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Sculpture and water in Cambridgeshire


Duxford Mill and The Bury

Tuesday 11th June

Our first visit is to historic Duxford Mill on the River Cam, where we will be welcomed for morning coffee and a guided tour by its owner Frankie Bridgwood and her head gardener Adam Matthews. The gardens, which were originally laid out in 1948, have been updated by the present owners with garden designer Mark Todhunter, who has helped to choose and place more trees and redesign the borders surrounding the mill. There has been a mill on this 11-acre site since at least the Domesday book and it is reputed that Charles Kingsley wrote parts of The Water Babies here when a frequent visitor in the 1860s. Features include a classical stone mausoleum, which was moved here from nearby Hinxton Hall and a tree house designed by local craftsman Richard Foxcroft, which offers a wonderful viewing point over the surrounding land. There are also several sculptures in the garden, amongst which is a bronze sycamore seed by Marko Humphrey-Lahti.

Next, we travel the short distance to The Bury in the village of Thriplow where we will be met by owner Hilary Russell and enjoy a seasonal lunch in the beautifully converted old threshing barn. The Grade II* listed house, built in 1725, is surrounded by parkland and two large walled gardens, filled with many old and new roses, peonies and other perennials. Mark Rumary and Julie Toll have both contributed to the garden’s design. There are many unusual sculptures around the garden, amongst which are a life-sized steel wire horse by the Scottish artist Laura Antebi and a striking dragon sculpture by Matt Lane Sanderson, positioned in a water feature at the centre of an interesting grass garden. Huge, ancient horse chestnuts line the old moat and there is an enormous, show stopping mulberry tree and interesting topiary. Hilary and her two gardeners will be our guides at The Bury and we will have afternoon tea here before leaving for our return drive to the station.

Tickets £135, Friends £120  

10.00am start. Meeting point: Whittlesford train station from where transport to the gardens is provided. (Check www.parkopedia.com if you wish to park at Whittlesford.) The day includes morning coffee, a seasonal two-course lunch with wine and afternoon tea.

Finish time: 4.30pm*

*Finish times are approximate – please allow for flexibility at the end of the day.