Fraggle Report~Hardwick Hall Country Park~June 2017~part 1

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 



Categories: Adventures, birds, Fuji, fujiXT1, gardens, History, landscape, nature, orchid, photography, uncategorisedTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Interesting place for a wander, Fraggle…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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

  5. I love the damselfly. So blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I want to break out my camera now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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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