Coleorton Hall Gardens 1827

Special collections of Leicester University the Excursions of William Fry (1763*1849). In 1827 he was visiting relations in the Loughborough area and on one day after visiting Ashby de la Zouch, he was passing the Hall and had the opportunity to see the grounds, Attached are his description.

After we had taken a cup of tea at the Queen’s Head, Ashby de la Zouch, we passed on through Cole-Orton. On our arrival at the white-gate, leading to the House of the late Sir George Beaumont Bart we, by mere accident, saw one of the Servants at the Gate. We asked her, it we might be permitted to walk round the Gardens, She said, certainly, and immediately opened the gate for us, & my Cousin fastened the reins of the horse to a tree, & when we had walked through a long avenue, with trees on each side of us, we saw the House which built with stone, before it, there are beautiful green lawns, gravel walks, Urns, and a Sun-dial. The Grounds are ornamented with a great variety of most beautiful and scarce Flowers, surpassing

all possibility of description, displaying the Colours of the Rainbow. Among The Flowers which particularly attracted my notice, was the Rhododendron (of a very beautiful kind) in full bloom, the colour of it, is a brilliant variety of Lake. At the further end of the Garden is a Terrace, with a long, smooth gravel walk, from thence, there is a very extensive picturesque prospect over a considerable Valley, & in the back ground a grand display of Charnwood Forest Hills. Taking our departure from the Terrace, on the left hand side of the Garden we enter into a deep Valley filled with an uncommon variety of Trees, foreign, and native; the different tints of the green. foliage, surpassed every thing of the kind that I had ever before beheld – Here are several Bowers formed in circular arches

of shrubbery over your heads, through which, even in the hottest days of Summer the rays of the sun cannot penetrate. In one part of this Valley is a fish pound, surrounds with Rocks & Trees. After you have ascended out of the Valley, you come upon gravel walk, at the end of which is the old Church of Cole-Orton, a very curious piece of Antiquity; and to all these things the perfumes of the Atmosphere & the singing of Birds, rendering the Scene highly picturesque. It is quite out of my power to give adequate description of this charming spot. It reminded me of Martins Gay Picture of the beautiful Garden of Paradise. No wonder, that Sir George Beaumont has laid out his Grounds with so much taste; he was considered to be the first Amateur Artist

for Landscape in this kingdom. I have seen many of his Paintings at the Royal Academy. He very seldom omitted to send one of his eminent Productions every year, always much admired; but this is not at all surprising, when we consider, that many of the Professors of the fine Arts, could not excel him. After having passed a very pleasant day, we got to Loughborough about 8 o-clock in the Evening. As soon as I return to London, I must call in Pall Mall, to see the liberal Presents of Pictures, which Sir George made to the National Gallery, a short time before his death.