, but emerged so run down that nationalisation was inevitable. In 1948 the GWR became part of British Railways, but the brand is so potent that the privatised train operating company has re-adopted the name Great Western.

GWR Diesel Railcar No.22's

May 2-4 Steam Gala - 50th Anniversary of the Closure of Didcot Engine Shed

May 23-25 Diesel Gala and Real Ale Festival

June 7 Festival of Transport Day

June 21 Father's Day

July 12 Teddy Bears' Picnic and Family Funday

August 29-31 August Bank Holiday

September 12-13 All in a Day's Work As always, it is suggested to check the website www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk for details or updates, or to telephone the centre on 01235 817200

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County Signpost

CHINNOR AND PRINCES RISBOROUGH RAILWAY

The railway is a friendly country branch line in the style of the former Great Western Railway, providing heritage train rides for both families and enthusiasts alike.

The line runs for 3.5 miles along the foot of the Chiltern Hills, parallel to the historic Icknield Way passing through attractive countryside and red kites can often be seen circling overhead. Most trains are steam hauled and operate every Sunday and Bank Holidays departing from Chinnor station. The railway is open from Mothers Day to Halloween and generally tickets give unlimited travel on the day of purchase. The railway also runs a number of special events during the year, including two Gala Days in June

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and August, when all available locomotives and the DMU are in use during the day. There is also an Open Day in May, when you can see behind the scenes to see how the railway operates. In addition, the railway runs its popular Santa and Mince Pie trains on Saturdays and Sundays during December, but these have to be prebooked on 07979 055366.

It also offers superb cream teas on many of the Sunday afternoon steam hauled trains which George Pembroke of Steam Railway wrote ‘The cream tea is the best on-train catering item offered on normal service, and is highly recommended’. For Cream teas availability and advance booking please telephone 07979 055366.


www.countysignpost.co.uk The Railway offers Steam and Diesel Driver Experiences, when members of the public can learn how to control a locomotive on the Icknield Line, and drive the steam or diesel loco the full length of the line - full instruction given, and guests can ride in the train behind the driver!! Telephone 07784 189322 for more details. The railway has wheelchair access, but not on DMU trains, Disabled toilet facilities.

Light refreshments are available on Chinnor Station and most trains include a licensed buffet. Souvenirs of your visit can be purchased in the gift shop.

Location:

Chinnor station is situated in Station Road just off the B4009. The M40 J6 is 3 miles away and Princes Risborough is 4 miles further along the B4009. Once in Chinnor follow the brown tourist signs to the railway.

Contact:

OX39 4ER Talking Timetable: 01844 353535 Party Bookings, cream teas and other queries: 07979 055366, E-mail: enquiries@chinnorrailway.co.uk Website: www.chinnorrailway.co.uk

Events for 2015

April 3-6 Easter Specials

April 26 Spring Steam and Diesel Gala

May 3-4 Teddy Bear Days

May 16 Murder Mystery Dining Train

June 13 Quiz Night on the Watlington Flyer

June 21 Father's Day

July 11 Murder Mystery Dining Train

August 6, 13,20 & 27 Kids for a Quid

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Co., Station Approach, Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon

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COTSWOLD MOTORING MUSEUM

In the beautiful setting of Bourton-on-theWater you’ll find the hidden gem that is the Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection. A popular tourist destination, Bourton is a great place to visit for a day trip, with plenty to see and do in and around the village.

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The Museum You’ll discover over 50 vehicles including cars, motorcycles, pedal cars and caravans displayed in seven galleries covering more than 7,500 sq. ft.! The Museum is a truly fascinating journey through the 20th Century, overflowing with vintage vehicles, hundreds of original enamel


signs and an intriguing collection of motoring curiosities. It’s also home to TV’s superhero car Brum, whose adventures start and end at the museum, and can now be found there every day.

The wonderful toy collection also represents the Museum’s passion for travel. From old favourites from year’s gone past to more modern items, you will be enchanted by the great display of toys and games. After your visit, don’t miss the gift shop which is jam packed with pocket money treats and collectables including Brum memorabilia and souvenirs.

