As I was unable to book ‘Futurest’ into the Marina workshop before next Tuesday to have her forward fender, which has been missing since passing through Claydon Locks on the second day out from Banbury, re-sited and fitted, we have a few days to do other things here in Great Haywood while we wait.
Wisteria on the Stables block
Both Janis and I being members of the National Trust we decided that we would visit Shugborough Hall, the seat of the Earls of Lichfield and now a Trust property. The house and grounds are enormous and we decided to take two days over the visit.
On Tuesday after mooring, I booked in at the Marina and then on Wednesday we visited the house, the home of Patrick Lichfield, the Queen’s first cousin. He died in 2005 and during his life he was a celebrity photographer and therefore throughout the tour there were many of his pictures on display as well as paintings and possessions of earlier family members, including George Anson the British Naval hero who flourished a generation before Nelson.
The Chinese House and Bridge at Shugborough Hall
Then yesterday we were even more impressed with the grounds, which were enhanced magnificently in the bright sunshine. As well as the specially cultivated flora, which was wonderful, the wild flowers were so rich and colourful in the special spaces left un-mowed till the flowering season is over. What a good idea this is, as the many different insects were taking full advantage of the benefit. To make the gardens tidy, the edges of the grass next to the footpaths paths had all been mowed, which was a good indication that so much special care had been taken. Otherwise it might have looked as if the gardeners had just forgotten or been too lazy to cut the grass.
Bluebells and Forget-me-not
Also the meadows, grazed by long haired and long horned cattle with long looks, as well as ordinary very inquisitive cows, were smothered in what appeared to be a sea of brilliant yellow buttercups, the green of the grass being almost completed hidden.
Meadows smothered in yellow Buttercups
It had been a marvellous two days during which the glorious weather had made the experience so much nicer. Long may this spell of summer sunshine last.