My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 31 August 2008

Follies - Part 2

This morning I awoke at 6.00 a.m. to - very heavy mist; this in turn followed by thunder and lightening with consequent heavy rain. The light levels were more consistent with evening time - what a stark and undesired contrast to yesterday's glorious penultimate August day.

So, whilst I'm waiting for the rain to stop enough to get out for a walk, and to bring a little sunshine back into the day, I shall continue with my walk of yesterday.

Painshill was created between 1738 and 1773 by Hon. Charles Hamilton. By 1981 Elmbridge Borough Council had bought 158 acres of the original estate and restoration of the whole park began by the Painshill Park Trust.

Continuing around the lake, the Gothic Temple comes into view

Restoration still continues throughout the Park and, most noticeably, in the Grotto (open only at weekends) where more work continues on the inside. On an island in the middle of the lake the Grotto is connected by two bridges. One of which, is ..
..the Chinese Bridge (with the Great Crested Grebe family in the middle of the lake)

Approaching the entrance..

With the main part of the grotto out of shot on the right, the arch curves over the water

The restoration of the inside of the grotto where the timber framework for the roof and "icicles" can be seen ("icicles", or probably stalactites, similar to those underneath the arch in the picture above).

Looking out towards the other end of the arch

Whilst looking out, three dragonflies (darters) were flying around over the water.

Leaving the island and the grotto, my journey continues to the very far end of the lake with my next goal being the Water Wheel.

On the way there, our path is taking us through a more heavily wooded area and, at this point, with a steep rise to the right, we are now almost at eye-level with the exposed roots of some trees.

A massive water-wheel (not the original) which feeds water to the 14 acre lake.
Hamilton conceived the idea that water could be raised from the River Mole some 5 meters below to provide a supply for its artificial lake. This was an ingenious scheme probably picked up from one of his tours abroad, using an 11 metre wheel.

and the water comes up and out through this gully

Leaving the Water Wheel we head off through the woods; this area seems much more natural in its planting.

and we come out into a glade, where going up hill

we get our first sight of the Gothic Tower

The hill towards the top gets very much steeper

and once inside, the notice greets you with this interesting notice!

and there are 99 - I counted them (OK I really am a sad person and should get out more).
Having successfully climbed the stairs, you reach the castellated area at the top

(and yes, I know it's a bit on the slant, but then so was I - on the steeply sloping bank!)

and are rewarded with this view

Leaving the Gothic Tower we now begin our return route along the other side of the lake. On the way we pass the Turkish Tent. What I find so intriguing about this folly, is that whatever the construction is made from (plaster of some sort?), the tent ends up looking like gently folding material.

and the view from there back towards the lake and finally through the exit.

And with one last glimpse of the Grotto, from the other side of the lake

I really enjoyed my afternoon here and wished I'd had a little more time to explore some of the other views.

Finally, having finished this chronicle, has it stopped raining? Nnnooooo.

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