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Saturday 25 September 2010

The Little Temple of Temple Newsam

At the top of a slope in the woods at Temple Newsam there is a listed building folly called 'The Little Temple', which is sadly now fenced off due to years of decay and vandalism. Beyond the fences now surrounding it, are a couple of benches from which one can view the House, the trees as they change through the seasons, and the meadow where the Opera takes place each year. It is a most beautiful spot and a place where I often pass the time of day with people who happen to be sitting on those benches. Sometimes there are dog-walkers (for a while, a couple of years ago, I saw a beautiful black poodle named Claude but he and his people no longer seem to come by and I would love to hear where he is now) or families or couples or mothers with prams and push chairs or joggers taking a break or pensive people on their own...it's always so lovely and reminds me often of the beautiful "Bread & Fishes" song about meeting people by chance and meeting angels.

Alas, the Little Temple itself falls daily into a greater state of decay.
Not only does the unpleasant graffiti remain alongside the fences surrounding the folly, but there are signs of rotting timbers and the whole structure being abandoned. Sometimes I imagine all the people who sat there when it was first erected; the vision of the builder, the brilliance of the landscape gardener, Capability Brown, who created such beauty, and the thoughts they thought, the dreams they dreamed....and did they ever know how many people would come to enjoy such loveliness? There is a notice which says it is undergoing restoration, and that same notice has been there for so many years that I wonder how much it will cost to restore it to its original beauty and how to raise the money for that to take place.

The actual stone upon stone, pillar upon pillar is irrelevant really, I suppose. It's just that it's at the perfect spot amid those incredibly beautiful trees and has such an atmosphere of centuries of being attuned to Nature...It's just somewhere I happen to love and, when I reach my fortune, I would like to restore it to its original glory...

The photos here are not recent - I just found them on the net - the first from here (I trust it is alright to take this from your site - thank you!)


and will post my own next time I take my camera....


Ted B said...

The item missing from the picture is "The Reflecting Pond. Originally, one could sit on the stone benches inside The Little Temple, and look down the gentle slope, where a series of shallow steps about four feet by four feet, led into a very large rectangular reflecting pool, water trickled down the steps, providing a soft tinkling, gurgling sound to complement the sound of blackbirds which nested in the nearby rhododendron bushes. Sadly all removed by Health & Safety because full time security guards could not be provided. I think the area now has a cinder running track.

Christina said...

Thank you so much for such a lovely description, Ted B! I had no idea and would have loved to have seen what you have so beautifully described - I can imagine it so clearly!

Ted B said...

Another beautiful spot in an area close by, was next to the second hole of the golf course. This area was a large rhododendron area with many large bushes. It was a favourite spot for blackbirds to nest, and as kids we would sit on the gentle slope of the sand trap bunkers, at the edge of the golf course, and discuss the possibility that "The Blue Lady" the ghost that is said to haunt Templenewson Mansion, realy existed. If golfers lost their golfballs, we would tell them where to find them for a 'tanner' Happy days in simple times.

Christina said...

Delightful memories....and I am sure similar memories are being made at this very moment by children in the park today :-)