New Exhibition – Dream a little dream The Museum is owned by CSMA Club, who have been proudly supporting civil service employees since 1923. This year’s exhibition is influenced by hippie culture. Our nostalgic look at the 1960s is colourful, laid back and very cool. Alongside the Zephyr Mk3 and motorcycles you can enjoy the sounds from an original Radio Caroline studio. The exhibition will run from Feb – Dec and will feature sounds and images from the 1960s.

The Cotswold Motoring Museum is open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week, from 14 February to mid December 2015. Motoring Museum|Toy Collection| Gift Shop|Home of TV’s Brum| Children’s Play Area

Telephone 01451 821255 www.cotswoldmotoringmuseum.co.uk

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County Signpost

NATURE IN ART

Discover the unique nature inspired art collection housed within the beautiful setting of Wallsworth Hall. The Georgian mansion was once owned by Samuel Hayward (1714-1790), local landowner and magistrate who built it for his wife Catherine as a wedding present, you will be in awe as you spy its grandeur travelling along their half mile driveway, edged by trees and fields. The perfect surroundings for what is held within!

The art collection is international in scope, embracing two and three dimensional work in all media and styles, ranging from Pablo Picasso to

David Shepherd. Over their 25 year history, Nature in Art has collected works which represent over 1500 years of art inspired by nature, from more than 50 countries and 600 artists. So whether you prefer exotic Flemish masters or contemporary glass, modern abstract interpretations or bronze sculpture, textiles or ethnic art there will be something for you…

Alongside the permanent display which is frequently changed, they host a range of temporary exhibitions each year, highlights for 2015 include: Art Forms in Nature: Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) botanical photographs, March 24th – April 19th Nocturnal Encounters: Colin See-Payton wood engravings, April 21st – May 17th

Flora Metallica: Ruth Moilliet metal and glass sculptures, June 16th – August 16th

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www.countysignpost.co.uk 2015 British Wildlife Photography Awards: September 15th – November 15th Mind the Gap: Inlaid wood, ceramics, metal and stone, November 24th – January 3rd 2016

Please check the website for further information and for a full list of exhibitions in 2015.

Nature in Art is also suitable for all the family; children can create animal brass-rubbings, experiment with materials using their handling box, touch some of the sculptures around the galleries, as well as enjoy their outdoor play area and garden.

Together you can visit the artist in residence (from mid-January to mid-November) in the purpose-built studio, meet a woodcarver, painter or sculptor! Complete your visit by relaxing in the coffee shop with a homemade lunch or afternoon tea, and then browse through the gift shop for a memento of your day. The shop sells a range of unique gifts, cards and prints.

Open: Tuesday–Sunday, including Bank Holidays, 10am to 5pm. Closed 24th-26th December. Entry: £5.25 adults, £4.75 concessions (over 60s, under 16s), £15 family (2 adults, 2 children), under 8s free.

Two miles north of Gloucester on the A38. Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth, Gloucester, GL2 9PA Telephone : 01452 731422 www.nature-in-art.org.uk

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HOLST BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM movement of the Suite. Each will be in a location associated with Holst. In addition there is a major exhibition June 28th - October 12th The Planets with items borrowed from The Bodleian Library, The British Library, the Royal College of Music and the Britten-Pears Foundation. This includes the original manuscripts of The Planets.

Victorian Bedroom where Holst was born

The museum is in the Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874. The story of the man and his music is told alongside a fascinating display of personal belongings including his piano. The museum is also a fine period house showing the upstairs downstairs way of life in times past, including a working Victorian kitchen and laundry, elegant Regency drawing room and charming Edwardian nursery

There is a range of events happening this year as the museum celebrates 100 years of The Planets which Holst began in 1914. There will be seven listening posts across Cheltenham each playing a

Staff in costume as Holst’s Mother, Holst as a toddler and his Nursemaid

Signpost - page 34

Telephone 01242 524846 www.holstmuseum.org.uk

Images Š William Bagshaw Reproduced with Permission The Holst Birthplace Museum.


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County Signpost

THE OXFORDSHIRE MUSEUM

A large 18th-century house in the historic town of Woodstock provides a home for the County’s collections. Touring exhibitions, a stunning garden, Museum shop and café complement the permanent displays.

The Museum is bigger than you might think with eleven galleries displaying art, archaeology, local and natural history. Explore the County’s innovative industries from nanotechnology to nuclear power and its past from the Jurassic to the Victorian period and beyond.

