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Heat Wave

Country House

Derbyshire, England

By MARLEY BROWN

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave England Derbyshire Country HouseA garden design dating back to 1699 has been revealed in the withered lawns of Chatsworth House, one of England’s grandest stately homes and the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, a title held by members of the Cavendish family. Oliver Jessop, Chatsworth’s archaeological consultant, says, “The recent heat wave has provided an opportunity to capture details about the intricate layout of the gardens on the south lawn and elsewhere on the property.” Jessop directed a survey of Chatsworth as part of major restoration and renovation project due to be completed at the end of 2018. The house and its grounds, including an elaborate fountain carved between 1688 and 1691, are part of this work.

 

Among the features that were discernible in summer 2018 were routes of stone-lined drains that may help researchers interpret how the layout of planting beds, fountains, and footpaths changed over the centuries. According to Jessop, the Cavendish family was at the forefront of the Baroque tastes in garden architecture of the day. “The family employed leading designers to ensure that the settings of their houses were in keeping with trends and fashions,” he says. “In terms of scale and grandeur, Chatsworth was at times directly comparable to the royal palaces in London and elsewhere in Europe.”

Monastery Doorway

County Galway, Ireland

By ERIC A. POWELL

Monday, October 15, 2018

Heat Wave Ireland County Galway Monastery DoorwayAt the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery in Ireland’s County Galway, an unusual parch mark emerged outside a blocked doorway. Before that doorway was walled up, however, the passage, dating to the eleventh or twelfth century, once served as the entrance to the monastery’s cathedral. But in the fifteenth century, a new doorway was added to the monastery, and the old one likely filled in at that time. By then, generations of monks had entered the church through the earlier door, tamping down the earth outside. Now, more than 500 years after the entrance was sealed, grass still dies more quickly here during extreme dry spells, marking the monks’ ancient path.

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