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Out and About Day Trips.
Owlpen Manor in its secluded Cotswold valley has been described by a Tovey’s tour guide as ‘the most beautiful place in England’.
The Tudor house dates from 1450 - 1616 with careful Cotswold Arts and Crafts repairs in 1926 when the house was awakened after 80 years of being forgotten, and hidden behind enormous yew trees.
The interior of the house, which can only be viewed by special arrangement, contains: some remarkable survivals, portraits and collections of the Mander family (who built Wightwick Manor), and a renowned group of Cotswold Arts and Crafts Furnishings.
The formal terraced garden is a rare and fascinating survival, last reordered in the 1720’s.
We had lunch here.
After lunch we moved to Grade 1 Woodchester Mansion a beautiful and unique Victorian Gothic house hidden in another, nearby, fold of the Cotswolds.
Building started in 1857 but stopped in the mid 1860’s, leaving a roof, but with floors and ceilings missing, walls not plastered and windows not glazed, allowing all the secrets of the construction to be visible. Woodchester is so well hidden that it is still difficult to find today. Fortunately for us this means that it was never plundered for materials and so wood and half carved stone are left just as if the builders were to return.
If you have enjoyed any of the National Trust’s great Victorian houses this visit would have allowed you a rare insight into their construction and architecture.
Southwell Cathedral and Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary is popularly known as South Well Minster and is said by many to be the best kept secret among the forty-two English Cathedrals.
Although Christian worship has taken place on this site for over 1,000 years, the present Romanesque building celebrated its commencement, 900 years ago, in 2008.
Walking up the paupers' path towards the Workhouse at Southwell, it is easy to imagine how the Victorian poor might have felt as they sought refuge here. This austere building, the most complete workhouse in existence, was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the destitute. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country.
This rural workhouse was designed to house around 160 inmates. They lived and worked in a strictly segregated environment with virtually no contact between the old and infirm, able-bodied men and women, and children.