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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday 19th June

Well my "military planning" was changed today. The weather was nice so I went to Brandon marshes near Coventry. Wildlife watching!! Spent a pleasant few hours. Highlights? Willow Tit, Ringed Plover, Ruddy Duck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redshank, Lapwings giving a Grey Heron what for.

Also a Southern Hawker dragonfly and some damselflys including these.....

So I COULD have gone to Warwick Castle but instead I went to Stoneleigh Abbey.

The main house is beautifully situated by the Avon. The house was devastated by fire in the 60's and has been restored. Parts of the house are now used as Apartments and because it is used for corporate events it has inappropriate cream carpet throughout. That said what you see (via Guided Tour) is very splendid, the saloon and chapel are particulary fine. Jane Austen stayed here and it is believed it is the inspiration for Mansfield Park (the chapel has part of Mansfield Park displayed discribing that Houses Chapel, the similarities of the two are evident).

Sadly after the fire the front was restored as is. The photos below will show it is like a beautiful but scarred woman. The house is beautiful but one can't but wish that the commercial needs didn't out weigh the historic.

I had had a very light lunch (a scone and jam) so stopped at Charlecote Park for a slice of cake. Ahem bit bigger than I was intending....

a few more wildlife pics.

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