The award winning contemporary Garden Gallery and original Brew House provide a dramatic space, where visitors can enjoy a varied and lively programme of colourful exhibitions.

Throughout the seasons visitors can enjoy the changing landscape of the walled garden, a peaceful tranquil escape from the busy town. Don’t miss the Dinosaur Garden with Jurassic planting, including the rare Wollemi Pine, and life size Megalosaur – as big as a bus!

Forged in Fire - Oxfordshire Metals Through Time 2 May – 5 July

The Iron Age Oxfordshire

Mirror

from

Didcot,

The mirror was found by metal detector at an unknown location near Didcot some time before

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2007. As the mirror is made from bronze and contains no precious metals it was not classified as treasure (the law defining treasure has since been changed) and so after being recorded by the Finds Liaison Officer based in St Albans and


www.countysignpost.co.uk

undergoing conservation work by staff of St Albans Museum, the mirror went in to private ownership.

In 2013, the mirror was sold to an anonymous overseas buyer, but a Curator at the British Museum appealed to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and in early 2014 a temporary export bar was placed on the mirror by Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who is coincidentally the MP for Didcot and Wantage.

The exact function of mirrors in Iron Age society is not clear. They would certainly have been prestigious items, owned by few people. Mirrors can be used to reflect light into dark spaces or to signal across distances as well as to apply make-up or check your hair. In many cultures mirrors are magical objects, which reflect an alternative view of the world, or act as a portal to another world, like Alice found in Through the Looking Glass. This may well have been the case in Iron Age, Druidic society, and mirrors may be connected to fortune telling or shamanic activity. While this mirror was a casual find with no archaeological context, some have been found in association with cremation burials, so mirrors may also have had a function connected with death or afterlife.

“We received donations from Wartski’s (the Court Jeweller), The Arts Council England and Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, The Headley Trust and the Friends of Oxfordshire Museum, as well as a substantial number of private donations from people both within Oxfordshire and further afield. We raised the £33,000 needed to buy the mirror and keep it in the county. And as it is now in public ownership, it is being displayed to the public for the very first time.” Writes David Moon, Curator of Archaeology for Oxfordshire Museum Services. The mirror is a fine example of a Late Iron Age decorated mirror. These items are unique to Britain and only 58 are known to exist, with just 18 complete mirrors. This one is an early example, dating to the first century BC, and is decorated with a highly unusual and beautiful curvilinear, La Tene style pattern which has been inscribed into the back by a craftsman who must have been extraordinarily skilled.

This mirror is a nationally important archaeological artefact as well as an outstanding work of art and piece of craftsmanship. Its acquisition by Oxfordshire Museum Service for the people of Oxfordshire and the nation will help us properly reflect the incredible archaeological heritage we enjoy in the county, and be a spectacular exhibit for the county’s museums. Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN Telephone: 01993 814103

www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordshiremuseum

Twitter @oxonmuseum

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County Signpost

HOOK NORTON BREWERY

Hook Norton Brewery is a family owned brewery, with a brewery shop, bar, café, museum and tours. In Spring 2015 a new café and bar will open.

Brewery keys

Bar, café

& shop


The brewery was founded in 1849 By John Harris who bought the farm that became the site of the brewery - in the village of Hook Norton in the heart of the Cotswolds. The current Managing Director of brewing is James Clarke the great-great grandson of the founder !

A visit to Hook Norton Brewery takes a good couple of hours (one and a half for the organised brewery tour - you must book in advance, and then a good while for the free samples in the bar !) and is well worth the time. The brewery is tucked away in Hook Norton but easy to find thanks to the brown signs. You’ll know you can’t be far off when you see the Hook Norton Brewery Shire Horses doing their delivery rounds of the nearby pubs...

The Museum

At present the Brewery has three shire horses, Nelson, Major, and Albert. The shire horses are looked after by long serving drayman, Roger Hughes.

The sight of two shire horses leaving the brewery is extremely impressive and is a thrilling part of any visitor’s tour. The horses usually make local deliveries on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays, and they go around the village of Hook Norton on the first Saturday of every month (weather permitting). In any event the tour of the brewery includes a visit to the stables so you won’t miss out on seeing these amazing animals.

