Alnwick Gardens ~part 2 ~ the water features.

Part 1 HERE

WARNING- long post alert, short attention spanners cease here. 🙂

I neglected to tell the History of Alnwick Gardens in part 1, so I’ll remedy that here.

The History Bit

Adjacent to Alnwick Castle, the gardens have a long history under the Dukes of Northumberland but fell into disrepair until revived at the turn of the 21st century.

The first garden was made by the 1st Duke of Northumberland in 1750 and he employed Capability Brown, a great English architect and known in the 18th century as Englands greatest gardener. He designed over 170 parks/gardens, many of which are still up and running so the title is warranted I think.

The 3rd Duke was a plant collector, and brought loads of plants and seeds back from all around the world, leading to a century of development in the gardens. In the middle of the 19th century, the 4th Duke created an Italianate garden featuring a large conservatory, and at the end of the century, the gardens were at their grandest, with yew topiary, avenues of limes and acres of flowers.

Then WW2 happened, and the gardens were given over to planting and growing food, this was called the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, so with that and the subsequent austerity of the 20th century, the Garden fell into disrepair, and it was closed in 1950.

The restoration of the gardens was instigated and carried out by the Duchess of Northumberland, and really I can’t separate her history from the gardens.

Isobel Jane Miller met Lord Ralph Percy at a birthday party when they were 16 & 17 respectively, and both then went on to Oxford University, and then got married, inspite of their parents telling them they were too young. They’re still together and have 4 children. The couple lived in a farmhouse in Northumberland until 1995, when Ralph’s brother Henry, 11th Duke of Northumberland, died from heart failure after an overdose of amphetamines. Bit of a lad he was. Consequently Ralph became the 12th Duke, and Jane became the 1st Duchess of Northumberland not to come from titled aristocracy.  Apparently she wasn’t happy in the ducal role until her hubby asked her to renovate the gardens. She started the work on the garden in 2000, and turned it into one of North East England’s biggest visitor attractions, as well as one of the country’s most controversial ones. A practising martial arts enthusiast, she introduced cage boxing to The Alnwick Gardens and a range of cocktails named after her. The Duchess, who claims to defy tradition, and who can disagree? has received praise and scorn for The Alnwick Gardens, but has dismissed criticism as “the snobbery element of gardening”. The locals welcomed the restoration and the influx of tourists, ker~ching! while English Heritage accused the Duchess of destroying one of the greatest gardens in England. Not that they offered to restore it, or contribute. In 2004, she was hospitalised after collapsing under pressure, and the criticism made her consider resigning the trusteeship and giving up on the project. But she rallied herself round and in 2012,  announced her plan to finish reconstruction of The Alnwick Garden by May 2015, which she accomplished, and then stepped down from managing it to concentrate on her work with over 160 charities. The gardens now have a management company and a board of trustees.  I don’t mind the aristocracy (too much) when they’re giving back, and not just leeching around.

Anyway on to the water features, the main one is the central arcade, a fountain display goes off every half hour

central arcade

 

waterwall

 

down the plug-hole

A new garden added to The Alnwick Garden. The serpent garden, designed by Peter Wirtz, includes 8 water features by William Pye which show a different aspect of the behaviour of water. They demonstrate the way water splashes, trickles, flows, clings, forms waves and reflects. You can guess which is which.

serpent garden, didn’t see any snakes.

 

unknown small person, me and Sophie headless.

 

 

couldn’t resist

 

“Stay alive, I will find you!” (jumps) which movie? answers on a postcard 😀

 

me pal

 

no idea why this one looks better in black and white and the others don’t.

