Yesterday, Sunday, we escaped with others from church, on a coach trip to Lulworth Castle and Cove which are in Dorset. The 17th C castle originally started out as a hunting lodge in 1608 and has entertained 7 of our monarchs, belonging to the same family for 370 yrs.
The inside was completely destroyed by fire in 1929, restoration has restored the outside to its former glory and consolidated the interior. You are able to climb the tower on the right hand corner, but I declined! It is now owned by the National Trust and the family live in a very large house a short distance away.
In the grounds stands the first Catholic chapel to be built since the Reformation. When Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome, catholics were subject to persecution. During the time of Elizabeth Ist, they were hung, drawn and quartered. It wasn’t until 1791 that catholics were allowed to worship in public and the Weld family, who owned Lulworth Castle, until then, held private services within the castle.In 1786 George III gave permission to build a mausoleum ” and you may furnish it inside as you wish” From the outside it looks like a mausoleum, but inside it is a Catholic Chapel. King George and Queen Charlotte visited in 1791 and gave it their approval. John Carroll, the first Catholic Bishop in the USA was consecrated there.
From inside the castle I was able to see some colourful flowers beyond a yew hedge but when I enquired if the garden was open, was told that it was closed and belonged to the large house beyond the hedge where I think the family now live. I had to make do with photographing the hydrangeas through the gate.
A shame really but I had to respect their privacy.
In the parkland there was this huge Sweet Chestnut tree absolutely covered with hundreds of fruit.
From the parkland, we could see the sea in the distance, this is where we were off to next, Lulworth Cove.
After a lunch at one of the hotels in West Lulworth we then made our way down to Lulworth Cove, a natural almost circular cove which gives shelter to the people and little boats. We had been so lucky with the weather, but look at those clouds, fortunately they had passed over without dropping their rain.
This photo shows the limestone cliffs which stretch eastwards towards Dover and is included in the Jurassic Coast, where so many fossils and Dinosaur remains have been found. The sky was getting darker and darker, but still no rain for us!
Just outside the Heritage Centre is this Limestone carving showing the wildlife that used to wander about here a few million years ago.
Back to the car park for our coach, the hedging was made up of Rosa rugosa, all the bushes were absolutely covered with beautiful red rosehips.
The rosehips were huge, just like tomatoes! Do you think our dormouse would like to eat these? I have room in the woodland where I could plant a hedge on the sunny side near the road through the village, what do you think?
We had a short shower on the way home, but when we got back to our village, I think there had been a lot of rain as everywhere was very wet and the garden looking a lot happier.