Wilderness gardens were created in deliberate contrast to the rigid formality of gardens immediately surrounding country houses. Clumps of shrubs, specimen trees, meandering paths and the dappled sunlight of surrounding woodland created a romantic illusion of an untamed landscape, in which people could walk and experience nature.
This part of the estate also contains a large boulder, about a metre across, that is composed of hundreds of fossilised oysters, and has been dated back to around 165 million years ago. I didn't take a picture of it, as its picturesque interest is of a somewhat limited value.
|A very comely bench sits in The Wilderness, lit up by warm sunlight.|
|A view of the Hall from the edge of Home Covert.|
The walk to Home Covert is along the path from the Wilderness, which follows the route of an 18th-century road. This 31-acre site was formed out of three distinct areas of landscape: a 17th-century wood known as Thornham Wood; an 18th-century pasture, Miller Lays, planted as woodland in 1806; and an area of fenland which was drained and reclaimed as arable land in 1725 and planted as woodland in the 18th and 20th centuries.
|Some of the oak trees found here date to the 17th century.|
|The woodland path through Home Covert is lined with tall, straight pine trees.|
|Found this carving of a cheeky woodland sprite at the base of one of the old oaks.|
I'm guessing he was carved from a section of wood removed from the tree.
|A ceremonial looking passageway through the trees.|
|The trees and ferns glow under the soft light of the late afternoon sunshine.|
|Looking out from Home Covert over a footbridge to the Hall beyond.|
|A final shot of the house in the early evening sun.|