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27/07/2023 Siddington Park, General, Newsletter, Corporate
The Cotswolds is an area of the UK particularly renowned for its natural beauty and stunning architecture, much of which can be found in the town of Cirencester - the capital of the Cotswolds. Cirencester Park, the exquisite stately home set within 3000 acres of grounds, truly exemplifies this reputation. On Monday 17th July, the team at Siddington Park had the opportunity to visit this impressive mansion and were even lucky enough to receive a guided tour from its custodian, Lady Bathurst herself.
‘The Mansion’, as Cirencester Park is locally known, boasts several stunning and unique features, plus a rich history which our team had the chance to marvel at and explore on their visit. The original Tudor-Jacobean house was purchased by the 1st Earl Bathurst in 1695 who promptly knocked it down and rebuilt it in the classical style with new facades to the main fronts. Cirencester Park has remained the seat of the Bathurst family and over the years many of the Earls have made architectural adjustments which have resulted in the house we see today. In fact, the sprawling parkland and impressive classical architecture of the Estate have led to it being used as a popular filming location, lending itself particularly well to period dramas – you may recognise the house from the popular BBC period drama Poldark!
The 3000 acres of the park is open to the general public year-round from 8am to 5pm, but as the house is a residence, tours are rare. Lady Bathurst, the gracious hostess, was kind enough to allow her guests to tour her home, showing them all the wonders of the Bathurst Estate. Highlights included the library, containing historic texts dating from as early as the 1700s, the collection of portraits and family heirlooms, the beautiful Bathurst Woods and of course the mansion’s gardens. The garden’s piece-de-resistance is the world’s tallest yew hedge, planted in the 1720s, encasing the mansion, screening the house from view of Cirencester town.
The day was also a chance to discover more about Lady Bathurst’s charity, the National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) which promotes the care, wellbeing and welfare of retired service animals throughout the UK. The charity supports retired dogs and horses from the police, fire, prison and border force servicing by contributing to medical and veterinary bills, allowing these brave animals to remain with the families they love and to enjoy their autumn years in comfort.
Sarah, Duchess of York serves as Patron of the charity and is supported by influential ambassadors such as Deborah Meaden and Carol Vorderman who give their wholehearted support to the cause. After founding the NFRSA, Lady Bathurst now serves as Chairman and our team could tell just how passionate she is about her extremely worthwhile work.
The NFRSA has dreams of expanding to assist even more retired service animals, for instance those who have worked in the military, but, as a relatively young charity, to continue this good work they rely on donations. If you would like to help support this wonderful charity which does so much to assist heroic ex-service animals, you can find out more about how you can help here.
For more pictures from our visit to this stunning stately home, take a look at our gallery here.
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