Maoris and a secret garden

May 18, 2013

IMG_0200As new members of the National Trust, we’ve recently explored the Natural Play Trail at Box Hill and discovered fairies in Haughley Park’s bluebell wood.

Just a short drive away from Hatchlands is Clandon Park – a Palladian mansion created to entertain and impress by the politically powerful Onslow family. It contains a superb collection of 18th-century furniture, porcelain and textiles, much of which was acquired by the connoisseur Mrs Gubbay. The Surrey Infantry Museum provides a rich account of the county’s military history.

Given it was a clear day and we had a tired toddler in tow, we opted to save surveying the inside the mansion IMG_0256for another day. Not to say we couldn’t enjoy a nice relaxing meal in the restaurant before setting off to exploring the wider parkland.

The seven acres of gardens are home to a small parterre, a walled Dutch Garden and Hinemihi, a Maori meeting house brought back from New Zealand in 1892.

Hinemihi is the only historic Maori meeting house in the UK and one of a handful outside New Zealand. It bears the name of a female tribal ancestor referred to as ‘she’. She was carved in the shadow of volcanic Mt Tarawera in North Island close to Rotorua.

IMG_0235An outdoor exhibition of giant photographs was on show in the gardens. It focused on the beautiful landscape and wildlife of New Zealand. POD was delighted to see a photograph of a goat – otherwise known as a moose. She learnt fir cones don’t taste very nice.

Huia’s Dell, the children’s area, was a great place for POD to play closely followed by the running away from her parents game. Clandon Park also offered a flint grotto and we walked through an avenue of trees to a beautiful church. The nearby meadow was just a sea of daffodils.

The fabulous Dutch Garden was originally modelled on the Sunken Garden at Hampton Court. It was clandon 3overgrown, covered in thick undergrowth and had a yew hedge of over 30ft high. That was until a National Trust employee came across it in 1971. Today, the garden is centred around a small statue in a circular pool, with clipped hedges and topiary.

What an incredible find that must have been, discovering a secret garden hidden behind an enormous hedge.

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18 Comments

  • Reply Coombemill - Fiona May 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Wow what a beautiful and interesting place to visit and explore. The Maori meeting house looks in excellent condition as are all of the gardens, your pictures are beautiful and POD looks so cute. Thanks for sharing with Country Kids.

    • Reply Charly Dove May 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you Fiona – it’s a fabulous place, just up the road from fairies in the bluebell wood at Hatchlands 🙂

  • Reply Jaime Oliver May 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    This looks fab Charly I love the picture of POD peering into the fountain xx

    • Reply Charly Dove May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Jaime – a really great place 🙂

  • Reply LauraCYMFT May 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Gorgeous pictures. Looks like a fun day out.

    • Reply Charly Dove May 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks Laura, it’s a fabulous place. We loved the Maori house and the secret garden 🙂

  • Reply Nichola Fabfortymum May 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Beautiful pictures, I love them all but had a real smile at POD tasting the fir cone. Her coat is gorgeous too. The garden is stunning, isn’t it fantastic that they found it and now everyone can share it, just beautiful x

    • Reply Charly Dove May 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Thank you so much for such lovely comments Nichola, it’s a great place. I love the history around the garden – amazing! POD didn’t enjoy her fir cone much 🙂

  • Reply Charlotte May 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Looks like a wonderful place to visit! x

    • Reply Charly Dove May 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Charlotte – it was just lovely 🙂

  • Reply Leila - Mud Mud Marvellous Mud May 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The photos of your little one are just beautiful. Definitely gonna give this place a visit.

    • Reply Charly Dove May 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you Leila, do visit it’s a great place 🙂

  • Reply older mum in a muddle May 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    What a find, what a gorgeous place to visit. Your pictures of Pod are gorgeous – love the one of the pine one – Pod and Cone – that could be a name of a pub!

    • Reply Charly Dove May 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Thank you so much. Loving the idea of the Pod and Cone 🙂

  • Reply Claudia May 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    what a magical place! your little girl is beautiful. love her coat

    • Reply Charly Dove May 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      It’s a great place Claudia, our toddler had a whale of a time too! Coat is Monsoon 🙂

  • Reply PODcast | Exploring Polesden Lacey | PODcast October 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    […] have been a few National Trust posts on PODcast already including Fairies and Bluebells, Maoris and a Secret Garden and Discovering Box […]

  • Reply PODcast | The year in pictures January 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    […] was the month POD ran free at Newlands Corner, saw fairies in a bluebell wood and visited a secret garden. She sat in a puddle at Box Hill, licked her first lolly and blew her first dandelion […]

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