I never seem to have much luck with the weather at Stourhead. When I last visited, a little over four years ago, the sun was shining but it was incredibly hazy. I stopped off again today, to take a break from my journey down to Somerset, but this time the sun had vanished behind a thick layer of cloud.
The gardens at Stourhead are truly enormous so I knew I wouldn’t have time to do a complete circuit of them. Instead I headed to the house and took a look around there. The estate was originally owned by the Hoare family, a banking dynasty who built the current Palladian mansion in the 1720s and they lived here until 1947. Amazingly, their bank is still in existence today – the oldest bank in the UK and the fourth oldest in the world.
Inside the house I took photos of any scenes that caught my fancy, often drawn by the quality of light. From there I wandered back through the gardens to my car, marvelling at some enormous Sweet Chestnut trees which was carefully cordoned off to stop visitors trampling their roots.
4 May 2018