Friday 18 June 2010

More Inalienable Property

Mottisfont Abbey

Mottisfont in June is one of the National Trust's loveliest properties. Not the house, but the garden. Within the walls of the former kitchen gardens of the house, Graham Thomas, the great rosegrower, created a magical garden. We try to visit several times during June, when the roses are at their best.

Jane's favourite is the climber,
Crepuscule, with a wonderful scent

Within the grounds is a spring; not just some tiny trickle of water, but a great and constant font; hence the name of the place. And it was the home of a monastic community until Henry VIII of unhappy memory laicised it. Our present C of E Bishops need constantly reminding that what the State has given, the State can take away. As the official English church drifts ever further from its roots, so it has less and less claim to be called The Church of England. Indeed it can already be argued that the Catholic church has overtaken it in numbers of worshippers, and will certainly do so once the Ordinariate is up and running.

But let's not be polemical in this lovely season; just sit back and enjoy a few pictures, of the spring of water, the house (fragments of the monastic buildings survive especially in the basement), and particularly the gardens. Worth the detour, indeed worth a special trip if you can get down to Romsey in the next week or two. The N.T. is keeping them open late, so that you can enjoy not just the sights but the heady scents of summer.
A corner of the walled garden, tall Eremurus in the midst, roses in beds and on the walls

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