Hello lovely people!
It’s May! The sun is shining, the skies are the clearest blue and we have a three day weekend. What could be better? I hope you’re all soaking up the sunshine and enjoying this little break.
For me, I’m playing host to my lovely family who have come to stay. My parents are so important to me so I wanted to make sure they had a lovely time.
Yesterday, we had a little trip to Nunnington Hall which was just as beautiful as ever. I’ve visited here before – see here for more!
What came next was really rather special. We decided to continue driving for 8 miles to find Rievaulx Terrace. None of us had been before so we were really excited to be outside, exploring in the beautiful sunshine.
The Rievaulx Terrance was created by Thomas Duncombe II between 1749-57. It took one hundred men, eight years to finish. Incredible! He wanted it to be a place where he and his guests could see a distant view of the medieval abbey ruins in the valley below. He also placed two classical temples at either end of the terrace. This terrace was one of the earliest triumphs of the Picturesque movement for landscape gardening.
We walked through the woodland forest which was so tranquil. You could only hear the birds and the wind. There is something quite beautiful about that and the feeling it creates. Along the woodland are different sculptures as part of an exhibition. My favourites were the little owls in the tree and the hedgehogs.
When you come to the end of the woodland, you walk out onto a lush, green terrace. Just hiding at the bottom is the first of the classical temples: The Tuscan Temple.
The temple is closed to visitors, however the windows and mirrors provide you with view points. There is rich plasterwork inside, a painted roundel of a winged goddess. The tiles are 13th century from nearby Byland Abbey.
Arthur Young who visited in 1770 said: “Ruins generally appear best from a distance.” I have to say, I completely agree with him. I didn’t know what I expected from this place, but I was completely overwhelmed and in awe.
Every step you take reveals more of the ruins from below. It completely took my breath away. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.
Photographs will never be able to do it justice. A photo can’t capture a feeling. Yet, I do hope it shows some sense of the wonder that this place creates and embodies.
Continuing the walk along the terrace brings you to the second temple: the Ionic Temple. Just when I thought this trip couldn’t get any better, we went inside.
Here the Duncombe family would have fed and entertained their guests. The interior is lavish and oozes elegance. I honestly have never seen anything like it in my life. I probably will never see anything like it again.
The frescoes show mythological scenes and are the creative work of Italian painter Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis, dated around 1753. The centre of the ceiling shows Aurora, Apollo and the Muses. It is beauty defined.
This day meant so much more than seeing beautiful places. It was time for my family and I to relax, breathe and restore and value our time together. The view and the temples were an added bonus. It was exceptional.
I wish you all a wonderful bank holiday. Enjoy the sunshine, you all deserve it!
Big love all xxx