Last week, stumped for new ideas for a day out, my wife checked through the National Trust handbook and found Upton House. She’s a good finder-outer. It’s a forty-five minute drive for us, just the other side of Banbury. It proved to be an excellent ‘find’ and one that we will be re-visiting.
Upton House became the country seat of Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted in 1927. Walter Samuel was the son of Marcus Samuel whose family business was the Shell Transport and Trading Company, although we know it better as Royal Dutch Shell.
The house is a treasure trove of Art and Porcelain, but on this occasion it was the gardens that we were interested in exploring. Set on steeply sloping land, the garden consists of a series of linked terraces that end in a small ornamental lake – The Mirror Pool – at the foot of the garden. The Mirror Pool, to quote a well-known advertising strapline in the UK, ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. It reflects beautifully. On the day we visited, the water was mirror smooth, and I found a small spray of reeds that provided a rewarding image.
The garden was just past its best, but even so we were surprised and delighted by what we saw. My wife ambled, I paused, shot, and hurried to catch up. We are like the tortoise and the hare at places like this.
Come back on Friday to see a gallery of images from the gardens.