We set up camp near Muchelney. On Saturday the National Trust house and gardens were open, for an NGS charity day, at Barrington Court. It caught our eye as it’s a fairly manageable cycle ride along route 339 from our camp site, looping round East Lambrook and Shepton Beauchamp to Barrington.
Colonel Lyle, whose family firm became part of Tate & Lyle, rescued the partially derelict 16th-century Court House in the 1920s. A keen collector of architectural salvage, Lyle filled the house with a collection of oak panelling, fireplaces and staircases.
The walled White Garden, Rose and Iris Garden and Lily Garden were influenced by Gertrude Jekyll, with playing fountains, vibrant colours and intoxicating scents. The original kitchen garden supplies the restaurant continuing a philosophy of self-sufficiency.
We also walked the River Parrett Trail from near the camp site to Langport. Much of the trail beyond the pumping station to near Muchelney is open, quiet and mainly only cows for company
|kettled by cows!|
Muchelney Abbey, a landmark in the Somerset Levels, lies two miles south of Langport. It was once a wealthy Benedictine house and the second oldest religious foundation in Somerset, but as part of the dissolution the abbey’s principal buildings were demolished by Henry VIII in 1538 but parts of interest still remain.
Back to the camp site for a well earned rest and a pint!
On the way back we looped through Brent Knoll to visit the open gardens there. The distinctive hill of Brent Knoll is the site of an iron age hill fort and a C13 church.
Parking was on the slope at Ball Copse Hall, a south facing Edwardian house on lower edge of Knoll. The garden contains a Ha-ha, wild area and kitchen garden with views to Quantock and Polden Hills. There is also a flock of Soay sheep and a working beehive.
Mid village is situated Woodbine Farm, a quintessential English garden with many very old, established climbers in old walled gardens including roses, wisteria and clematis and a large herbaceous border. This cottage garden also contains hydrangeas, fruit and herbs and a Paddock with huge lavender beds.
At the far end of the village lies Laburnum Cottage a ½ acre garden developed over 15 yrs with over 100 varieties of hemerocallis (day lilies) and large, sweeping borders with mixed plantings of shrubs and herbaceous plants.