Hestercombe is a house and gardens that have been saved from the brink and restored over the last 20 years. The landscape garden was created in the 18th century and then in 1909 Lutyens and Jekyll designed and made the shrubbery and terraces. Hestercombe is just outside Taunton and is open all year round. Here are a few photos.

Hestercombe 02The main house – was used for many years as the HQ of the Somerset Fire  Service

Hestercombe 29Looking over the formal gardens

Hestercombe 30It is worth comparing Hestercombe’s gardens with those at Castle Drogo – both were designed by Lutyens

Hestercombe 22The water features run with water out of the Quantocks

Hestercombe 21Must go back in the summer – this will be aide then with roses

Hestercombe 16Autumn sun on the terraces

Tomorrow I will share some photos from inside the house

My Barcelona heritage weekend

I haven’t flown for 7 years as my contribution to combating climate change but last weekend I flew to Barcelona for the weekend to celebrate my partner finishing her Open University degree. OK I felt pretty guilty but wow did we have a good long weekend!

I love architecture and of course Barcelona = Gaudi. We were only in the city for 3 days but we did make the most of it – I reckon we walked around 10 miles a day visiting as many of the ‘sites’ as we could. Of course I took my trusty Nikon DSLR D7000 and here are a few of my pictures. In total I took around 1100 shots and the best ones you can view on my Flickr site where you can find 11 Sets of pictures.

In my mind, as we criss-crossed the city, I was thinking that Gaudi was a contemporary of Lutyens and I kept trying to see if there were connections. Gaudi is the Catalan Modernist whereas Lutyens is the British traditionalist who  stretched boundaries. Both had major defining impacts on world cities: Barcelona and Delhi respectively.

I concluded that both men had a lot in common (please note I don’t know my history well enough to know if they met or have been compared before). Both men loved their roof scapes, had extraordinary attention to detail, designed furniture and are considered the foremost architects of their era. If you know of published critiques of their ‘combined’ careers I would love to hear about it.

Here are a few snaps from my Barcelona trip – some Gaudi related – some not.

Approaching La Sagrada Familia – Gaudi most ambitious and outstanding project – awesome and epic – a must see place and story
My Flickr photoset is here.

The balconies at Casa Batllo.
My Flickr photoset is here.

Gaudi’s first major work Casa Vicens.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The lizard in Parc Guell – the public space Gaudi designed for the people.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The designed ventilation shafts on the roof of La Pedrera.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The World Trade Centre on the beach.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The evening lightshow at the Palau Nacional.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The tower at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic venue.
My Flickr photoset is here.

The cathedral in the Old Town.
My Flickr photoset is here.

Modernist art in Parc Joan Miro.
My Flickr photoset is here.

A fabulous city – well worth a visit – so pleased I went – I would really like to go again some time soon!