Thursday, October 21, 2010

Woodstock House And Gardens - A Homeschool Field Trip

 Little Boy In The Big Woods!

 Dylan Had Such Fun Collecting Conkers!

Recently our homeschool group HEN organised a field trip to Woodstock House and Gardens.  I am ashamed to say that even though it is only a twenty minute drive from our home and that I have lived in Ireland for nearly 10 years; our family had not yet been to visit this landmark house and its magnificent gardens!

 Pretending To Ride A Horsey!

 Lunch Time With Our Fellow Home-Edders...
We Ate Under The Trees As It Rained All Day Long!

The evening before our planned field trip Brian gave us all an impromptu history lesson at dinner, filling us in on all the history surrounding Woodstock House.  After dinner and when Dylan was asleep, Amy and I 'googled' Woodstock and found the following historical facts and links:

  • The gardens has over four miles of foot paths – all restored since 1999
  • In the terraced garden, over 2,500 Buxus sempervirens (Box) were planted by our own garden staff
  • The creation of the Winter Garden in 1860 involved the movement by hand of more than 200,000 cubic yards of soil. It was dug away from the area now known as the Rockery.
  • The main footpaths in Woodstock were originally designed to be the width of two ladies dresses so that two ladies could walk side by side comfortably.
  • The box hedges were maintained at six inches high so that the ladies dresses brushed over the top of the hedge.

Leading Me Up The Garden Path!

 A Wonderful Fragrant Stroll Through The Walled Garden

On the drive into the estate I was saddened at the sight of the charred remains of this once great house...though there appeared to be scaffolding erected around the back so perhaps a restoration project is underway?  The children and I had a wonderful day, walking, talking, playing and learning with our friends.  We brought along historical print-outs of what we had found via the internet to share out with our fellow home-edders, which I think the Mama's appreciated. 

 The Walled Garden Was Actually Much Smaller Than Ours At Home
...But It Was Filled To The Brim With Beautiful Flowers And Mouth Watering Produce

 The Ornate Iron Gateways

The children had a blast finding conkers and other natural treasures with their friends and brought them home to show Daddy!  The walk was rather long for me and at the end, my hips were causing me much discomfort...but thankfully our day had reached its pleasant end and we proceeded to drive home again!  Phew...I have to say I was relieved to sit in a comfortable chair for a while once we had arrived home again! 

 The Tea-Room At Woodstock Gardens...Unfortunately It Was Closed During Our Visit!

Amazing Plants And Trees Were Abundant!


Chelle said...

That looks like a wonderful place to visit. I tried to find that article in my Above Rubies magazine, but I couldn't. But I think your right I will have to look through them again. My Mother - in law also told me a story about that same thing so thats why I didn't know. I am so glad I have connected with you.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

What a beautiful place to visit! Did you ever find out how the house burnt down? Hope your hips are feeling better!

Sarah said...

Yes Jackie...the house was firstly occupied in 1921 by the British troops otherwise known as the 'Black & Tans', which caused much resentment from the local community. Then during 1922; up to 1st July the house was occupied by the Free State Army...after they left; the following day the house was burnt down by the locals so that the troops could not return. It is said that even the local Catholic bishop was part of the torching party!

sarah in the woods said...

That looks like a beautiful place - especially the trees!

Erin said...

Oh, I miss those wonderful home school field trips w/the Irish ladies. Beautiful pics. Love the info. you researched and copied for people that were there.