Monday, 27 February 2012

Welford Park

In what now seems like an annual pilgrimage, in early spring we head down the A34 to Newbury to Welford Park.
The house, built on the grounds of an old monastery, maintained by the monks of Abingdon before dissolution, is an impressive building:
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And so is the church, one of only two round spired churches in Berkshire:
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But what people flock here in their thousands to see is the snowdrops, unlike  Waterperry gardens, what it lacks in varieties (most of the snowdrops are galanthus nivalis - the most common in England), in makes up in quantity.  The drive leading up to the house contains several thousand:
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But it is a the beech woods which is by far the most impressive, containing several million snowdrops.  It is probable these were introduced by the monks who returned from Europe who used them to decorate the monastery and use it for medical treatments.
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Although the monastery is long gone, the legacy of the monks lives on in what must be one of Berkshires most impressive natural sights.
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It is not just the several millions of snowdrops, the monks legacy also lives on in modern medical research, as snowdrops are being used into a possible treatment for Alzheimers: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091220175319.htm

2 comments:

  1. My snowdrops are blooming too, but this quantity is unbelievable! The photos make me smile. That would be pretty amazing if they had a medical use too.

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