Rufford Old Hall - a pitstop to start off my Northern Wanderings

I have various gardens that are 'on the list' that are rather a journey from home.  I decided it was time I crossed a couple of them off the list and booked myself a few days away.  I was going to stay in Cumbria as it is a good point to get to and from various places.  It is quite schlep to Cumbria from where I live so I knew I would need a stop off point on the way to get lunch and breath.  I decided Rufford Old Hall was a good place to do this, about 2/3 of the way so that the back of the journey would have been completed.
Of course I had not allowed for the traffic, so I did not make quite as good progress as I had hoped.  This meant I stopped for lunch at a service station and then carried on my way up to Rufford Old Hall.   
I was glad I decided to continue with my plan.  It was a good place for a walk.  The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze.  It was not as hot as it has been recently and that made it pleasant.  The gardens at Rufford Old Hall are less 'formal' garden then you might see at some other properties.  They are green and calming and where there is planting it is good.  As I walked into the garden the scent of roses was clear.
I admird these rather wonderful birds sitting on the wall.  
I nodded to the two boys playing.
The topiary squirrels are a particular feature of the gardens.  You can see in the top picture there is topiary in front of the house too, it makes a good feature and goes well with the house.
I then made my way through the long borders,
and past the Pinetum, which has some very fine trees to enjoy,
along the wooded path before you cross the road to the family church which is a Victorian church on the site of a much older one.  Here are interred various members of the Hesketh family who used to own this house until it was sold to the National Trust in 1936.  As I walked through the graveyard I kept thinking 'Hesketh, Hesketh', fairily sure they were something to do with Formula 1 racing.  I want my brothers to take note that whilst they know  I am not an F1 fan, somethings clearly perculated through.  A quick google later and I knew that this was the same family.
It is an interesting church and as I pondered this arch behind the church (has the ground been raised, the church sunk, or was this an entry for dogs.....?)  I wished I had a copy of the relevant Pevsner with me to find out more.
I walked back towards the house and I visited the veg garden, which is work in progress.
and I stood for a moment by the canal as it was peaceful to be there.
Then it was time to get back into the car and head further northwards.  More of which to come later.....

Take care and be kind

Northern Wanderings 2 - Lowther Castle and Gardens

Northern Wanderings 3 - Larch Cottage Nursery

Northern Wanderings 4 - Dalemain 

Northern Wanderings 5 - Long Meg and her daughters

Northern Wanderings 6 - Acorn Bank

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  1. As I grew up "up north" I am excited to read about all the gardens you will visit. Maybe your trip will coincide with Gresgarth Hall being open. I saw it was either this or last weekend. And surely Levens Hall will be on your list and Holehird gardens. Oh! I'm so jealous.


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