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Steam Rally


in the county of Worcestershire

Acton Burnell Castle

Acton Burnell

in the county of Shropshire

Pictures of Lyme Park

a Historic Building in the town of Disley, in the county of Cheshire

About Lyme Park

Set amidst the grandeur of the high Peaks amongst softly rolling countryside of undisputed splendour is the magnificent house which has been the home of the Leigh family since Tudor times. The house and lands of several hundred acres passed to the National Trust in 1946.

The choice of building spot was inspired, from almost every room of the house there are views over the gardens, and of the rolling Cheshire Plains, and from the Deer park beyond the gardens, you can see the foothills of Wales and peer down on Manchester.

In 1550 the old hall was transformed by Sir Piers Leigh into a fine courtyard building, parts of which along with the early Renaissance gateway can still be seen. From 1650 onwards further improvements were carried out, and the architect Giacomo Leoni was invited to modernise the house. He built the magnificent west front, facing the lake, and gave the courtyard its graceful Italianate lines.

The sumptuous interior possesses work by Grinling Gibbons, the finest of which can be seen in the saloon, which is considered by many to be the showpiece of the entire house. Leoni had a hand in altering this room, as he did with the entrance hall with its noted Mortlake tapestries.

Within the interior, the use of colour is subtle rather than exciting. Gilded chandeliers perfectly compliment soft cream walls with richly embellished plasterwork, and beautiful oak floors are enhanced with magnificent carpets. Everywhere there are highly decorative mirrors, fine furniture, stunning porcelain (some blue and white) and there is a fascinating collection of English clocks. Both the exterior and the interior are reflective of an age of grace and extravagant living, and if on looking around you begin to think you have been here before, well that is hardly surprising - Lyme Park was the "Pemberely" for the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, a novel by Jane Austen.

There is a Dutch garden and an Italian garden, brilliant bedding plants providing year round colour, wonderful garden statutory, follies, and on the floor of the Orangery you can see the initials of the first Lord Newton, together with plants planted during his time. Also, in the Orangery there are Camellias said to be 175 years old, a 90 year old fig tree, and a magnificent cascading fountain.

This gorgeous house, contents and grounds can be enjoyed by all the family. Waymarked paths follow interesting nature trails, other paths lead you to lovely moorland and woodland walks. There is a children's play area, and a historic buildings trail takes you to see Lyme Cage, a restored hunting lodge, a relic from the days when hunting the stag was a traditional occupation at Lyme.

The house is open to the public from March to October. The gardens are open all the year round.

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