Sunday, 15 November 2015

Stowe Gardens

Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire are owned by the National Trust.  The gardens themselves consist of 250 acres, containing 3 paths reflecting the beliefs of their creator, Lord Cobham about the morality and politics of the day:

The Paths of Vice and Virtue represent the Greek god, Hercules’ struggle between these two choices. The Path of Vice takes place in the garden of love (designed by then head gardener, appropriately called Mr Love!). The temples in this area allude to stories of seductive women, sordid goings-on and partying to excess. Not for the faint hearted!!

The Path of Virtue takes us through an area of the gardens that represents heaven on earth. The temples here show good values, such as the Temple of British Worthies showing the great and the good of Britain’s history. Of course, taking the virtuous path through life isn’t the easiest, so there are many bridges to cross.

The Path of Liberty represents the political aspirations of Lord Cobham. As a simple metaphor it is the longest and hardest of all three walks, showing that politics is never easy. The temples along the way show Britain’s dominance in the eighteenth century. Hence the Temple of Concord and Victory celebrates Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War and Lord Cobham’s Pillar shows Cobham as a mighty Roman warrior.

(Descriptions taken from the National Trust website)

We didn't follow any one path in its entirety, just sort of wandered between them:

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