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.