An elegant sufficiency

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The wall

When I drive in a westerly direction from home, my journey often takes me along a wonderful stretch of Cotswold stone wall. It's a particularly special wall, for not only does it run in a single stretch for more than a mile, the design is unusual with a ridge running most of the length about a foot from the top. When, as often happens, a stretch collapses due to a collision or maybe just the weather, it is repaired almost immediately by a team of stonemasons who work inside a specially constructed tent. When they are finished, it's nearly impossible to see where they have worked, so fine is their craftsmanship.

One end of the wall begins at this unassuming gateway, set at right angles to the road with two fine pillars.

The other end is the entrance to the park itself, and a small lodge at the gateway.

Apart from knowing that this was the boundary wall for Lypiatt Park, I knew little else about the place. Some time ago, we had a talk at my WI from someone who'd been a housekeeper, but at the time I made no connection with the grand country house where she had worked and my favourite wall.

But lo and behold, in this month's Cotswold Life magazine, the owner of Lypiatt Park is profiled and it would appear that exciting things are happening somewhere behind that wall as a Sculpture Park is planned. Formerly the home of internationally renowned sculptor, Lynn Chadwick , it appears to have also been won in a bet placed by Dick Whittington. Not only that, but it might also have been the location of a fateful meeting between Robert Catesby and his co-conspirators (inlcuing Guy Fawkes) when the plan for the Gunpowder Plot was finialised.

Who'd have thought it?



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