SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018

Thenford Arboretum

Our autumn visit is to Thenford Arboretum, Lord and Lady Heseltine’s private garden near Banbury, which is open on four days a year only to private groups.
There are 70 acres of arboretum and ornamental gardens. The arboretum has been created since 1977 and contains more than 3,500 different species of trees and shrubs. The layout is a horseshoe-shaped ring around the house, and closed by a lake dug in the 1970’s. There is a further eighteenth-century lake, recently restored, and an ancient yew avenue. The whole of this area clusters around the little church of Saint Mary, which is reflected in the lake.
The old walled kitchen garden is in four sections – a herb garden, an aviary, a soft-fruit garden, and a quiet sitting area with a small pool. There are new heated glasshouses. There is a tunnel of wisteria, clematis and rambler roses, and many flower beds.
There is a sculpture garden of contemporary sculpture, mainly by British artists.
It takes about two and a half hours to tour the gardens, but visitors can break off at any point and return to their starting place. Toilets, including disabled facilities, are available in the Barn, where tea and cakes may be purchased.
Please note this is an afternoon visit leaving Blockley at 12.30 and Stow-on-the-Wold at 12.45.

Cost: Members and waiting list £22, Guests £24
Please send your cheque and the completed booking form by 1 October 2017 to George Derbyshire, 53 Mosedale, Moreton-in-Marsh
GL56 0HP (01608 652586 george.derbyshire@btinternet.com)

WEDNESDAY 16 MAY 2018

78 Derngate, Northampton

78 Derngate is the only property in England designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was engaged by a local businessman to remodel a Georgian town house. The property fell into neglect, at one time being used by the local girls’ school before an ambitious project restored the house to its original Charles Rennie Mackintosh specification.
We will have coffee and biscuits on arrival and a guided tour of the house and the adjoining visitor centre and gallery.
There will also be free time to explore the town centre of Northampton, uniquely both an ancient market town and a designated New Town. Well worth a visit are All Saints Church, two stars according to Simon Jenkins – ‘there are few finer 17th century churches outside London’ and St Peters Church. This is another two star Simon Jenkins church now in the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust – ‘the most outstanding Norman church in England’.

Cost: Members and waiting list £25, Guests £27
Please send your cheque and the completed booking form by 30 April 2018 to George Derbyshire, 53 Mosedale, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0HP
(01608 652586 george.derbyshire@btinternet.com)

Booking Form