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Westonbury Mill Water Gardens

Pembridge Herefordshire England
Description : 

"The garden is transported into quite a different league by the series of dotty and delightful follies that the owner has built" RHS Garden Finder

Purchase: In 1969 I was working on an agricultural project in a remote part of the Libyan desert. It was exciting and beautiful but hot and dry, and on a whim I asked a friend to find me a water meadow with a stream and some sort of building. He did just that, buying 17 acres and a bramble-covered, tumble-down old mill for an absurdly small price. Behind the mill was an almost impenetrable jungle of scrub and nettles, now the garden. After a little work on the house and the excavation of a pond to surround an island where an alder hosted the children's tree house, I kept the place as our holiday cottage while I continued to work overseas as a hydrogeologist.
Early days: I moved here on my own in 1997. After living for two years with the beautiful views from the mill and its tangle of streams I had decided to make a garden. It would be for my pleasure but I would also open it as a much needed business. In comfortable ignorance of the whole subject of gardening I set out to follow my impulses and hired a digger and a dump truck which I soon learned to use. The large pond was extended and, having time left from my week's hire, I rather randomly sculpted the channels of what is now the Boulder Garden and the high banks around it.

The new gardener's garden: Getting to know moisture lovers was achieved by planting one of everything in a bog plant nursery's catalogue. Most survived and within a couple of years they combined with the native red campions, meadowsweet and comfrey in cheerful wildness. Another week with the digger resulted in a small water lily pond, the realignment of a rill and the soil mounded to form a good-sized bank which I planted with unfashionable small conifers. They were usually viewed in tight-lipped silence.

Follies followed: With memories of life on the Red Sea coast of the Yemen, I constructed the African Summer House mixing timber of elm re-growth and ethnic-looking thatching using bull rushes from the pond. Because the rushes rot far too quickly, frequent reworking is required but it does look the part. A little later I found the old iron water wheel which had been used to pump water to the neighbouring farm after milling ceased about 1900. Although the buckets had rusted away the frame was lovely and obviously had to be used. The only place it could be visible and use the flow of water from above the house was just below the weir so there it went. A bit of 3 a.m. musing and a few evening stone carving classes led to the Stone Tower as it stands, useless but quite charming, I hope. One folly led to another, and having the new Cuckoo Clock Tower looking at home in my mini-'Black Forest' perhaps brings the right context for those conifers which only I had ever loved.

Further development: In 2005 I was lucky to be able to buy from my neighbour the triangular meadow which has become the Wild Flower Meadow. This extended the garden from the previous boundary line of huge alders to the weir which diverts water from the Curl Brook to the leat which, in turn, feeds down through the middle of the garden to the mill. This gave us a whole new setting for shrubs and trees and the opportunity to excavate the Canal and make the Spiral Mound.
Just over a year later I married Sally, whose knowledge and enthusiasm has been a huge help and support. A birthday gift from her one year was the parade of populus tremula - 'Quaking Aspen', an American variety of poplar now growing along the leat in the meadow.

The future: There will be no more follies all the focal points are filled. I now want to concentrate on gently nudging things in a direction of further variety in the planting while maintaining a loose and naturalistic style. And maybe hang a hammock. I might imagine finding a young couple with the enthusiasm to take over and carry on.

by Richard Pim

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Eastnor Castle

Ledbury Herefordshire England
Description : 

Eastnor Castle was built in the early 19th century in the style of a medieval Welsh-Border fortress, by John, First Earl Somers and is a good example of the great Norman and Gothic revival in architecture of that time. It is dramatically situated in a 5000 acre estate in the Malvern Hills and remains the family home of the Hervey-Bathursts, his direct descendants.


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Hereford Cathedral

Hereford Herefordshire England
Description : 

Hereford Cathedral is a wonderfully ancient foundation, believed to date back to 676 AD. The present building includes examples of architecture from all periods, from the stately 12th-century nave, the graceful 13th-century Lady Chapel, the solid 14th-century central tower and the 15th-century Stanbury Chapel with its intricate fan-vaulted ceiling to the 20th-century Cathedral Library and a wealth of beautiful stained glass. It is a building which is constantly changing, but continues to stand proudly at the centre of the city, thanks to the devotion of many generations. Above all, Hereford Cathedral is on a human scale - it doesn't overwhelm with its size or grandeur. People remark on its homeliness and feeling of welcome.

The treasures housed in the Cathedral Library include the unique Mappa Mundi, an outstanding representation of the world by medieval scholars. The cathedral also owns a 1217 revision by Henry III of Magna Carta, which will be on display this summer in a special exhibition. Only four copies of this version of the charter on which British democracy is based exist. Hereford Cathedral is also home to what is believed to be the largest Chained Library in Europe.
All are welcome to worship in the cathedral. Music at Sunday services and daily services of Choral Evensong in term-time is led by the professional choir of men and boys. There are also frequent concerts and special events, including summer performances of jazz and drama in the Chapter House Garden.

Armchair Listening

Did you know that you can experience the ethereal sound of Hereford Cathedral's choral services from the comfort of your own home or office?

