Monday, April 16

A week at Madingley Hall

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Madingley Hall is a Jacobean and Elizabethan mansion located about four miles from the centre of Cambridge. I have often cycled past it and marvelled at the beautiful house. So when I found out I was going to stay there for one whole week - I was naturally jumping with joy!

The house dates back to 1543 and passed through several hands until sold to Colonel T. Walter Harding in 1905. Colonel Harding was an industrialist who had succeeded his father in the textile industry in Leeds and became the first Lord Mayor of Leeds (1898-1899). He found the hall in a poor condition but decided to renovate it - in 1906 work started on a large-scale restoration and reconstruction to designs by the architect John Alfred Gotch. Later ownership passed to Colonel Harding’s heirs who sold the Hall and its 300 acres of surrounding park and farmland to the University of Cambridge in 1948.

Colonel Harding
The University runs its Institute for Continuing Education at Madingley Hall and I took a short course there, which is how I ended up spending a week at the grade I listed house. Although the course was quite intensive, the house provided a very relaxed setting and there were many opportunities to wander off, soak up the Sun and photograph the house and gardens.
The impressive entrance 

View from my room
Walking up the avenue in the formal gardens 

Peeping out from the classroom windows

The Grade I listed gardens designed by 'Capability' Brown

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