Buckden Towers Knot garden

With Libby (centre) on Clare Bridge, Cambridge

With Libby (centre) on Clare Bridge, Cambridge

How often do you find that it takes the arrival of a visitor to sally forth and re-discover some of the jewels in your own backyard? The arrival of our dear American friend, Libby (whose family hosted me back in 2005 when I was doing a teaching assignment in an American High School) prompted a flurry of visits to local points of interest.

Fotheringhay church

Fotheringhay church

To name but a few:

Historic centre of Kimbolton and its Castle

Scarecrow festival in Abbotsley

Fotheringhay, its church and castle mound, and its connections with Richard III and Mary Queen of Scots.

Aldwincle with its connections with the poet John Dryden

Achurch, where John Quincy Adams (6th President of the USA) had his ancestral roots.

Little Gidding, with its connections with Nicholas Ferrar and TS Eliot.

But a point of special interest, on the Katherine of Aragon trail, was Buckden Towers and its Knot garden. With the expert

With Jane (left) in the Knot garden

With Jane (left) in the Knot garden

guidance of our botanist friend, Jane, we discovered the formal beauty of a Tudor garden, with its aromatic array of herb borders containing thymes, marjorams, hyssops, lavenders, rue and much much more.

Called the Queen Katherine garden, it would be easy to think that when Katherine of Aragon had been held prisoner here, she would have looked down from the Tower on such a thing of beauty. But most unlikely. Such gardens only came into vogue during the reign of Elizabeth I, and the inclusion of so many culinary and medicinal herbs testified to two tantalizingly contradictory notions:  first, that Tudor cooking was gaining richly in its use of new and unusual flavours, but its medicine (alas) was still based on the unproven methods of medieval England. Herbal medicinal mixtures simply did not work in the majority of cases, as testified by the very low life expectancy in the 16th century. Scarcely 10% of the people lived to the age of 40.

Buckden Towers, from the gazebo in the Knot garden

Buckden Towers, from the gazebo in the Knot garden

2013-07-22 16.59.07

View of the Knot garden


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on July 27, 2013, in Aspects of Britain and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It looks like I need to do some exploring too.. I cycle through most of those places and leave them untouched.. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Fearnan Village Association

Keeping in touch through the FVA

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2018 Compass Cycles.

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!


KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change


On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news


Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child


Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: