Sunday, 10 June 2012

Woodland Walk : The Mansion

Animal pathway probably used by foxes,rabbits and others.

Continued from previous post..........

We've arrived at the mansion gates.
It's easy to feel one is walking into a fairy tale scene here.

Princess Rosebud,the Sleeping Beauty awakes from her hundred year's slumber.

Illustration from a much loved family fairy story book,circa 1900.

The house,especially the interior feels very much in the same drowsy state as Beauty.

Newhailes House is a Jacobean,Palladian style villa set in 40 hectares of wood and parkland.
The architect James Smith bought the land in 1686 to build a prestigious residence for himself.As a young man Smith had studied for the priesthood in Rome,where upon seeing the work of the great 
Italian architect Palladio,decided to change his career plans. Soon after the house was completed 
financial troubles forced him to sell.
In 1709 it was purchased by well known judge and politician Sir David Dalrymple as his country retreat.He immediately started work on the Library Wing to house his large collection of books.Landscaping work which was to lay the foundations for the pleasure gardens was also begun.This work was continued throughout the 1700s by his son and grandson the 3rd baronet,famous for his work as a historian,politician and member of the Scottish Enlightenment movement.During his occupancy(1751-92) Newhailes played host to many leading literary figures of the day.The gardens and landscaping which would have been the height of fashion at the time also reached their pinnacle of perfection.
Like many aristocrats of the time,the Dalrymples had been on the Grand Tour of Europe and had brought home ideas,especially from Italy and France,to implement in the enhancement of their estates.
Sir David 3rd baronet, died at a time when the royal court at Versailles Palace was dismantled and  winds of change were sweeping throughout Europe.
The family continued to own Newhailes until 1997 when it was handed over to the National Trust Scotland  and subsequently a five year conservation programme was implemented to stabilise the buildings and prevent further deterioration.

The plan was to leave everything as undisturbed as possible.

The library wing.

The interior is  the ultimate in shabby chic.Much of the original decoration and furnishing have survived,though often  worn and threadbare.There's a feeling that the house was abandoned a hundred years ago,leaving unseen helpers to keep it clean and dusted.The contents of the library are now housed in the National Library of Scotland.

Rear view of the house.

Smith's classically proportioned original building is in the centre flanked by the "new" wings.

View from the back door steps over what in past times would have been formal gardens
with sheep pasture beyond. The elevated position allowed an uninterrupted view across the Firth of Forth.

A mid 18th century painting by Thomas Gainsborough of an aristocratic couple in an idealized 
 landscape fashionable at the time.

The meadow today is lush with grasses and wild flowers,a perfect nesting ground for partridges.

Ribwort,vetch and grasses

Germander speedwell

Ribwort and  purple vetch

Red clover

Buttercups glowing in the sunlight.


Denise said...

Loved the adventure of it all.I was with you every step of the way.I also could see this as being where The Beast lived,and where Beauty's Dad was held captive-wonderful.Denise

Deborah Lawrenson said...

As always, I really enjoy the way you take us along on the journey - and the photos are composed with an abstract artist's eye.

Charlotte said...

What a delightful house and gorgeous meadow. Ideal for insects, hares and more. Thanks for sharing.

dritanje said...

fantastic flowers and lovely pics of this amazing building. Can't wait to see the 'shabby chic' interior. and thanks for all the background info, so fascinating to know about these people of the past

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

You created a beautiful setting for a fairytale, and I think that the history of this home, this estate, is captivating.

Lovely, Ruby!


cosmos said...

The second shot expresses well the excitement and anticipation of entering the dreamy wonderland.
So that's the "mansion". Here sometimes condominiums used to be referred to as "mansion" mistakenly or purposely by the real estate business.
How wonderful this huge area is a rich natural environment of plants and living creatures, of course of people.

Enjoy your blessing!

biebkriebels said...

That is a wonderful house and I am glad it will be looked after properly by the Trust. Beautiful photos of the surroundings, nice post.

louciao said...

An enchanted setting, indeed! Thank you for this most enjoyable guided tour.

Sciarada said...

Ciao Ruby, this post is beautiful, where art, nature and beauty coexist in perfect harmony!
Have a good day!

sarah said...

I think maybe there are many things of drowsy state like that building in Scotland. The color of greens or atmosphere in Scotland evoke fairly story.
I like Germander speedwell and it or other wild flowers also evoke fairly story,I feel.
Thank you for sharing!

Lynn said...

Thanks for the beautiful romp!

snowwhite said...

In the second photo, it looks like as if we were going through the entrance of the secret path! It leads us to hidden treasures, a graceful old house and wild flower gardens. This is a paradise being separated from an ordinary world. The lush green is so beautiful!
Have a great weekend!

stardust said...

Hi, Ruby! I feel as if entering a secret garden, too. And then, I’m fascinated by the beauty and grandeur of the mansion and its environment. Regarding “names of flowers”, I learned what you call those wild flowers in English. I do love the flowering meadow.


Red Rose. said...

Hi, Ruby
I am so glad to visit you today!
How wonderful place to walk!The second photo makes me dreamy with a romantic fairy tales. The old historical mansion is grandeur. I like the painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Yes, it is idealized pastoral landscape,and the lady with fashionable dress catches my eyes.
Have a fabulous day.

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