The National Trust were opening many of their properties for free last Sunday. So clutching our vouchers for free entry, which I had taken off the internet, we drove to Dunham Massey, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester. We had arranged to meet our daughter, grandson and great granddaughter there, with the idea of having lunch there, and a pleasant afternoon in the grounds.
The walk from the car park to the entrance was past the medieval moat, with views of the house across the water. There were wooded bits and springs on the other side of the path. All very peaceful!
The entrance was through an arch with a clock tower over, into a cobbled courtyard
There was a Norman Castle on the site very early on, and deer and wild boar were hunted in the lands surrounding it. The Park is first mentioned in 1362.
Over the centuries, trees were planted, and formal gardens made. A mill sat on the River Bollin.
In 1976 Dunham Massey was bequesthed to the National Trust, who have begun a replanting scheme. One of the things they have made is a Winter Garden, which wasz what I wanted to see. It was very new, of course, only having been started in the last year or two, but when everything has got going, it will be a great place.
There was a mill on the River Bollin for centuries, and an old mill still stands, there, built into the side of a small hill, so the millrace can provide a head of water.
You can see inside the mill, where there are things going ujp and down and round and round, but it is all a bit of a muddle and hard to make out what does what!
You can't get right round the house where the moat it, but you can see how grand it must have been -
with a magnificent flight of steps!
We had had plans of having lunch there, and maybe even seeing something of the house, but as it turned out, it was packed solid with visitors, and the queues for any sort of food were enormous. So we made do with what Grandson and Mr. G could get after queueing at a snack bar and then went to see the Winter Garden. I gave up any idea of seeing in the house - maybe I will be able to persuade Mr. G that paying the full entrance fee one quiet day would be a good idea!
It is a beautiful place, with a lot of grounds, a deer sanctuary, and a great Georgian house to visit. Rather a lot of walking around for me, but I did spot electric scooters that could be hired........