Tuesday, 29 September 2015

On the Roof!

The title sounds like a 60's pop song. "On the Roof" but this blog is actually about our latest ramble around the roof at Dyrham Park a National Trust property. Dyrham Park for anyone who may be vaguely interested is a 17th century house near Bath. Built in 1692 it is done in a Dutch style. Rather dark and not really elegant, it's charm is really in it's story! Mr Blathwayt the original owner who built the house and laid the gardens was a perfectionist! He personally designed and had the house built in the valley transforming the original Tudor building into a baroque style mansion. He filled it with Dutch furniture and pottery. There is loads to see and we will go back when the roof is completed and the bits back in their proper places.

The actual house lies down in a valley and makes for a nice stroll mainly down hill on the way there! For the faint hearted or those with a disability or small children, there is a bus that runs from the car park and back. For walkers there is a good path or you can ramble through the park land.


The lift going up! You get a safety chat and a high viz jacket. Not for those who don't like heights. It's a long way up!






Miles of scaffolding. It did say somewhere how long it took to put up.

 Currently the roof is undergoing a major conservation project to replace slates and stop the leaks, which threaten the fabric of the house. Visitors are transported up to the roof via a lift or stairs, we opted for the stairs! During the restoration the roof is completed covered and the house wrapped up.All the paintings and furniture is stored and visitors can amble around peeking and strange bundles.  However, the National Trust in it's usual way, have made it into a visitor attraction. Huge amounts of scaffolding were used in this project and it was a very interesting way to see bits of the old house from a totally different angle. The chimney pots and ornaments on the roof are also under going a face lift. We even subscribed to writing our names on one of the roof slates to be preserved for future generations!






The pictures do not really do justice to the amount of work being done! Amazing to see how the roof was initially constructed and the vast amount of lead they used.

On the roof you get to look up close at the beautiful stone eagle made from Bath stone.



From below he looks tiny. We wondered how much work it took to get him up there in the first place? The Blathwayt eagle was finally placed on the roof in 1705. The other statue on the roof is Mercury. Not one of my best pictures but it was pretty low down.


Going up on the roof gave fabulous views of the grounds and countryside unlikely to be seen by us again.



We wandered down from the roof and then around the grounds, loads of deer were munching away oblivious to the crowds. 


OK, the deer are camouflaged, but they are there hiding in the long grass.


A couple of young males, they do have antlers but I missed the best pictures.

Walking around the park is challenging as there are loads of very sleep hills. 



If you need a work out Dyrham Park is certainly the place to go.  We climbed a few hills and bumped into Neptune on our travels. 




The views were beautiful being able to see right across to the Welsh hills. We were going for coffee but decided not to bother, as they were only doing paper cups and coffee always tastes foul in cardboard! Next time we go we'll take April our van and have a proper brew up in a proper cup! 

Expecting April back any day now following her little visit for a few jobs to be done. Hopefully we will be able to get away for a bit of 4 wheel camping very soon.

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