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The History bit

Hardwick Hall Country park is on land that was originally, in medieval times next to Hardwyck Manor, now Hardwick Hall Country Hotel. The 18th century saw dramatic change: a new hall was built, and a new owner—a wealthy businessman from Tyneside named John Burdon—began to develop the grounds. Burdon enhanced the 17-acre ornamental lake on the south side of the hall by adding an artificial river leading to it and encircling it with a walkway. In all, he laid out 40 acres of additional ornamental features, including temples, grottoes and follies designed primarily by London architect James Paine. Although the grounds and buildings were not subsequently well maintained, the garden retains Pain’s basic structure and is an unusual example of authentic 18th century landscape design.

Durham County Council had already begun to acquire parts of the grounds when in 1997 it determined to undertake the preservation of the whole park. A study commissioned in 1999 provided a detailed estimate of the expenses of restoration and also indicated the property’s significance, leading the Register of Parks and Gardens to give it a II* rating. With assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the County purchased more of the grounds in 2001 and launched a restoration scheme to bring it all back to its former condition. The park now includes a visitor centre, cafe, toilets, exhibition, classroom and office.

Sophie and I came here for the afternoon once we’d finished at the Pumping station, we needed somewhere to lunch and this was nearest. Turned out a really lovely place to walk around, so we stayed for the afternoon.

Tree of fungus in the car park


Neptune, fishing 🙂


Not sure why they call this a Black-headed gull when it’s obviously brown.


ornate seating area


common orchid








a folly 



33 comments on “Fraggle Report~Hardwick Hall Country Park~June 2017~part 1

  1. beetleypete says:

    I love a good folly!
    The wrecked building with the turret was good. I would like to do that up and live there; climbing to the top of the turret every morning, to look out at the countryside. (Well, maybe get someone in to do it up…)
    Nice shot with the damsel fly. I try to get them over at the local river, and they always fly away.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Pete, it looked a bit Disney to me, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. beetleypete says:

        I can do Disney, if it has a turret!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Rapunzle! 🤣

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sue says:


            Liked by 1 person

  2. kmSalvatore says:

    Wow, another great adventure, , you really do motivate Fraggy. And if it ever stops raining.. I just may go out and shoot:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rain here too today, forecast sunny tomorrow and Sophie and I are off on a boat trip up the river Tyne!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kmSalvatore says:

        Ohhh I can’t wait to live vicariously through you and Sophie, ya know I feel like I know her:)!!! Have fun

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sophie’s grand, very clever lady, a professor of psychology no less!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue says:

    Interesting place for a wander, Fraggle…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was Sue, thanks 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cygnets truly are ugly ducklings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But cute ugly ducklings I think 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – and they have a great future ahead of them in the looks department!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jay says:

    I’m sure birds and animals and even plants would be baffled by the weird names we’ve given them.
    Great, detailed photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the damselfly. So blue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, they are so pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. vinnieh says:

    I want to break out my camera now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. vinnieh says:

        I’ll see what I can do.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. joshi daniel says:

    this is wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s free to get in! 😊


  9. lolabees says:

    Love the dragonfly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the photo of Neptune fishing.

    That tree with fungus looks like a character from Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings.

    Liked by 1 person

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