 

Sophie-bombed

and finally,

On the edge

Well done if you stayed to the end, and thanks,

pictures as always are embiggenable with a click. 😀

53 Comments

  1. Embiggenable!…thanks for sharing!hahaha(runs away)….no, bloody gorgeous place, Ive just spent an hour in the swimming pool and now I want to go back!…love the black and white one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Clare 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Educational and very interesting, complimentary photographs are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most interesting history to the place, Fraggle

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Last of the Mohicans!!! 🙂 Great photos 🙂 Loved the Water Wall picture and the history lesson too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my all time fave movies! 😊 glad someone knew what I was thinking!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So good!! Love that movie. You know the score is one of my top 3 favorite film scores EVER. So beautiful – give it a listen if you have time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have it already 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have added the film, but M. B. Henry beat me to it.
    Nice gardens indeed. I went to Alnwick Castle once, and it was closed for a ‘private occasion’.
    I have never forgiven the Duke of course.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I don’t blame you, I would have been well naffed off! I knew you’d know the movie 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going to put what film the quote was from, but of course I’ve been beaten to it on a few fronts! 😋 But, it’s amazing to see the evolution a single garden can go through! Topiaries and such, to veggies and helpful war time foods, to extravagant tourist attraction. Wonderful history and beautiful picture!! 💖💖🍻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicole, it’s a fab place, glad you got the movie 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful place. Good for the Duchess for persevering against her snobbish naysayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Last of the Mohicans shot is my fav. What fun! I love your water shots, Fraggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aww! Young love that actually lasted! My high school boyfriend because a Catholic priest and currently lives in Rome… But that’s a story for another time. 😀 I love your pics, Fraggle! What beautiful fountains and gardens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jess, I didn’t have a high school boyfriend, that had a lot to do with living on an RAF camp, they had proper chaps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love water features and those look rather good. I didn’t recognise the film from the quote and have never seen Last of the Mohicans. Please don’t hold it against me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course not, but you missed a great movie. Daniel Day Lewis was brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Can relate to the Digging for Victory, we had Victory Gardens – same concept. The water features are quite unique. The one in Black/White resembles something from outer space!!
    [PSST – I never heard of someone not seeing The Last of the Mohicans.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha me neither! Thanks G.P

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love beautiful gardens.

    On July 1st, Canada turns 151, which is barely a teenager as far as countries go. In the early 20th century, prominent citizens had a yearning for the old architecture from back home, and so they started building gardens with ruins in them – YES, they newly constructed things that look like ruins. That’s how desperate we are to have anything ‘old’ here. Canada has more green space than almost any other country

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to visit Canada, it has some spectacular scenery I need to see.

      Like

  13. (sorry, hit reply too soon)

    We have lots of green space and tonnes of beautiful park land, but not much of it is manicured the way your estate gardens are. Wowza.

    (sorry – you were afraid of a lengthy post, now I’ve left a lengthy comment)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha perhaps get Mr.Trudeau to invite our Duchess over..

      Like

  14. so beautiful photos….congratulations!
    I love so much Photography,
    have a nice w.e.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you too!

      Like

  15. What a lovely place, Fraggle. I enjoyed reading your history of the gardens too. There’s something particularly intriguing to me about water features. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan, I love water features!

      Like

  16. Wonderful and close-up of the waterfall is great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joshi 🙂

      Like

  17. I enjoyed your history of that wondrous garden and as always I had to look at and relook at… you great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] Part 1 HERE.    Part 2 HERE […]

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  19. I just love going on adventures via your blog!!!😍📷💚 You are such a fantastic blogger. Thanks for sharing this great post with us!💜😍🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re always welcome here Book’em ❤️😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay!!!!😍💚💙💜 I feel LOVED!😘

        Like

  20. […] 1 HERE. Part 2 HERE. Part 3 […]

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  21. A couple of nice quirky pics in there. I wonder if the ducks will jump? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were escaping the devil children 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Incredible 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Anything to do with water seems to fascinate me. I wonder why?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s quite mesmerising I think that’s why.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Great write up and a fab story. Seems like the duchess has managed to really turn the place around, so good on her. Plus the water features look fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. […] to go to Whitby a small seaside town (famous for being in Dracula story…sorry Fragglerocks http://fragglerocking.org is better than me at history stuff lol) near […]

    Liked by 1 person

  26. […] (Hogwarts if you’re an American reader 🙂 ) which I’ve featured on the Universe Blog HERE if you’re interested in that kind of […]

    Liked by 1 person

  27. […] castle. We’ve been here before so if you want to know about it the details are in this post HERE. This time we were looking at it from the road and walking in the park that surrounds […]

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