You MUST see the gardens at Hinton Admiral, said Trevor our head server - and naturally we obeyed. Last Saturday was a perfect early summer's day, with a brisk breeze sending the clouds racing along. There really are several gardens on different sides of the house - and the Meyricks, descendants of the same family which lived there in the 1720's, are still there. Something admirable about such continuity.
The front aspect of the house is rather more formal than the back, with colonnades to either side. There ladies of the parish were serving tea. The church was built by an ancestor of the present owner, and these open days help to keep it in repair. In fact, all the money raised from opening the gardens is given to charity. Next Sunday it will once more be open in the afternoon only, this time under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme.
Before we left Hinton Admiral we paid our respects to these residents. It seemed particularly appropriate when all the readings at Mass were sheep-related. I have a very soft spot for black sheep They have given their name to all sorts of scoundrels, but they are so much more interesting than their run-of-the mill white cousins. Maybe they are symbolic of the Ordinariate; part of the one fold under the one shepherd, but still a bit distinctive? And the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham produces much more characterful tipples than Bishop's Finger.