The Brewery is a combination of working brewery and a visitor attraction all housed in the original Victorian brewery and maltings; current modern manufacturing processes sit neatly alongside traditional handcrafted methods, working steam powered pumps and three shires horses! Hook Norton Brewery has a selection of tied estate pubs in and around the Cotswolds Hook Norton Brewery OX15 5NY www.hooky.co.uk

The bar at the newly refurbished Rising Sun in Hook Norton

The Brewery have a small estate of pubs in the Cotswolds - from busy high streets, listed buildings to cosy villages, here are a short

selection : 1. The Angel, Burford (top 10 places to live Forbes Magazine) 2. The Sun Inn, Hook Norton (short walk from the brewery) 3. The Castle, Edgehill (historical location) 4. The Eagle Tavern, Witney (excellent shopping in market town) 5. The Coach and Horses, Banbury (new refurbished town centre)

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BODENHAM ARBORETUM

The land that is now Bodenham Arboretum was purchased forty years ago by the late David Binnian and his wife Jennifer. What began as a hobby, planting a few trees each winter, has developed into an area of outstanding landscape beauty and interest. His vision was to create a modern landscape that encapsulated his love and passion for trees and the countryside. When Bodenham received conditional English Heritage status in 1995 they realized it was a major opportunity for the Arboretum to be enjoyed by the public and it to remain in the family. What the family have achieved, continued and diversified by their son James and his sons Ben & Sam, is a thriving working farm and Arboretum that gives

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enormous pleasure to the many thousands of visitors each year.

Set in 168 acres there are some 3000 species of trees and shrubs and two chains of pools and lakes. The epicentre lies around the Big Pool where many rare and ornamental trees can be seen in flower or fruit at all times of the year,


The Visitor Centre is an award winning environmentally sensitive building carved out of the hillside. We serve a variety of home cooked food and cakes, including our very popular carvery. The pork, Herefordshire beef and lamb is from the farm and the vegetables are fresh and local when possible. their autumn colours being a special beauty. Through a patchwork quilt of pools, plantations, dells and glades, habitats provide for flora and fauna, insect life and numerous species of resident and migrating birds.

Several miles of paths lead through acres of daffodils in early spring, and later primroses, bluebells and foxgloves line many of the woodland walks. The brilliant colours of azaleas and rhododendrons begin in mid- spring and the Laburnum Tunnel is one of the highlights in May/June.

The farm is enjoyed by all ages. Lambs and calves abound in spring, along with chicks from the rare breeds of poultry. Every Christmas time the old farm buildings are transformed to tell the biblical story of the nativity, with life size wooden characters and Bodenham’s animals, including our own donkeys.

Sunday and Christmas lunches are catered for as well as public and private daytime/evening functions, weddings and funeral parties.

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Opening Times: February half term to Christmas open Wednesday to Sunday inclusive, 11am-5pm. Open every day in October, December (ex. 24th and 25th). Open all day and evening on Thursdays during May to September inc. January – February half term open weekends only

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Arboretum Facilities and additional information: • Free car and coach parking • Disabled friendly in Visitor Centre, limited access in the Arboretum • Free entrance to restaurant and shop • Admission charged for Arboretum and Nativity • Groups by arrangement • Hard and grass paths – sensible footwear recommended • Dogs on leads allowed in grounds • Tree and plant sales • Guided walks available

Forest School

Also available at Bodenham is a Forest School where children can learn and enjoy forest activities including : den building, fires & outdoor cooking, pond dipping, stream damming...and much more. Contact : info@the-worldoutside.co.uk


BURWARTONSHO W THURSDAY 6 AUGUST 2015 The Showground, B4364 between Ludlow & Bridgnorth

The ROYAL SIGNALS MOTORCYCLE DISPLAY TEAM - THE WHITE HELMETS

and BOB HOGG SHEEPDOGS • Trade Stands • Food Hall • Handicrafts • Horticulture • YFC Displays • Sheep Shearing • Craft Demonstrations

www.burwartonshow.co.uk -7 .00 pm

Ticket prices: Adults £15, Concessions £14, Child £5 Discounted pre-show tickets available

8.1 5am

A great day out for all the family

Explore E xplore the ffas fascinating ascinating w world orld o off the V Victorian ictorian jjudges udges aatt this aawa award-winning wa w rd-winning his historic toric ho house. use. S Stunningly tunningly restored restored and and totally totally ha hands ands o on.Damp n.Damp ccells ells aand nd vas vvastt ccourtroom ourtroom incl included! uded! Open: 1 March - 31 October, 10am - 5pm T Tu ues - Sun (Open Bank Holiday Mondays) 1 - 30 November 10am - 4pm W Weed - Sun, 1 - 22 December 10am - 4pm Sat - Sun The Judge's Lodggin ing, Broad Street, Presteiggne ne, Powys, LD8 2AD.

