Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An Unexpected William Blake painting at Arlington Court and a lot of Coleridge at Nether Stowey

Arlington Court in North Devon is a National Trust property with more than it's fair share of interest. One of the bedrooms has been converted to a Tapestry Room with 4 tapestries depicting Europe, Africa, Asia and America, in order to try and find out more about the tapestries, I looked in a guide book and discovered we must have walked past the William Blake painting, known as 'The Arlington Blake'. We went back into the house and found it behind a curtain to protect it from being damaged by light.

 There were reflections on the glass, so it's not easy to see. I think it's called 'The Cycle of Man', it is signed W Blake Inventor 1821. It is thought it was bought by Colonel John Chichester of Arlington from the artist, and was rediscovered in 1949 when Arlington was given to the National Trust. Part of the packing in the back of the painting is a copy of the Times dated January 11th 1820
 The tapestries were in a darkened room, so poor photos, but they give an idea of the their splendour.

And maybe best of all, detail from one, it was pointed out that people making the tapestries would not have seen many of the animals they were depicting.

 The gardens at Arlington Court are fabulous as is the carriage museum with the heron motif depicted in many places.
 Some lovely Candelabra Primulas
 The heron motif on the wall of the stables and below on the top of the clock tower on the stables.
 A couple of photos of a grain store standing on staddle stones.

The cream teas were also splendid with added bird interest:

On the way back to Swindon, a visit to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey was well worthwhile. The cottage and garden has been sensitively restored in the last year.
 This plaque advertises Coleridge's 3 year residence here.
 Tim in the gorgeous garden bower with twig pig
 An illustration by J Noel Paton RSA for the 1863 edition of the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'
A model of the sculpture of the ancient mariner erected recently at Watchet on loan.

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