The Abbey was first constructed as a monastery in 1180 so really has some history attached to it. During the 18th C the building was apparently used as a public house but by the late 19th C the building was in a ruinous condition and it wasn't until 1912 that a Captain F.W. Grantham began restoration work. Then, in 1943 the abbey was purchased by William Foyle owner of Foyles Bookshop.
I first visited Beeleigh Abbey about 30 years ago when Kate was a little girl and I got myself a little job, just a handful of hours a week, working from home for the owner at that time, Christina Foyle.
Occasionally then, I was able to see the gardens and sometimes fortunate enough to go into the house and the abbey. It is a really lovely building and whilst the current owners, Catherine and Christopher Foyle now allow the public to view the gardens on specific open days, the house remains private and closed but that is understandable, after all, it is there home!
On this visit we missed seeing the peacocks that used to wander across the lawns. We did ask the lady at the entrance but she said that the last one had passed away recently.
The housekeeper who used to work there for Miss Foyle told me once that she used to cook fillet steak to feed to the the foxes. The idea being that if the foxes were happy and well fed they would leave the peacocks in peace.
Whether this actually really worked or not, I have no idea. Although at a guess, I would think most foxes at that time residing in that vicinity knew exactly where they'd be heading for dinner.
The new owners have spent quite a lot of time restoring the garden and it was lovely that we could spend a couple of hours just wandering in the peace and quiet.
A small marquee was in the garden where we were able to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and some homemade cakes.
Here are just a few photos so that you can enjoy the gardens with us!
I thought I'd finish this post by showing you Kate's scarf that is now my scarf.
Remember, she wasn't keen!
Well, I really love the colours of this one and I'm looking forward to wearing it when we do have some cool evenings.
I've still got some sewing on the go and some knitting on the needles but, as we are having such a lovely sunny, lazy, summer, everything is on a go slow!