01544 260650 www.judgeslodging.org. w ww.judgeslodging.org. u uk k Signpost - page 43


County Signpost

BATSFORD ARBORETUM Batsford is home to one of the finest botanical collections in the country and is run by the charitable trust, The Batsford Foundation.

The Arboretum is planted on a south facing slope which means visitors get to see our magnificent tree and plant collections from an unusual angle, as well as the stunning views of the Evenlode Valley beyond.

At 56 acres in size, Batsford is an intimate and romantic place to visit, with interest all year round from the first snowdrops of spring, right through to the outstanding autumn colour in October and November. Batsford is also home to a beautiful new wooden visitor centre where you'll find the Garden Terrace CafĂŠ, Gift and Garden Shop and the Plant Centre within the walls of the Victorian kitchen garden.

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The Visitor Centre Officially opened in 2011, the beautiful Visitor Centre at Batsford offers our visitors a comfortable and relaxed environment in which to enjoy a meal or some retail therapy. Less wellknown is how much effort we took creating an environmentally sound building which fits in with the surrounding landscape.

The beautiful wooden building at Batsford is made from sustainably grown and FSC sourced timber and is both a triumph of sustainable architecture and a wonderful example of a sustainable building meeting 21st century needs.

The wooden building has a low profile roof which minimises its visual impact on the landscape and also reduces our energy consumption. A ground source heat pump provides under floor heating in winter and all


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grey water is recycled to supply the plant centre. The whole building is also insulated with wool from rare breed sheep.

Equally important though is the fact it offers our visitors a comfortable place to warm up after a winter walk and more space to browse the wonderful range of gardening sundries and gifts we have on offer.

History

The earliest verifiable recorded history of Batsford Park which includes the arboretum dates back to the early part of the 17th Century. We know a substantial house existed on the site at that time which went on to be altered and extended over the next two hundred years. In common with most gardens of the time, the land was laid out in a formal style, gradually evolving into the more relaxed natural style you see today in the late 19th century. Much of the landscaping you see today in the arboretum is thanks to Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford (Bertie) - later the 1st Lord

Redesdale and grandfather to the infamous Mitford sisters who lived at Batsford Park during World War I.

The 20th Century saw the greatest development of the Arboretum at Batsford, first under the new owner Gilbert Alan Hamilton Wills – later the 1st Lord Dulverton and then by his son, the 2nd Lord Dulverton Frederic Anthony Hamilton Wills who was himself a great plantsman and who worked with Head Forester Ken Hope to restore the neglected gardens.

Arboretum

The 56 acre arboretum at Batsford is home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, providing something of interest throughout the year and famed for trees which originate in Japan and China. The collection includes a number of Red Data species which are extinct in the wild and several UK champion trees, famed for their size.

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County Signpost

The arboretum is managed by the Batsford Foundation, a charity set up by the 2nd Lord Dulverton in 1983 to promote education, conservation and research into gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes.

The arboretum has a fascinating history, much of which is reflected in the planting and design you see today.

As with all natural environments, Batsford Arboretum is a work in progress, just on a much bigger scale than most! It will always be protected by the Batsford Foundation but we're keen to develop it in a sympathetic way, completely in keeping with our charitable remit but making it an even more interesting, informative and special place to visit.

Shopping

No day out at Batsford is complete without leaving plenty of time for a spot of retail therapy. You're spoilt for choice here too - with the Arboretum Gift Shop providing unusual gift

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ideas to suit every pocket - crammed full of present ideas you won't find on the High Street.

If upcycling is more your style, pay a visit to the Applestore at Batsford - home to fabulous shabby chic vintage furniture and gifts.

And don't miss the Garden Shop and Plant Centre - home to a huge range of quality plants and quality sundries to suit every garden and allotment. Also on site falconry centre, Cotswold archery and wood turner.

