Weekend Wanderings. (picture heavy)

I found out very recently that Heritage have open days in September, as Saturday was mostly tied up with a previous engagement we struggled to fit in a quick trip out, but fit it in we did. Here we have Baginton Castle or Bagot’s Castle, which was a revelation to me as I did not know we have another castle so very close to Kenilworth and Warwick’s Castles.

Quick bit of history, Bagot’s Castle was probably built about 1397 by Sir William Bagot, it was built on an earlier site of a motte castle around 1100-35. As you can see it is now just a pile of stones, yet within this there are just a couple of nice points.

The curve of the tower.

Spiral stairs, barely worn.

On Sunday we found ourselves at Garden Organic at Ryton. It has been one of those places that we have been meaning to visit for a while but has always been priced quite steeply to go into, which has put us off – almost the cost of a skein of sock yarn – each!

We looked over the allotment garden, it wasn’t a patch on ours, too much bare earth for my liking, not enough in the way of crops. Considering that we are experiencing quite a glut of produce at the moment and the only regular requirements from the supermarkets involve milk, tea and cleaning products, if you had taken a meal or two from their plot you would have had very little left.

But what they did have, which was seriously impressive were fruit trees. We are looking at fruit trees at the moment, especially peach, pear and apples. We were not disappointed.

Look at these beautiful pears on a bough, so perfect.

more of the same bough.

a tree’s worth!

even at the very top of the tree you can see just how productive this tree is. I had no idea that pear trees were so Huge! – I wonder how many bottles of perry you would get off one tree!

Which is why fruit trees are grown in this way on dwarf root stocks and trained into shapes that both give the blossom/fruit air to aid both pollination and protect again molds and mildews and, most importantly aid picking.

One particular way of growing fruit tree’s caught our attention. Just to add a little bit of background, we have been looking for a way to add fruit trees to our plot but without taking up any room. I’m laughing at myself as I write this, because that is my all time master plan, always to grow as much as possible without compromising anything else.

The other aspect to consider is that there are rules on fruit tree’s at the plot, they must be grown on a dwarf root stock and they must be a certain distance, (I forget the exact measurement) away from the boundary of your plot. Otherwise the roots would interfere with another persons enjoyment of their plot. So the plan to have a row of dwarf root stock fruit trees trained against a fence is a no, go. And at that point I have been stumped for an answer, I did not want to plant fruit trees in the middle of an area that is much better served producing vegetables. Having been reading about modern orchards recently, I knew I could pack in more fruit trees than you ever thought possible into a small area, so was seriously considering turning over a quarter of one plot just to fruit trees.

When this idea struck me full force between the eyes.

An archway of Pears!

Or Apples!

If I build archways where the gates are it answers all my problems on boundaries, space, and having more than one variety all at the same time. It is Genius! I just need to find a very cheap supplier of archways, as they always seem to cost an arm and a leg.

I correctly identified a Medlar, the only way to eat them is to let them gently rot to soften them or as the Victorians used to call it ‘bletted’ first. Strangely they are out of fashion these days.

The largest pot in the world.

On Sunday afternoon we wandered over to Guys Cliffe House, a ruin that I have always been fascinated by having often looked at its hauntingly beautiful outline from the comfort of the Saxon Mill. It is rarely open to the public so to find out it was included in Heritage open days was a real pleasure.

The history is fascinating if you fancy reading up on it. These are a few photographs of our day,

the entrance,

the ruins.

A ruined tower, followed by a peek inside.

the lift, – I wonder how nervous people were on using this contraption.

I was very amused by the fireplaces in the ruins of the tower which had four floors. How the first one seemed very old and plain, hewn from the rock that Guys Cliffe stands upon.

and then becoming brick, with the fireplace missing,

to reveal the next fireplace, which looked quite magnificent, still hanging in mid air. Sadly the next fireplace up was just too high to see properly.

All hewn from the rock, most probably by slaves.

Harris’s Cave, recently rediscovered by the Masons (who own the property) a month ago. You can quite clearly see the track of incredibly dense bamboo that has been chopped to the ground so that you can walk to it.

The cave Guy of Warwick made for himself and lived in for two years before his death.

Effigy of Guy of Warwick in the restored chapel, according to legend this was an accurate depiction of his height, he must have been quite a man.

The restored chapel is lovely, but to protect the Masons privacy I shall refrain from putting up photographs, they rent it out, it would make a wonderful location for a party – 25th wedding anniversary perhaps!!!

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