The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of four gardens run by the Society. It may be unseasonal, but my Photo Gallery today takes me back to a visit there in Summertime ten years ago. Following last week’s photographs of Spring in these gardens I give below some of my photographs taken 4 months later.
The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of four gardens run by the Society. It may be unseasonal, but my Photo Gallery today takes me back to a visit there in Springtime ten years ago. I accept that these are formal arrangements, but it is still a delight to view the brilliant colours of both daffodils and tulips – a delightful reminder of what Spring brings every year.
Shaftesbury (in Dorset) and Sherborne (in Wiltshire) are towns only about 12 miles apart in South West England – in the area formerly part of Wessex. Both are charming historic towns with much to offer the visitor. Perhaps the best known features of these two market towns are the picturesque Gold Hill in Shaftesbury and the magnificent Abbey in Sherborne. I include just a few photographs of these two features in my Gallery below.
Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury. It is famous for its picturesque appearance; the view looking down from the top of the street has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England.” The image of this view appears on the covers of many books about Dorset and rural England, as well as on chocolate boxes and calendars and Television advertisements.
Gol Hill, Shaftesbury
The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne is usually called Sherborne Abbey. It has been a Saxon Cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey (998–1539), and now, a parish church.
Portland Bill, or The Isle of Portland, lies immediately to the east of Chesil Beach. This area of land is not in fact an island, but a promontory, 4 miles by 1.7 miles, jutting out out into the English Channel. It forms the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England, and is 5 miles south of the seaside resort of Weymouth.
The ‘island’ is renowned for the quality of its limestone, formed during the Jurassic period and for many years since it has been quarried here. Being of such excellent quality, the stone has been used extensively as a building stone in many major public buildings throughout the British Isles, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in London. Portland stone has also been exported to many other countries and has been used for example in the the building of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
I have also included in my photo gallery below, a few pictures of swans from the Abbotsbury Swannery situated on the banks of Chesil Beach, just a few miles west of Portland Bill.
Chesil Beach is one of the glories of England’s coastline. The name derives from the Old English ‘ceosel’ or ‘cisel’, meaning “gravel” or “shingle”. It lies at the eastern end of what is known as the Jurassic Coast which stretches for many miles along the shores of Dorset and Devon on England’s southern coast. My Gallery this week displays a number of photographs which I took there 10 years ago.
Kellie Castle is situated near Arncroach, about 5 kilometres north of Pittenweem in Fife on the Scottish East coast.
The castle is one of fairytale stone towers and stepped gables. The oldest parts are 14th century, but much of the rest of was refurbished and added to in the late 19th century by the Lorimers, a famous artistic family. Indoors can be found elaborate plaster ceilings and painted panelling, together with fine furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who spent much of his childhood at Kellie.
Not far away, near to St.Andrews, is the Cambo Walled Gardens. This Victorian walled garden has been brought up to date with the introduction of lovely woodland walks leading beside a sparkling burn down to the nearby sea.
Málaga is a port city on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, known for its high-rise hotels and resorts jutting up from yellow-sand beaches. The photographs below were taken by me on a visit to the city in 2006 . . .
( Click on any photograph to open an enlarged view; click again to move on through the remaining enlarged photographs )
Palma is capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca (Majorca), in the western Mediterranean. The massive Santa María cathedral, a Gothic landmark begun in the 13th century, overlooks the Bay of Palma. West of the city, hilltop Bellver Castle is a medieval fortress with a distinctive circular shape.
Valldemossa , directly north of Palma, is a favourite stop for fans touring the island. The area is famous for one landmark in particular. That is the Royal Charterhouse, built at the beginning of the 14th century. Since the 19th century Valldemossa has been promoted internationally as a place of outstanding beauty. In the 1830s the Spanish government confiscated monasteries and the historic estate has since that time hosted some prominent guests. These have included the Polish composer Frederick Chopin and his lover, the pioneering French writer known by her pseudonym, George Sand. Every summer the monastery stages an acclaimed Chopin Festival, and visitors can tour the cells where the outrageous couple resided.
Despite problems encountered during their visit, their time there proved a famously creative period. While Sand’s book on Majorca has proved to be an enjoyable portrait of the island, Chopin meanwhile, although he realised whilst on the island that his sickness was incurable, wrote or completed some of his most loved works, including his Prelude in D flat major, appropriately known as the “Raindrop”.
Saint Catherine of Palma (1533–1574) was a Spanish nun canonised in 1930. She was born 1 May 1533 into a peasant family. She worked as a servant in a household in Palma where she learned to read and embroider, before joining the Canonnesses of St Augustine at the convent of St Mary Magdalene in Palma. She was visited by devils and angels, and went into ecstasy for the last years of her life. She died 5 April 1574 at Palma, Mallorca. The house in Valldemossa where she was born has become a shrine, and many houses in the village bear a plaque in her honour.
The photographs below were taken during my visit to the island in 2006 . . .
The sea approach to Palma – early morning
Santa María Cathedral in Palma
Palma with the hilltop Bellver Castle
View of Palma from the nearby heights
Santa María Cathedral – from my coach window
The hills around Valldemossa
View of Valldemossa village
La Vila De Valldemossina – Entrance
View from Valldemossa
Room in the Charterhoue, Valldemossa
Bust of Chopin at the Charterhouse
During a Chopin piano recital at the Charterhouse
Ceramic plaque telling the story of Saint Catherine in Valldemossa
Ceramic telling the story of Saint Catherine in Valldemossa