Berrington Hall

Berrington Hall

Today we visited Berrington Hall, a Georgian mansion with a garden designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. It was Brown’s genius that he could take a piece of undistinguished farmland, and by moving hills, diverting streams, replanting trees, and applying a final layer of sheep, create something that looked exactly like undistinguished farmland, but was in fact much more expensive.
View from Bedroom
Looking at this view you could almost imagine that you were looking at ordinary English countryside, and not a carefully landscaped garden.

In those days a great house would need an orchard and a kitchen garden as well, so Brown carefully hid any plants that were ornamental, useful, or tasty in a walled garden. The National Trust is currently researching the original garden layout to try and restore it, but in the mean time why not just put a giant pink plastic pineapple there?
Pink Plastic Pineapple
Actually I can think of lots of reasons, but apparently the National Trust did not.

The rest of the walled garden is very nice though, with a good selection of tasty fruits and veggies, and some lovely flowers.
Walled Garden
Walled Garden
Walled Garden Chokes
Yes, those are artichokes in flower.

Here’s the rear of the house seen from the croquet lawn (a later addition)…
Berrington Hall
… and the front seen from what you might almost imagine was a field if you didn’t know how expensive it had been.
Berrington Hall

Inside the house there is a fine collection of gloppy Georgian ceilings…
Gloppy Georgian Ceiling
… a boudoir with a remarkably gloppy entrance…
… a collection of disturbingly gloppy waistcoats…
Georgian Waistcoats
… clothes for playing dress up (Hi Carol!)…
Carol playing dress up
… and a dining table full of broken plates.
Broken Plates
There’s probably some deep artistic meaning behind the broken plates, something like, You just can’t get good servants any more.

Oh, look! In the library!
Right there, that chess board that folds into two fake books called Games of England.
Chess Board
I have one just like that back in San Francisco, only slightly more worm eaten.

Thinking about it, if I’d been christened Lancelot, I’d be happy to be nicknamed Capability, or almost anything except Lancelot.

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