April 6, 2016

Stumbling Upon Magic

You never know where country roads will lead you, and as I was following a hunt for antiques, I got a tip on an antiques and fine art fair in a village near where I was staying in the Cotswolds. My first clue that the location was special was the gatehouse. (Sorry for the bad image, shooting into the sun!)westonbirt (88)

As I approached Westonbirt House, a former estate which is now a girls school, I was gawping in astonishment. westonbirt (1)westonbirt (2)

The house, which was constructed on the site of a former house from the mid-1860’s, is a massive asymmetrical structure. The interiors, which were partially covered by the antiques stalls, were incredible.westonbirt (6)westonbirt (7)westonbirt (8)westonbirt (22)

After a quick zip through the show, and an even quicker lunch in the school’s dining hall (gack), I headed outside to explore the property. First up was this fellow whom I discovered lurking around the tradesmen’s entrance.westonbirt (28)westonbirt (29)

There were just so many fascinating bits and pieces of Westonbirt House that I couldn’t help snapping my way through them!westonbirt (23)westonbirt (24)westonbirt (27)

But what really got me going was the extensive gardens which are spread over 25 acres. Close by, but not on the property, are extensive arboretums with numerous specimen trees and plants.

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Amazingly, to me, camelias were blooming everywhere, but especially in the Victorian glass camelia house. westonbirt (47)westonbirt (48)westonbirt (50)

As I wandered through the gardens, I kept discovering both corners and vistas.westonbirt (51)westonbirt (61)westonbirt (73)westonbirt (74)

One folly, now labeled the Photo Frame, provided a perfect spot to have my picture taken by a passing visitor.westonbirt (64)

As I continued to walk along the crunching gravel paths, I discovered a small country church which is part of the estate. westonbirt (79)westonbirt (82)westonbirt (80)

The expansive lawns provided the perfect opportunity to take a wide angle shot of the house – literally the only way I could get it into one picture. You might double-click on it to see more detail.westonbirt (76)

The house is asymmetrical and features a huge conservatory on one side. westonbirt (83)westonbirt (85)westonbirt (86)

I felt so fortunate that chance had allowed me to stumble on this amazing place. westonbirt (87)I was even luckier that I could spend a few hours wandering around it.


  1. A fortunate stumble! Thank you. It's an incredible property!

    1. It was a lucky day! I am so glad I took the chance and went.

  2. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your snaps.

  3. Love it from the outside. Love the gardens. The inside is a tad much for me, but, fascinating nonetheless.

    1. The inside was WAY over the top, but that was to be expected. I think that there's even a bust of Queen Victoria over one of the fireplaces.

  4. An adventurous journey Meg! The details are astounding!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I only saw a small portion of the interiors, but they were over the top!

  5. My dream place. A few dozen estate workers would be nice too.

    I'm a little confused. This is built on the site of another building that was built in the 1860s? Or was this house built in the 1860s? The architecture looks Elizabethan, but then the interiors have a more 19th-century Revivalist feel.

    1. I know I wasn't clear. This house was built in the 1860's on the site of a previously existing house. I think they went for the Elizabethan look outside, but more Victorian inside.


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