Friday, October 25, 2013

Stowe Landscape Gardens Part 3 of 3

On the final leg of our garden jaunt, we begin with the restored garden of The Saxon Deities. These are replicas of carvings by John Michael Rysbrack of the seven deities naming the seven days of the week (Sunna, Mona, Tiw, Woden, Thuner, Friga, and Seatern).

Above: Friga
Below: Sunna
Above: Woden
Below: Mona
Below: Tiw

Leaving the statuary behind we next come across the Cobham Monument. It is the tallest structure in the gardens, rising 104 feet tall. It was built between 1747-49, by Capability Brown. The top is formed from a belvedere of 8 arches and supports a statue of Lord Cobham.

Below: Lord Cobham

The four Coade stone (lithodipyra) lions were added later, in 1778. 

Next on the walk was The Queen's Temple, designed by James Gibbs in 1742.

Above: The lovely rustic fence enclosing a flock of sheep in the field running from the temple all the way down a hill towards the Gothic folly.
Above: A view south from the porch.
Below: Detail of the stone balustrade. 
Some balusters have obviously been replaced.
All the buildings had lovely screens of trees for backdrops. It is quite an art to plant and maintain copses of trees. Knowing how they are going to develop and the way they will look in decades to come. Also many trees need to be replaced with alternate generations as most don't live as long as the grand old oak. It is important to have a sense of which trees need to be felled and replaced, and when to do so.

Strolling down the hill from the Queen's Temple we come across The Gothic Temple, designed in 1741 by James Gibbs and completed in 1748. It is a quirky folly, being built of ironstone, on a triangular plan, with a pentagonal tower and two belvederes. It is actually available to let through the landmark trust for brief stays!

Above: The Western side of the folly
Below: The Southern face of the folly

continuing down the hill from the Gothic Temple we arrive at the Palladian Bridge. It was a stunning English Summer's day. By this stage Peter had left me to seek the cool shade and was to be found later under the trees by the Temple of Friendship.

Above and Below: View of the bridge approaching from the North.
Below: The view East from the bridge.

Below: Yours Truly on the Palladian Bridge. I had seen this bridge in photos hundreds of times and wondered if I would ever get to see it in person, being a complete Neoclassical-Anglophile. This is a copy of the Palladian bridge built at Wilton House. Unlike the bridge at Wilton House, built two years earlier, this was built for traversing by horse and cart, and this has shallow ramps at either end instead of steps. It is one of five near identical bridge in the UK.

Below: View over the lake to the Temple of Friendship where Peter lay under the trees.

I left then sun behind and went to join him in the shade of a beautiful Plane tree...

Ombra mai fu
di vegetabile,
cara ed amabile,
soave piu.

Frondi tenere et belle
del mio platano amato
per voi resplenda il fato.
Tuoni, lampi, e procelle,
non vóltaggino mai la cara pace
ne giunga a profanarvi austo repace.

Never was the shade 
of any plant,
dearer, and more lovely,
and more sweet.

Tender and beautiful fronds
of my beloved Plane tree,
let fate smile upon you.
May thunder, and lightening, and storms
never bother your dear peace,
nor may you by blowing winds be profaned.

Ombra mai fu, from Serse, by G.F. Haedel.

Once we were refreshed we set off back to the car, past some horses stabled in a very 'Cold Comfort Farm' looking block  near the exit.

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