A foggy day at Painshill

landscape garden

Turkish tent and five arch bridge

As regular readers of this blog will know, one of my favourite local locations is Painshill Park, an eighteenth century landscape garden in Cobham. When I woke up one morning late last month to find a heavy fog, I took my trusty Fuji down to Painshill for a ramble.

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Gothic temple and five arch bridge

The mist had coated everything in the finest dew and the spiders’ webs were looking stunning against early Autumn foliage.

Autumn web

Autumn web

Every tuft of grass bore a sparkling hammock of silk.

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Hammocks of gossamer and dew

Berries of every hue reminded me that, in the words of the immortal Keats, this was a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

berries and leaves

Red berries

Elderberries

Elderberries

Not to be outdone, fungi of all kinds were busy decorating the grass,

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A toadstool in the park

the forest floor,

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Toadstools in the wood

and every tree stump.

fungus

Bracken fungus (maybe)

Most of the trees had yet to start turning, but there were a few obliging maples dropping their pastel leaves prettily onto the banks of Painshill Lake, just to give me some foreground interest.

folly and autumn leaves

The ruined abbey

In the mist, everything was still. Even sound seemed to be muffled, and it felt as if I had the whole park to myself.

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Painshill Lake

The Grotto was closed but I explored the outside.

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View through the Grotto window

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Nature colonising the Grotto

I often think the Gothic Tower, one of Painshill’s many follies, is a little too pretty to be truly gothic, but in the mist it did look a little bit spooky. A very little bit.

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The Gothic Tower

In the woods, I came across these dens, no doubt made by parties of children. Blair Witch, anyone?

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‘Mysterious’ dens

They were not far from The Hermitage, one of my favourite follies.

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The Hermitage

For a while in the eighteenth century, every self-repecting landscape garden had to have a hermit. Painshill was no exception although story has it that the first man hired for the job lasted only two weeks before he was discovered in a local hostelry drowning his sorrows! He was never replaced.

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Inside the Hermitage

Every time I go to Painshill I find something new, whether it be one of nature’s works of art or a fragment of the craft of people.

stone carving

A fragment of times past

I made a mental note to go back again later this month to see the Park in its full Autumn glory.

Painshill Park

The Chinese Bridge

Another of my posts about Painshill, including some of its history, is here.

The Watcher

silhouette

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
John Keats, ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet