Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Deer Park


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.


Take care.
(especially if crossing Coe Fen).


24 comments:

  1. What a great place! I've never seen so many daffodils. That was a fine looking pheasant too.

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  2. The pheasant is gorgeous, such vibrant colour. Such a beautiful space in the college!

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  3. What a wonderful place indeed. I too think I have never seen so many daffodils, even in photos - in person definitely not. The cute Longhorns must be very happy ones.

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  4. Looks like a Daffodil Park rather than a deer park!

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  5. The cattle certainly look fit - and are lovely!

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  6. Such beautiful flower gardens you have there. Love that pheasant too, and seeing the longhorns. A wonderful place to go for a walk with a camera.

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  7. As always, beautiful photography! Thank you, Cousin John, for sharing the beauty of England with us!

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  8. Lovely, John! This time of year is so wonderful :)

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  9. What an amazing display of daffodils. I did see a deer this week, but it was in a much larger park, the Bolton Abbey estate. Alas, no photo though.

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  10. The daffodils must smell lovely, too. The pheasant is a great visual accent even though he doesn't look quite real. I really like the border by Scholars' Garden. Primulas are like happy little clowns. The cattle look cuddly, but, I know, you shouldn't cuddle cattle that have big horn even if they look like marble cake.

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  11. Gosh, what a wonderful daffodil/narcissus/jonquil field. Love it. And the pheasant? A terrific surprise very professionally captured.

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  12. Wow - that's a lot of daffodils! Nice pic of the pheasant too.

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  13. How pretty! All those daffodils and a lovely pheasant too. I've been to the Fitzwilliam Museum several times so I can imagine where this deer park garden is although I didn't know it was there:)

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  14. Incredible field of daffodils----so much to reveal--had no idea that was there!

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  15. Lovely posting! I really enjoyed reading and seeing all the flowers. What a beauty spot you live in there. I loved the colorful pheasant. My daughter in law will be going there soon, I should show her this place.

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  16. Awww, the longhorn cattle are lovely - their horns are so impressive and the pheasant is always lovely to see too, their plumage is gorgeous. Love the flowers here and the history of the place, very interesting. - Tasha

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  17. Those flowers are incredible--what a sight! I need to come to England in the spring. Hope to see you in September when we're traveling your way again, John.

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  18. beautiful photographs of lush and quiet oasis. Probably a good thing it is little known and not trampled upon my many people. Your images take my breath away. Thank you.

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  19. What a gorgeous place! Your captured it well. Too bad about the deer, but the pheasant is a great surprise.

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  20. Looks a fabulous park, thanks for sharing your wonderful photo's.

    All the best Jan

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  21. Not to mention the blossom trees John, beautiful field of sunshine! The horns on the cattle look a little more scary than the 'armless lady! The markings and colouring of the pheasant are incredible.

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  22. Your pheasant photo is amazing, the colours and detail. The Scholars garden is pretty, I like that colour scheme. Love the Longhorns.

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  23. Oh, wow, sure is a beautiful place. And what a wonderful photo of the pheasant! And love those Longhorns.

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  24. A host of golden daffodils, a riot of spring happiness! And the pheasant is stunning. What a wonderful place.

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