Should have been

Buoyed up by the success of our Grange visit this week, where we found 16 monkeys, I decided on another trip out. This time, alone, to Bodnant Gardens in North Wales. The climate here is perfect for monkeys, and I was sure I’d find at least one. The gardens were laid out from 1874 by Henry Pochin, a successful industrial chemist who bought the estate. Given the age of the garden, and the wealth of the family, I was sure it must contain a monkey.

The garden, but not the house, was given to the National Trust in 1949. They have a staff of about 30 gardeners and 30 volunteers who look after the garden. And it is a splendid garden indeed. The top part of the garden which surrounds the house is formal, with terraces which have been created in the sloping location, and the bottom part of the garden is a valley – The Dell – where the River Hiraethlyn runs through a lushly planted area.

Bodnant, view from top terrace.

Bodnant, view from top terrace.

The Pin Mill. A folly.

The Pin Mill. A folly.

A very nice example of a laburnum arch, which has finished flowering.

A very nice example of a laburnum arch, which has finished flowering.

Looking down into the valley.

Looking down into the valley, The Dell.

The Dell.

The Dell.

The old mill.

The old mill.

Gates designed by Ellis Clough

Gates designed by Clough Williams-Ellis (famous for designing Portmeirion village).

Back up by the house, the rose terraces.

Back up by the house, the rose terraces.

And the house itself. With a huge front lawn.

And the house itself. With a huge front lawn.

The front lawn. Where there should have been a monkey.

The front lawn. Where there should have been a monkey.

But, no monkey here.

Fortunately, on the way to Wales I stopped to catalogue a monkey I’d noticed before but not had a chance to photograph. This monkey is situated in the car park of a pub on the A41 just before the turn off to the A550 to Wales. In my life I must have driven past here hundreds of times – all our childhood holidays were spent in Wales and I’ve made this drive as a passenger numerous times. And never noticed this:

CH17.

CH17.

It’s in the grounds of a pub called The Chimneys – obviously a grand home in a former time. And famous for, well, its chimneys.

CH173

CH171

So, not a monkey-less day after all, and another monkey for the CH catalogue, bringing the total up to 17. And the overall total of monkeys featured on this blog is now a staggering 188 in the UK, and 3 international ones, making 191 in all.

Good work everyone.

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