Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Exploring the Ruins of Witley Court Part Two

Having explored the currently accessable interior parts of Witley Court last Sunday, I turned my attention to the gardens.

The gardens to the south and east of the ruin have been restored to their pre-fire layouts as much as possible, although only one of the two great fountains now works (hourly when visitors are around).

And here it is in action, showing Perseus rescuing Andromeda:
Witley Court 080913 (42)

Paths once curved past the two garden pavillions to meet at the golden gates (long since sold for scrap):
Witley Court 080913 (44)

To the east of the house, stands what's left of the Flora Fountain:
Witley Court 080913 (50)

And from where the east garden can be viewed:
Witley Court 080913 (53)

Walking back to the front of the house, and out of the gates, it's only a short distance to the church of St Michael and All Angels with its stunning interior:
Witley Court 080913 (62) Witley Court 080913 (63)

The interior originally belonged to the Duke of Chandos, but he went bankrupt in what became known as the South Sea Bubble financial disaster, and it was shipped to Witley:
Witley Court 080913 (61)

Incidentally, it says on the internet that in 1717 Henry James Brydges was created first Duke of Chandos 'for no apparent reason', which makes me feel mildly better about giving out titles slightly at random to my fictional characters' ancestors.

Having admired the interior of the church, I walked back around the lake and up a hill until I reached a spot from which it was possible to photograph house and church in one view:
Witley Court 080913 (72)

Another aside: the church used to be all of 185 metres from the house, but that was a bit of a walk, so the Foley family moved it.
Witley Court 080913 (69)

All in all Witley Court is well worth a visit, and I'll be going back once the current works have been completed to take more photogrphs.
Tags: architectural heritage, for reference, inspiration, out and about, photos, real life, truth stranger than fiction
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