Oakwell Hall is a 16th century Elizabethan manor house in West Yorkshire. It is surrounded by over a 100 acres of beautiful country park and it boasts lovely gardens, arboretum and orchard. Since it is only a short and pleasant drive from where I live I love going there with my camera. The Hall is a living museum that provides an interesting and fascinating insight into the household and lifestyle of late 17th century with its authentic and reproduced furnishings and utensils. It has been a while since I went inside the house and thinking and writing about it makes me want to go again. The romantic writer Charlotte Bronte (one of my all time favourite authors) had friends living here and she often visited. She also featured the hall as the home of the heroine in her novel "Shirley".
On this occasion I have chosen this rear view of the Hall because I like the light on the tree in bloom and the benches and steps giving a good foreground interest.
This is the Arboretum. It features over 30 trees that would have been available to gardeners of the 1700s. There is also a remembrance garden here, where people plant trees, put benches or standing stones in memory of their loved ones who cherished Oakwell Hall and spent a lot of time there. I think the Arboretum looks most beautiful at this time of year with clusters of daffodils strewn all over the place.
This is the Oak Tree cafe, its entrance hidden behind the tree on the right. It is such a lovely building and setting that it is virtually impossible for me not to stop by for refreshment and take it either outside to one of the benches weather permitting or just sit at an inside table in the cosy and homey atmosphere.
I was lucky to happen to be there right as these excursion school kids were leaving the Hall and were on their way back to the coach all dressed up in past times clothes. This image really takes me back in time and reminds me of re-enactment events taking place in the Hall and some parts of the country at certain times of year. Must make sure I attend one before long...they are great for photography!
This pond is part of the Wildlife Garden. The silvery afternoon light seemed to mellow its wild look and create a dreamy mood which I emphasized with soft focus processing.