16 Apr 2013

Down by the river

Whenever I go back to my home county I like to spend some time by the stretch of the Thames where I grew up and on Sunday we went to Caversham Court which is a public garden on the north bank of the river near the county town of Reading.  On the opposite bank are the boathouses for the local rowing club, the town promenade where my family used to come and picnic or sometimes take a trip on a pleasure boat run by a company that has been trading for many generations. The advertisement (below) was taken from one of my collection of old information books about Berkshire, published in 1901.


Going to feed the swans is a popular outing by the river and it has become a tradition when the Yorkshire cousins meet up with their Berkshire cousin (who took this photo).

                                                     We saw the black swan again...

                                                           and some fungi.

St. Peter's Church was built in the 12th century and the medieval community of Caversham developed around it.  The old rectory known as Caversham Court was originally a Tudor timber-framed building that was replaced in the mid 1800s by one designed by A.W. Pugin.
The gardens were laid out in the 17th century as a private retreat surrounding the house.  In the 1930s the grounds were first open to the public and in recent years some restoration work has taken place in different areas of the garden where the terraces and lawns go down to the river bank.

  There are many old trees in the gardens, including this mulberry.

The green clumps in the tree are clumps of mistletoe. It can be seen everywhere in the area.

                                         Flint and brick are typical local building materials

There's a small cafe in a part of the stable block and the present rectory with the tall chimneys is on the other side of the screen wall.  There are many other old buildings and features in the grounds that we will, hopefully, return to see another time.


  1. HI Linda,

    Must be wonderful going to your home country again and I loved all your photos. How gorgeous all the swans on the river are. A beautiful place and looks really peaceful.


  2. What a beautiful place, I've never been to this area so it was lovely to see all your photos. You must have some wonderful memories of your childhood visits there. I love the old mulberry tree and the flint and brick walls. Those 1901 steamer excursions must have been something special to look forward to each summer:)

  3. What a lovely place to visit when you return to your home county. What a wonderful setting right by the side of the river, it looks so tranquil there.

  4. Hello Linda, I just discovered your very lovely blog through Betsy blog... I love seeing all your photos down by the river.. The bird life, flowers and structures are all wonderful.. I just became a follower... Hugs Judy

  5. It does look such a lovely tranquil place to be. x

  6. This is a great walk round a quieter part of Reading. Really interesting. Jx

  7. Oh Linda... That is so neat!!!! What I would give to visit Reading (and area)... So much beauty and so much history... The rectory/church are fabulous... AND--I'd want to take an excursion.. Think I'll close my eyes and do just that!!!!! ha


  8. Caversham Court looks a lovely place, and architecturally I do like the combination of flint, brick and stone work.

  9. qu'il est agréable de venir faire un tour chez vous
    une promenade au bord de l' eau
    avoir du pain dans les poches pour nourrir les canards
    à bientôt

  10. It looks as if the river is a wonderful place for an outing. I really like the garden with the old trees and the old buildings. The Spring flowers are beautiful as well.

  11. Oh how lovely, I did enjoy this.
    Those swans are a treat and have brightened up my day no end.xxxx

  12. When I saw the swans, I suddenly thought of a scene from The Tudors, a Showtime series produced for television...Henry VIII had a white swan on his dining table to impress Jane Seymour. It was an unfortunate use of a swan and likely to be purely fictional. I hope!
    Anyway, this was such a lovely countryside tour. How lucky you are to be able to feast your eyes on all this history!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!