Through the magic of technology - you can!

There has been a choir at Hereford Cathedral since at least the 13th century, producing beautiful music in the building's unrivalled acoustic and glorious surroundings. Today, the professional choir of 18 boy choristers aged 7-13, together with the lay clerks and choral scholars (the gentlemen of the choir, who sing the alto, tenor and bass parts), continues this tradition into the 21st century, providing music at the cathedral's daily services and many special occasions throughout the year. They also reach a wider audience by singing in concerts, broadcasts on television, and radio, recordings and international tours.

The installation of a new sound system in 2015 made it possible for events in the cathedral to be recorded in-house; initially the recordings were made available to listeners on an occasional basis via the choir's Soundcloud page, but now they are regularly uploaded as webcasts to the cathedral's website, and can be enjoyed by anyone, wherever they are in the world.

The cathedral choir sings Choral Evensong every day except Wednesday in term-time, and most of the webcasts tend to be of this beautiful service of worship, which lasts around 45 minutes and includes psalms sung in the distinctive Anglican chant style; a wide range of music from many centuries; and passages of spoken text dating from the sixteenth century.

Find out more about Choral Evensong at www.choralevensong.org

Sunday morning services, individual sermons or talks and organ recitals are also sometimes produced by the cathedral as webcasts. You can also sign up to be notified by email when a new webcast service is added to the archive.

You can find them at www.herefordcathedral.org/webcasts

The cathedral is open every day, usually from 9.15 am until after the short service of Evensong, which takes place at 5.30 pm on weekdays and 3.30 pm on Sundays.


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The Museum of Cider

Hereford Herefordshire England
Description : 

The Museum of Cider is a social history museum housed in an original 1889 cidermaking factory. There's far more to the building than first meets the eye, and no wonder – it's designed to look at the whole cidermaking industry, from its earliest beginnings through to the mass production methods which exist today. Visitors can find out about methods– how the apples were milled and pressed and how the resulting juice was fermented to produce cider – and about Herefordshire's history.

The original champagne cider cellars are very atmospheric, displaying over ten thousand bottles in racks where the "Méthode Champenoise" (a bottle fermentation process used in French Champagne production) was first applied to cider in 1905. Other parts of the cellars contain a cooper's work-shop and a vat house.

Push-button oral history recordings of Bulmer's workers are fascinating, and so too are the accompanying vintage films. Two highlights of the collection are the rare English lead crystal cider glasses dating from 1740 onwards and stunningly accurate 19th century watercolours of cider apples and perry pears.

The museum has simple interactives for children and we like to see families visiting. A group booking form can be downloaded from the website, with discounts for groups of 15 or more people. Guided tours are also available for an additional charge and must be pre-booked in advance. Visits to the shop and tearoom only are also welcome. We have been told we sell the biggest selection of craft ciders in the county!

See our website for further details of forthcoming events.

Opening times:
Monday-Saturday, 10.30am - 4.30pm
Open Bank Holiday weekends

Everyone is welcome.

Further details call 01432 354207 or [email protected] 

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Stockton Bury Gardens

Leominster Herefordshire England
Description : 

Welcome to Stockton Bury Gardens near Leominster in Herefordshire - the perfect place for plant and garden lovers to spend a few hours. The four-acre garden is home to a medieval pigeon house, kitchen garden, water gardens and well-planted borders. Enjoy our Cafe, plant sales area and our friendly and inspiring setting. 


The four-acre garden has been created by Raymond Treasure and Gordon Fenn. Both are keen plantsman and have incredible knowledge to share.

Stockton Bury has been in the Treasure family for three generations and much of the garden was pasture until the pair transformed it into this well-acclaimed garden. The original Victorian kitchen garden and impressive monkey puzzle tree are still very much part of the new garden. Now 30 years old the garden is home to mature plantings and offers keen gardeners plenty of inspiration. Both men were inspired by Raymond's relative the late John Treasure (well known for his garden at Burford House near Tenbury Wells) and their friend, the late plantsman Christopher Lloyd.

New to the garden this year is a pavilion which offers views over the garden and to the countryside beyond. Visit to enjoy the water garden. secret garden and productive kitchen garden. The area is blessed with fertile clay soil so many plants exceed expectations in this ideal growing environment. With interest from April through until the end of September you'll find yourself returning to see the garden in the different seasons.

The garden sits at the heart of a working farm which was originally one of the Bury farms of the Benedictine Priory in Leominster. The dovecote and medieval barns remain important landmark features.

Raymond's neice, Tamsin Westhorpe, has now joined the gardening team. She has previously been deputy editor of Amateur Gardening magazine and Editor of The English Garden magazine. Tamsin now spends time in the garden here and writes freelance alongside her role as an RHS Judge.

The cafe uses local produce and fruit and veg from our garden. Our chef is the talented Jane Lloyd and our cafe manager is Raymond Treasure's niece Connie Amos.

We do not reserve tables, however, if you are a group of over 15 advanced warning is much appreciated.
Cafe open from 11-4.30pm Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday's from 1st April.

Lunch is served until 2.30pm.

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