Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stonyhurst College Gardens

Stonyhurst College
Stonyhurst College

Stonyhurst College is a Roman Catholic boarding school near the village of Hurst Green on the Longridge to Clitheroe Road.  The school has an interesting history, being originally founded in France to educate English Catholics when that kind of this was frowned upon at home.  Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien was a frequent visitor to the area, as his son taught at Stonyhurst, and is said to have found inspiration for his novel The Lord of the Rings here.

St Peter's Church and Stonyhurst College from the gardens
St Peter's Church and Stonyhurst College from the gardens

Both the gardens and house are open to the public; we visited the gardens, which cost £1 per adult.  The gardens feature an ornamental pond with goldfish and water lilies, a rose garden, formal lawns and borders surrounded by tall yew hedges, and a walled orchard.  A selection of mature conifers frame the views across to Clitheroe and the hills in one direction, and St Peter's Church and the college buildings in another.

Apples in the walled orchard
Apples in the walled orchard

Bee feeding on a yellow flower
Bee feeding

Bee feeding on a pink flower
Another bee

A Hobbit? Robert didn't get offered a scholarship (boy pulling a funny face).
A Hobbit? Robert didn't get offered a scholarship.

Water lily
Water lily

The garden area open to the public isn't massive, so it didn't take long to view it all, but those looking for a longer walk can follow the public footpaths running through the estate.

St Peter's Church - a nice place to get married
St Peter's Church - a nice place to get married

You can find out more at the Stonyhurst College website - details of opening times and admission charges are here.

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