Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bolton Blog

Traveling home eastwards does much worse stuff to your internal rhythms than going the other way! Night 2 back here in Kingston, and I lay awake for hours before giving up the struggle at 6.30 and starting to get some blog organized instead.

After the wedding I spent a few days with Kate and Chris in Bolton. They took me to a couple of Tudor “halls” which seem to abound in that part of the world. Most are open to the public and full of interesting things. The first one was full of tiny Girl Guides and Boy Scouts (“Beavers”) on a treasure hunt, but they only came up to waist height and they were certainly having fun. I’m not sure why so many of these historic houses have been preserved in Lancashire, but it’s good to see them so well patronized. The original owners would surely never have imagined us common folk wandering through their rooms.

Astley Hall
Tudor, though it looks a bit weird outside. Wonderful plaster ceilings, but no photos allowed inside!

Bramall Hall
Fascinating original Tudor wall paintings inside, but again no photos allowed!

They also indulged me by taking me to Martin Mere, a wildfowl collection (ducks, geese, swans etc) that is adjacent to an area of wetland on the Lancashire coastal plain. So not only did I get to see some gorgeous captive birds, but I was also able to add several exotic wild species to my trip list (which finished up at 86 species, by the way).

Hawaiian Ne Ne
Obligatory member of all wildfowl collections. Strangely, no Cape Barren Geese, which are usually equally common in collections.

Male Smew
Photo hardly does this spectacular bird justice.

Common inside and outside the collection.

1 comment:

  1. Don't mind me I'm just playing catchup. Lovely photos!