A deer park? In the centre of Cambridge? Well, yes. Sort of.
Next to Peterhouse is a very small deer park (once the smallest in England) and there haven't actually been any deer for nearly a hundred years but the name persists, even though it's officially called The Grove.
Though the deer have perished the daffodils flourish, much better than they would have if the deer were still around anyway. The medieval walls which stopped the deer from straying can also still be seen.
Although pretty titchy for a deer park it's a wonderful space to find in the centre of town, and one which is never suspected by people roaming the city streets. If you know the area then you might be able to get your bearings from the picture above - the building in the background is the back view of The Fitzwilliam Museum.
The reason this small college, which only admits about 75 undergraduates each year, has so much space is probably because it was originally on the edge of the old city. The "Peter.." element of the name derived from the church of St Peter-Without-The-Gate, with which it was once closely associated. "Without-The-Gate" meaning that it was just outside the gates of the city, not that some villain has lifted it off its hinges. Although some of the daffs were past their best, others were just coming into bloom. And there's still wildlife to be seen....
This magnificent cock pheasant has found a wonderful sanctuary, away from the attentions of the shooting fraternity.
I haven't got much to tell you about the above photo so perhaps now is a good time to point out something which I forgot to mention last time:
Remember the Hall, the oldest building in Peterhouse, the one which has served as a dining-hall for over 700 years? I should have said that it was once at the cutting-edge of technology; it was only the second building in the country (after the Palace of Westminster) to be lit by electric light. This was a gift from Lord Kelvin, who'd studied at the college, to mark the college's 600th anniversary.
Another unexpected piece of modernity is the William Stone Building, which you can see from the gardens. At eight storeys tall it almost counts as a skyscraper in Cambridge, which has very few tall buildings. Although it's part of Peterhouse it stands at a considerable distance from its historic core.
A gate leads through to the Scholars' Garden which, though perhaps not at its best in April, is home to this strikingly planted border.
There are statues too in the garden, as well as more daffodils. All in all a delightful place to wander.
While poking about, looking for things to photograph, I chanced upon a gap through the bushes which revealed.....
.....well, not deer for sure. Longhorn cattle are grazing on the neighbouring common land, Coe Fen. These are British Longhorns, of course, rather different from their Texan cousins in that their horns curve inwards, framing their faces.
(especially if crossing Coe Fen).