When : 12th April 2015
Where : Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.
Distance : A little wander – Not even worth measuring the distance.
Significant Heights : None to speak of.
Maps : 1:25,000 OS Explorer Map No.222 Rugby and Daventry (but not needed).
Start + End Point : approx. SP 477,835
If you click on a pic’ it should launch as a larger image on my photostream on Flickr.
This is not really a walking post this one, but still kind of out-doorsy all the same, and it is associated with raising money for charity so I’ve deemed it more than worthwhile writing about it on my blog.
Every year, the village of Monk’s Kirby (a member of the Revel Villages), holds its annual daffodil festival, a sort of village fete, at Newnham Paddox, at the kind permission of The Earl and Countess of Denbigh who live there. It’s all organized by and in aid of The Friends of the C-of-E Revel Churches.
There was a small entrance fee of £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children.
The six churches of The Revel Group are, in no particular order :-
• St Leonard’s, Willey,
• St. John The Baptist, Brinklow,
• St. Denys’s, Pailton,
• All Saints, Harborough Magna
• Holy Trinity, Churchover
• And of course in Monks Kirby, St Edith’s.
Once in the grounds of Newnham Paddox, there were various stalls to peruse, live music, performances and displays to enjoy and, of course, food and drink to be had.
Performances this year (I’m writing in 2015) included :
Ocho Rios Steel Band, Jill Bartlett School of Dancing and Dunchurch Silver Band.
Foody stuff had all the usual suspects ;
Ice Cream, Cakes, Hot Dogs, Hot Drinks, etc.
Other exhibitors etc. included ;
Coombe Abbey Woodturners, Beekeepers, CPL, Jewellery, Kids Games, Alpacas, RSPB, Preserves, Donkey Rides, and various others, notably a super Model Woodyard.
Despite all these attractions, the star of the event, was the grounds themselves. The initial “fete” area, leads into a shallow valley, surrounded by farmland (mostly crops), and within the valley are a couple of ornamental lakes. Well, lakes may conjure up an image of huge, wide expanses of water, but these aren’t in that league. No, they’re more like sizeable ponds, but large enough to be in scale with the surrounding landscape, mature trees and shrubs making a slightly wild appearance whilst also being obviously planned out. In fact, the drive up to the entrance, out of Monks Kirby village, is along a sweeping drive through landscaped grassy parkland, [by Capability Brown between 1745 and 1753] with individual specimen trees apparently randomly scattered across the pastures.
Getting back to the grounds; there are large drifts of daff’s, blossom trees, mature deciduous trees coming into bud after their winter slumber and interspersed with evergreen conifers. Other spring flowers graced the area, including some beautiful clumps of primroses. I don’t think the grounds are overly gardened though, they certainly aren’t very manicured. However, there is a certain unkemptness which maybe adds to the charm rather than detracts. The lakes themselves are lined with sizeable areas of reeds and rushes and the whole area doesn’t take long to walk around, unless of course, like me you stop to look closer at the details and attempt to take photo’s, trying to do the place justice.
I say attempt, because I wasn’t really happy with my photographic attempts today; I just couldn’t find a decent exposure setting, but hey, maybe there are days when things just don’t work out OK.
In the past, the lakes area was laid out as an outdoor sculpture park, with some very large pieces of art (including a couple of huge plate-iron elephants), but I was disappointed to find that over the last few years (when I haven’t visited) many of these art-works have gone and not been replaced, leaving only a few pieces of note. Of these, I think my fave would be the Cheetah and cub.
I’ve had a look on the inter-web and cannot find any recent web-pages/sites that suggest the Art-Park is currently open, but I stand to be corrected. Good luck if you fancy finding out more yourself.
Anyway, I don’t think there’s much more to add, apart from I’m sorry that I’m posting well after this year’s event; but it is an annual happening, so make a note and next spring, sometime around Easter, go find out about 2016’s event and hope for some sunshine to make the day really extra special.
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and my photo’s such as they are …. If you’d like to comment on my diary or any of my pic’s please feel welcome. I’d love to hear from you.