Weston-under-Lizard, Nr. Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8LE
Enquiries: 01952 852100. Fax: 01952 850430 „
Weston Park is the ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford, gifted to the nation by the present Earl and now in the care of the Weston Park Foundation. It has around 1000 acres of parkland, and is enclosed by five miles of stone walling. There has always been a manor house on the estate, and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book, but the present house was built in 1671. The house was designed by Lady Wilbraham, who was very much involved with the project, and the original receipts and orders for building materials are still at Weston Park. The park also has it’s own church, St Andrews which is still used as a parish church. The earliest part of the church is Norman, with a “wagon” timber roof, and beautiful stained glass some of which is Medieval. There are dwellings within the park, which are occupied mainly by people who work on the estate, and the Temple Of Diana is now also a private dwelling. The park’s public entrance is just off the notorious A5, in the village of Weston Under Lizard, just inside Shropshire. At the moment access to some of the parkland is denied due to the risk of foot and mouth disease (the deer park and the land which sheep or cattle graze on), this restricted area is cordoned off. But a lot of the park is available for you to explore, and if you are the energetic type you could cover some distance if you want to see it all. WOODLAND ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND – As always I am on the lookout for facilities that will appeal to children (and their parents). There is a sand play area for the very young, and older children can have fun with ropewalks, commando wire, a spiral slide and towers. This playground is situated in Temple Wood and has a refreshment kiosk. MINATURE RAILWAY - fun for kids and their parents, it goes into the depths of Temple Wood and the journey lasts for 12 minutes, there is a charge for this, £1 for children and £1.30 for adults. <
br>PETS CORNER – Although not open because of the risk of foot and mouth, it has to be mentioned because when it does open, it is something the children will enjoy. THE GARDENS – The well-known landscape gardener Capability Brown designed the “Pleasure Grounds” which include Temple Wood, and the Ha Ha, which is a sunken wall designed to keep livestock out of the formal gardens. There are some lovely trees, some of which are exotic, but lots of mature Sweet Chestnut trees, Maples, Whitebeam, Beech, Pine, Yew and Oak. In the avenue which used to run to the hall are some 300 year old Sweet Chestnut trees, these trees are old and gnarled and the trunks are huge, I was really impressed by them. THE FORMAL GARDENS – There are several formal gardens to walk through, all with a different theme, and all equally lovely in their own way. Upper Terrace – Laid out in the Victorian era. The Long Border – With ribbon Lavender hedge along it’s length. The Rose Garden – self-explanatory! The Italian Garden – A sunken garden designed to grow exotic fruits for the family. The Tear Drop Garden – The main feature is a tear drop shaped central bed with a statue of a weeping maiden. The Rose Walk – Some old rambler roses, Lavender and Standard Roses, leading to Church Pool and the Conservatory. The last four gardens have been re-designed in the early 1990’s. There is a Gift Shop, and The Stables Restaurant which serves lunches and cream teas (mmm yummy), the home made cakes are well… very good, I had to sample some for my op ;-) Prices are reasonable. THE HOUSE – The house is open to the public in the afternoons and there is a separate charge of £2.00 adults, £1.50 OAP’s and £1.00 for children. There are eight rooms open to the public (all on the ground floor) and each room has a guide who can provide you with it
217;s history, and don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s what they are there for! There are some fine art works in the house including paintings by Constable, Gainsborough, Stubbs and Van Dyck. The paintings are everywhere and if you like art then you will find them interesting. The library has a collection of around 3000 books, there are priceless antiques and porcelain to be admired and some wonderful tapestries. Other facilities are Toilets (including disabled) – First Aid Post – Public Telephone – Licensed Bar. Dogs are welcome on leads, but not allowed into the house. The park is a tranquil place to go, but a fun day out too, especially if you have children, plenty of open space for them to run around in. You could easily spend a day here. The park hosts regular events, so always wise to check that it is open to the public if you plan to visit, in the summer it hosts the V2001 festival, with a selection of well known bands, it is a two day event! Most of the people attending bring their tents and camp there :-) Events planned for 2001 include:- Opera in the Park (Mozarts Magic Flute), 30th June Balloon Festival, 14 – 15 th July American Railway Weekend, 21st/22nd July American Civil War Re-Enactment, 21st/22nd July Weston Park Music Festival, 2nd – 4th August V2001, 17 – 19 th August Midland Game and Country Sports Fair, 15 – 16 th September International Horse Trials, 4 – 7th October Bonfire and Firework Spectacular,4th November Charges are – Park and Gardens £2.50 adults £2.00 OAP’s £1.00 children. You can buy a family ticket for £6, which includes up to 2 adults and 3 children. The house is a separate charge as given previously.