The great thing about my travels this year has been the surprises found along the way. Most of these have resulted in posts on Sign of the Times, so I was pleased to find something more fitting for Veg Plotting this week.
This is the delightful view I found on Tuesday morning. It's from Richmond Hill looking over the River Thames and London towards Hampton Court and beyond, as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day. I was standing on Terrace Walk at the time, a broad traffic-free walkway which is Grade II* listed.
There are some fantastic interpretation boards at the spot, where I learned this view is protected by an Act of Parliament. It was under threat from development at the turn of the 19th century, so parliament was lobbied and eventually the Richmond Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act was passed in 1902.
The land you can see in the photo's foreground is Terrace Field, a steep meadow which is cut for hay in September to allow the six spot burnet moth to complete its life cycle.
I like the message at the end of the first interpretation board I found:
Their example should inspire us to fight for
what is worth saving for future generations
Further along (when walking towards the centre of Richmond) are the Terrace Gardens which are filled with long flower borders at the top and lined with plenty of benches to stay and admire the view.
The scene from those benches includes plenty of sloping lawn with large beds of seasonal bedding in the Victorian style, plus specimen trees. I missed the rockery, rose garden and conservatory filled with tropical plants, but I saw enough to agree with myself that this was indeed a most pleasant spot.
However, I DID find the pond complete with its statue of Aphrodite by Allan Howe. She replaced the cast iron fountain in 1952, which was removed as part of the WWII war effort. She was launched to much furore at the time as she was considered to be in bad taste. She has the affectionate nickname 'Bulbous Betty', which reminds me of two famous statues I've seen in Dublin, 'The Floozy in the Jacuzzi' (Anna Livia monument) and the 'Tart with the Cart' (Molly Mallone).
She ensured I continued along my way to Richmond station with a smile on my face.
What surprises have you met on your travels this year?
|A pause for a final look before going on my way|