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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

Biddulph Grange Stumpery: Where Art and Nature Meet

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Biddulph Grange Stumpery is my favourite “go-to” for a lunch time walk to blow the cobwebs away. It goes without saying that all of the gardens are exquisitely beautiful but the Stumpery conjures all sorts of literary associations in my mind.

The Stumpery always makes me imagine a combination of hobbits and orcs - a type of tamed, organic uruk hai. I feel like I’ve stepped into Hobbiton and it’s turned a little bit wild. There’s no logic to my thinking - but there’s art for you: I do think that Biddulph Grange gardens are living art. I also keep expecting Stig of the Dump to jump out and say hello.

Next door to the formal gardens is the Grange, which is open to the public, free of admission charge, and sometimes we like to have a wander there but the luxury of our National Trust membership enables us to indulge in the structured gardens. The Stumpery is a sort of contrived wilderness and I particularly love this mix and natural and human endeavour.

After sitting for prolonged periods at one keyboard or another (piano or computer) it’s good to stretch my legs and my imagination. I may stroll along the yew-lined walkways, or pass through the China garden, but my feet (and my brain) will always lead me to the stumpery!