4. A disappointing day and a serendipitous day



We started out with high hopes for a day of sightseeing, starting with a walk up to the top of a hill to Arbor Low which is a Bronze Age stone circle. As we arrived it started raining so scratch that one. Next on the list was a sunny picnic looking out over the green hills. The rain intensified and we picnicked in the car watching the driving rain



So we drove to Sudbury Manor where Pride and Predjudice was filmed. It was closed.



We were disappointed but the medieval castle of Tutbury was just down the road. When we got there it was a ruin (of course) that had had little restoration and there was a hefty admission fee. We chose not to go in. Of course there was a 30 minute traffic jam on the way home.



Next day we were going on an exciting trip to Scarborough on the coast on a real steam train. Peter miscalculated the timing and we discovered when we were half way there, that we would miss the train. Not to worry, we would divert to see another House.



On the way we ran into a cute looking coffee house and stopped for a cuppa. The sun shone, we sat outside, we watched the trains go by 100mph every five minutes (try that, Amtrak). All was again well with the world



We arrived at Bennington House which was very different. The owners died in a few years ago without children which, in England, brings very significant death duties. The heirs tried to pay them by having an auction of all the contents of the house but did not make enough on the deal. So they still owed the IRS lots of money. They had to give the house to the National Trust to settle up. Then the Nstional Trust had a bare house and made a deal with the National Portrait Gallery to hang hundreds of historic paintings. Very different.



The gardens were delightful with the odd strange sculpture….



…and lots of veggies and flowers



We finished with a picnic.



After the House we stumbled across fabulous village - Coxton



It had a pretty church with a hexagonal tower and lots of curlicues



And very pretty inside



The tombs were spectacular and there was even a "Whodunnit" where a famous poet had been buried in London, he was exhumed recently to be reburied in Coxton and found to be in a grave with various other people. He was identified by measuring his skull and comparing it to his bust.



Our next stumble was on Byland Abbey which I had never heard of but turned out to be one of the "Big Three" in Yorkshire



It was founded in 1147, became very rich and large.



Henry VIII took everything in 1538 when the monasteries were dissolved at the start of the Church of England and it began collapsing for lack of maintenance



The building techniques were fascinating here is a three-dimensional arch on a window



The church was almost 600 feet long and the main buildings spanned about 800 feet square.



Our final serendipity was finding the White Horse of Kilburn



We got right up to it, but it doesn't look quite the same up close. …and so to home.



Next day we took it easily and visited Eyam, a small close-by village. During the big Black Plague epidemic in London in 1665 the village received a bolt of cloth that had a flea in it.The flea was infected by the plague and the villager caught it. The vicar - Montpesson - called a meeting and the villagers decided to isolate themselves to prevent the plague from spreading. It worked. As an example, to get bread from the baker in the next village they put money under water in a well, he left the bread nearby and took the money.



Eyam Hall is an excellent example of an old manor house. Notice how the apple tree in the foreground has been trained as an espalier in its youth and can now stand on its own in the same form.



The gardens were small but delightful.



Later we decided to try again to look at Arbor Low - the stone circle..



...and a second stone circle that is guarded by the "Cork" stone. It sort-of looks like a cork.



The walk to the circle was beautiful sunshine, heather and views



The story is that during the reign of the Puritans nine ladies were, against the instructions of the Elders, dancing on the moor.They were turned to stone, Later scientific inquiry shows that it was really the remains of a UFO that landed here. Whatever the origin we had to shoo off a bevy of young folk with daisies in their hair who were performing some occult rite.



My brother John was abe to join us for a few more days along with his daughter Rowena. We decided to try again for Sudbury Hall










and we photographed John and Rowena against some of the panelling



Next day we went for a hike along the ridge above the village…



…through the woods…



…to Chatsworth House…



...where they keep a herd of Pere David deer



We walked back through Chatsworth Park alongside the Derwent River



Next day Rowena had to leave for a vacation in the South of France (lucky person) and John had to go back to Scotland

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