Tuesday 8 April 2014

Wet afternoon in Charlton

Drive through and it seems an oddly incongruous village nestling on the edge of the Thames and the Southern-most Easter-most edge of London. Charlton is famous (locally at any rate!) for many things... we'll start at Charlton House.

Built during the reign of James I, Charlton House is generally considered to be on of the finest and best preserved Jacobean mansions in London. Now owned by Royal Greenwich Borough Council it houses (amongst other things) Charlton House Library, the Mulberry Tea Rooms and various rooms available for community use (including weddings!).

Charlton House and the free standing arch (no path, no road)

The flowerbed, set out for spring (Valentines maybe?)

The famous Mulberry tree and orangery

Mulberry tree is budding!

Branches of the tree

Tree trunk of the Mulberry tree

Spring is here - Narcissus
Bluebells (not a patch on Bluebell Woods)
White Bluebells, the faeries have been by...

A slightly confused daisy!
Charlton House dates back to the 17th Century, and has the traditional "E" shaped layout with a chapel and a gallery (as every fine home of the time would have).

The arch in front of the house and the orangery (converted to a public convenience but now closed) are enthusiastically attributed to Inigo Jones.

Equally enthusiastic is the claim of the mulberry tree (behind a protective wrought iron fence) to be the first of its kind in England. The story goes that it was planted at the behest of King James I to breed silk worms. Unfortunately this is a black mulberry tree and the silk worms prefer the white mulberry tree (which does less well in European climates).