Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society

Sezincote and Moreton-in-Marsh

What a glorious day we had on our trip to Morton-in-Marsh and Sezincote; we couldn't have asked for better weather!  We boarded the coach near Knowle cricket ground, many carrying sun hats ready to enjoy sitting out in the sunshine. We sped through the Gloucestershire countryside becoming aware of the new verdant green of the trees, foliage and fields; everywhere looked so lush and beautiful in the bright  spring sunshine.

Our first stop was at Morton-in-Marsh which so happened to be Market Day.  Looking from the coach window we could see the area was full of folks wandering around, enjoying the clement weather and finding bargains.   After alighting the coach, we all went our separate ways, some to enjoy a coffee away from the crowds, others to suss out somewhere to purchase a sandwich for later and others just to enjoy all the hustle and bustle milling around the various stalls and deciding where to spend their hard earned cash. There were so many stalls with some selling hot food, others cakes and confectionary - so much to choose from but time was getting on. It didn’t seem too long before we were looking out for our coach to take us to Sezincote; the name means "the home of oaks".

The House and estate are privately owned, and have been run by various people over the years. Unlike the National Trust there were no facilities or a tearoom; a shame as some of us would have enjoyed sitting in such sumptuous surroundings enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine!

To reach the house we had to cross over an ornate bridge decorated with Indian Brahmin bulls with views across to a water garden with many exotic trees and shrubs. We followed the gravel path to the house where we were greeted and were divided into two groups, some to explore the house, whilst the others wandered around the grounds.

We learned that Sezincote is a Mughal Indian Palace created by Charles Cockerell in 1805, and is surmounted by a copper dome and minarets, and set in a water garden with pools, waterfalls, a grotto and a temple to the Hindu Sun God. The architecture is of a Classical Indian style with a large curving Orangery framing the Persian Garden of Paradise.

Luckily when we climbed on board the coach, we were told that our next destination before leaving the Cotswolds was to Batsford Arboretum just across the road from Sezincote. Here we could enjoy a well deserved cup of tea and a slice of cake whilst sitting on a raised platform from the cafe, overlooking the well tended gardens and soaking in the sunshine.

Now it was time to climb aboard the coach for that final time before being driven homewards. Many thanks to Peter Reid who kindly organised it all and to Mike Hooper, his second in command. It really was a grand day out.

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Thanks as usual to our intrepid reporter and long time member, Hilary, for her write up of our day.