Eating

Batsford is home to the Garden Terrace CafÊ where you’ll find a fabulous range of home baked cakes, afternoon teas and hot lunches served each day. All produce is locally sourced where possible and, when the weather allows, you can enjoy your meal on the beautiful terrace overlooking the plant centre. Telephone 01386 701441 www.batsarb.co.uk


CHAVENAGE C OT S W O L D COTSWOLD

MOTORING M O T O R I N G MUSEUM MUSEUM & TTOY O Y COLLEC C O L L E C TION TION

BBourton-on-the-Water ourton-on-the-Water

It’s a It’s an ne enchanting nchanting adventure, adve nostalgic and an ostalgic jjourney ourney a nd a great day out whole d ay o ut ffor or tthe he w hole ffamily am This charming, lived in, historic Elizabethan (1576) Manor which has been used a a TV location for the 2015 remake of “Poldark” is set amidst the tranquil Cotswold Hills contains much of interest. Tapestry rooms, furniture and relics of the Cromwellian period. Hear of the Headless Coachman coming to collect the body of a former owner.

Seven galleries Seven galleries • O Over ver 50 vvehicles ehicles Or iginal enamel sig ns Original signs M otoring cur iosities Motoring curiosities superhero TTV’s V ’s super hero car, carr,, Brum Bru TToy oy collec tion • Gift Gifftt shop sh collection

Open 2-5p.m. on Thus. & Sun. , May to end of Sept. Plus Easter Sun. & Mon. & Bank Holiday Mondays. (Last Admission 4pm) Tours are conducted by the owner or his family. Group visits (20 plus) on any day at any time throughout the year by prior arrangement.

Catering for pre-arranged groups especially teas or light suppers

For further information, please contact: Caroline Lowsley-Williams, Chavenage, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. GL8 8XP Tel: 01666 502329 Email: info@chavenage.com

call 01451 821255 visit cotswoldmotormuseum.co.uk

Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon. OX39 4ER

Talking Timetable: 01844 353535 www.chinnorrailway.co.uk The railway is a friendly country branch line in the style of the former Great Western Railway, providing heritage train rides for both families and enthusiasts alike, along the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Open: Every Sunday and Bank Holiday from mid-March to end of October and tickets give unlimited travel on the day of purchase. Trains depart Chinnor Station from 10.00am to 4.30pm. Cream Teas: The railway offers superb cream teas on many of the Sunday afternoon steam hauled trains. For advance bookings or more details please phone 07979 055366.

Signpost - page 47


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See the world’s largest collection of Worcester Porcelain and learn about a fascinating workforce historyPorcelain that See the world’s largest collection of and Worcester spans over 250about years.a fascinating workforce and history that and learn over 250 years. Artists and NADFAS conservators Meetspans past Royal Worcester who Meet regularly the galleries and visit our shopconservators to pastwork RoyalinWorcester Artists and NADFAS find who an ever changing selection of vintage and antique Royal regularly work in the galleries and visit our shop to Worcester made on the factory site for sale. find an ever changing selection of vintage and antique Royal Worcester made on the factory sitecatering for sale.and private Behind the scenes visits, refreshments, hire Behind for special available. theoccasions scenes visits, refreshments, catering and private hire for special occasions available.

MUSEUM OF ROYAL WORCESTER MUSEUM OF ROYAL Severn Street, Worcester WR1 2ND WORCESTER : 01905 21247 : 01905 617 807 Severn Street, Worcester WR1 2ND info@museumofroyalworcester.org : 01905 21247 : 01905 617 807 www.museumofroyalworcester.org info@museumofroyalworcester.org www.museumofroyalworcester.org OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY OPEN MONDAY March to October: 10am – pm TO SATURDAY November to February: 10am – 4pm March to October: 10am – pm Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing November to February: 10am – 4pm Day and occasionally for private Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing functions, please telephone Day and occasionally for private for details. functions, please telephone for details. ‘Royal Worcester’ and the C51 crown device are registered by and used under kind permission from Portmeirion Group UK Ltd to whom all ‘Royal Worcester’ and the C51 crown device are rights are reserved. registered by and used under kind permission from Portmeirion Group UK Ltd to whom all rights are reserved.

2015 Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds Signpost  

Online version of our popular annual county tourist guide.

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