Friday, 27 April 2018

The best of days

With May bank holiday coming up and the dire weather forecast we decided to move on from Cookham yesterday morning and find a mooring that we could enjoy even through the rain.
 We're not going far just a mile or so and pulled into the current to wind downstream once again

 The mooring is close to the bridge which has a small channel archway for us and immediately after it's a sharp left
 ... into Cookham Lock cut where for once there's a lock keeper on duty
 ... and within a few minutes of being out of the cut

 ... we're in one of our very favourite moorings
 ... on Cliveden reach
 ... in view of the palatial Cliveden House where 350 years of power, politics, parties, and passion have taken place
 ... and downstream towards Maidenhead
 Today is the day - the only day over the weekend that the sun will shine and it won't rain ... so we set out on a walk.  
I've read online what's to see just now at Clivedon ...
 so, going up the hill ...

... that's Latin for Bluebells!
 At the top of the hill in the grounds ...
 The Rhododendrons have started to bloom in the water garden
 The carrara marble Fountain of Love originated in Rome and was purchased and brought to Cliveden by Lord Aster in 1896

The water tower was completed in 1861; the sculpture on the top is a version of the Spirit of Liberty in Paris' Place de Bastille.

In 1896 Lord Aster had constructed a Generator House to replace the gas lighting (1870's) originally by installing a steam boiler and in 1932 replacing the boiler with a 100 horsepower diesel engine to power not only the lighting but domestic items such as fridges, freezers and vacuum cleaners (just 25 horsepower more that the engine which drives Still Rockin' yet using the same system of alternators, batteries and inverters). 
Click on the photo below to expand the timelines for more information)
After mains electricity came to Cliveden House the generator house fell into disrepair and the National Trust's current project is to restore the building.

 Tulips and Primulas make colourful borders

The Parterre
 As we can see Cliveden House from Still Rockin', we can see Still Rockin' from the Parterre at Cliveden House! 

 Cliveden during WWI and WWII

At the start of the first World War, Waldorf volunteered for the army but failed the medical examination. Undaunted and wanting to support the war effort he offered the use of Cliveden as a hospital for injured British troops. This offer was turned down due to the amount of effort needed to adapt the building. However, the Canadian Red Cross accepted his offer and used the grounds for building a temporary hospital, the HRH Duchess of Connaught Hospital, in 1915. This hospital, which housed up to 600 patients, was dismantled at the end of hostilities.
Part of the hospital and within Cliveden’s grounds was established the Cliveden War Cemetery. This became the final resting place of 42 commonwealth troops (40 from WWI and 2 from WWII).
When war broke out again in 1939, the Canadian Red Cross built a second hospital in Cliveden’s grounds, the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital. This remained standing after the war and was used as a nursing school, a maternity unit and rheumatology unit until it closed in the early 1980s.

 Click on any of the pictures to enlarge

The view above right can be seen through the main gilded gate

On the way home, down the hill
 Passing another vibrant tulip and primrose border

Beautiful twists on the bark of this tree - is it a hornbeam?
 Glimpsed through the woods 
 ... and over the Berkshire countryside

 Still Rockin' from the footpath above
 Nearly home ...
A great day, great views, great walk much enjoyed.


Nick said...

Ahh, you had me going there! I think the bank holiday is in a week’s time - 7th May.

I love reading your blog, it is part of my daily routine!

Nb City of Durham

Carol said...

Trust me to be one step ahead of myself Nick - thanks for the heads up - now edited.