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9th June 2019 – Acton Court, South Gloucestershire

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As I sit here writing this blog (and watching the ICC Cricket World Cup from sunny London) we are having a torrential downpour. Really I shouldn’t be surprised as when editing my photos from our visit this morning to Acton Court, a Tudor manor house near Latteridge in south Gloucestershire, I could see that the weather was quite threatening and the photos rather moody.

In fact we were very lucky to complete our visit to the garden (which was open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme) in the dry. We really enjoyed the vegetable garden, the wild meadows, the wild flower garden and the old English roses as well as the butterflies and insects.

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DSC04624Meadow brown butterfly

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As well as the lovely refreshments (coffee and home made cakes) there were stands from the Hawk and Owl Trust and Owl Occasions  although the few owls on display looked very nervous and, to me, sad.

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DSC04560Great grey owl

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Acton Court’s website (https://www.actoncourt.com/) says the following of the history of the manor house:

“In 1535, one of England’s most colourful kings, Henry VIII, came to stay at Acton Court with his second wife, Anne Boleyn, while on his summer Progress around the West Country. The owner of Acton Court, Nicholas Poyntz, wanted to impress his sovereign, so for Henry’s pleasure, he built a magnificent new East Wing on to the existing moated manor house. The new wing was a splendid testament to Nicholas Poyntz’s loyalty to his King. He went to immense trouble and expense to impress Henry, decorating the state apartments lavishly and fashionably. He was well rewarded as it is thought he was knighted during the royal visit.

Today, the East Wing which was built in just nine months comprises most of what remains at Acton Court. It offers a rare example of 16th century royal state apartments and some decorations which are said to be the finest of their kind in England.”

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Acton Court is open to the public for three National Garden Scheme Days in June, and three Heritage Open Days in September.