I walked around the rhododendron woods in the parkland of Bowood House yesterday. When the rhododendrons and bluebells are in flower the woods are an amazingly beautiful place. As you know, if you read this blog, the settings of scenes in my regency and even now my J.S. Lark thrillers are inspired by real places. I don’t think I have shared this one before, but at the heart of these woods is the Shelburne family mausoleum. When you look at the front, you will see that it is built in the style of a roman temple, and when you walk around to the back you will see that there is a steep slope to a crypt beneath this, where most of the family are put to rest. This slope meant that a horse drawn hearse could be steered to bring a coffin down.
This mausoleum was the inspiration for the funeral scenes in The Reckless Love of an Heir.
Topically, for the date I publish this, Queen Camilla’s closest friend, Fiona Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marchioness of Lansdowne, who stood by the Queen during the King’s coronation this weekend, owns Bowood House and Park. This is her family mausoleum.
Below as some pictures of the beautiful rhododendrons in the wood planted around the mausoleum in the 1800s.
Bowood’s Woodland Gardens are open for a short period each year Mid April/May until Early June, and are well worth a visit.