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Alan Machin: Tourism As Education
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Berlin: Editing a Townscape
... and reading a city that has had many rebuilders
Making Sense of The Travel Learning Experience- 1
1 Information Streams
Making Sense of the Travel Learning Experience - 2
Some basic theories
Back to Basics: Presentation given at the Cuba EduTourism Conference
The CETA Conference in Havana, Cuba, 8/9 November 2010
About the author
Comments - CV - photos
At the heart of the tourist experience
Learning through Landscapes
Exploring Oxfordshire (and a bit of Gloucestershire!)
The Environment As Data: Building New Theories For Tourism
How tourists relate to places
Sail Gives Way to Steam
A return visit discovers just how much has been achieved in this iconic restoration
Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth Reenactment
Visits to Leicester and the battlefield event, 2013
Along The Way
Recollections and Reflections of 60+ Years' Learning about the World and its Ways
On the Edge of the New World
Shaping New England
Exploring Holderness in East Yorkshire; October 2012
Past Historic
Graf Zepplin, Spain 1968, OS History, Much Wenlock Olympics, Chatham Dockyard, Hawes Tourism, Colonial Williamsburg,
A Summer of Travelling / Matthew Starr
Three months' backpacking in Africa, Asia and Australia
East Anglia
The Broads, Pensthorpe natural history, Radar Museum, Caister Lifeboat Service and more!
A Richer Earth
Discoveries in the landscape and attractions of Shropshire
Blog Index Page
Blog pages from 2009 listed
From Strip Map to Sat Nav
'Finding the way' aids to exploration
Showcasing the World
How the Tourist Microcosm took centre stage
Doing A Dissertation
Notes to help students preparing their proposals
The Japanese Tsunami Destruction at First Hand
Sarah and Tom Wadsworth saw for themselves
Showcases: Examples
The range and variety of tourism's focal points examined
Jigsaw: Frameworks of Knowledge
The tourist jigsaw puzzle of - knowledge
Books and other works useful in studying tourism as education
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 2
The development of tourism as education, 1845 -
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 1
Tourism's educational origins and management
Impressions of Tourism in Cuba
Thoughts on having seen some of the country myself
Captain James Cook: North Yorkshire Days
Tracing the early life of Britain's greatest maritime explorer
Hunting the Hound of the Baskervilles
Tracking down places that inspired the famous detective story and moulded Dartmoor's image
Exploring the Idea of Dark Tourism
What is it? Is it a useful idea?
Talking to Tourists
Visitor interpretation - guide books, visitor centres and other media
Shades of Light and Dark in the Garden of England
An exploration in East Sussex and Kent, June/July 2010
Hunting the Gladiator and the Gecko
A thirteen-year search for a wartime adventure
Steam Up For A Famous Film's Birthday Party
The Railway Children weekend on the Worth Valley line raises questions about heritage presentations
Anne-Marie Rhodes: Making a Difference in South East Asia
Leeds Met graduate of '07 describes her activities
Discoveries in Northumberland, April 2010
Alnwick Gardens; Winter's Gibbet; Holy Island, Cragside, Wallington Hall
Discoveries in the Midlands, March 2010
Bletchley Park National Codes and Cipher Centre; and the Rollright Stones
Alan Machin's Blog - April 2010
The development of tourism as education continued
Jigsaw Puzzle!
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
Leaders Into The Field
People who inspired everyone to explore
Alan Machin's blogs - February and March 2010
Postings on the history tourism as education - redirection
Alan Machin's Blog - January 2010
Tourist photography and souvenirs
Earlier front-page blog postings - January 2010 onwards
Archived after being on the Home Page
News from higher education and - beyond
The Development of Educational Tourism
Key dates in the development of educational tourism
Alan Machin's Blog - December 2009
Christmas Quiz and other postings
Analysing Heritage Tourism
Ideas and perspectives on a hugely important sector
Alan Machin's Blog - November 2009
Visitors' Views of Stonehenge, West Sussex - and other Postings
Are Universities Losing Their Way?
Reflections having retired
Teaching Tourism At Leeds Met
Remembering the Best
Alan Machin's Blog - October 2009
Thoughts about university life and discovery by travel
Alan Machin's Blog - September 2009
Further postings about a trip last month to the USA, and about higher education
Alan Machin's Blog - August 2009
Postings about a trip this month to the USA
Alan Machin's Blog - July 2009
The Story So Far reaches the summer
Alan Machin's Blog - June 2009
The Story So Far looks back on seventeen years at Leeds Met
Alan Machin's Blog - May 2009
Another month of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - April 2009
Yet more of the Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - March 2009
More of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's Blog - February 2009
The Story So Far - pioneers, people and places
Alan Machin's Blog: January 2009
The Story So Far .... first postings of '09
Alan Machin's Blog: December 2008
The Story So Far .... latest postings
Alan Machin's Blog - November '08
The Story So Far.... continued
Alan Machin's Blog: October 2008
The Story So Far....
No Place Like Rome
The eternal city with the eternal tourists
Charleston, South Carolina
A photo essay about a fine historic city
Idealog - December 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
Idealog - November 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
The Educational Origins of Tourism
Discussion paper
Idealog - October 2007
Coton Military Cemetery; Education and Tourism; Chatham Maritime; Dickens World; Quiz Answers; Tourist Guides; Mediation In Tourism
Idealog - September 2007
Plane Paradox;Tour Guiding; Where in the World?; Do Tourism Students Know Where They Are?; Leeds Met's Wow!; Sea Harrier; Scarborough and Tourism As Education; Doing A Dissertation; Types of Tourist; A Media Lens; Cost of Travelling Alone; Risk of Bias?
Idealog - August 2007
A People Industry; Heritage Interpretation; Lud's Church; Tourists Go Home!; Stone Gappe YHA; Insight Guides; Eyewitness Guides; Bramhope Tunnel; Elizabethan Progress; Information Quality Matrix
Idealog - July 2007
Hidden Heroes, Health Tourism, Holme Fen Posts; Harrogate (again); Whitby Abbey; Dramatic Interpretation; Harrogate Interpretation, Attractions and Royal Hall
Idealog - June 2007
Christian Pilgrimage; Cincinnati Museums Centre; The Coming of the Guide Book; Talking to Tourists - Media, Stages of the Visit, The Service Journey; Tourism's Missing Link; The Final Call; SATuration level; Halifax's Edwardian Window on the World
Idealog - May 2007
Martin and Osa Johnson, Wensleydale Creamery, Malham Tarn, Thomas Cook, Northern Ireland's Tourism Rebuild, Jamestown Festival Park, Cite des Sciences
Idealog - April 2007
The Promenade Plantee, The Jardin des Plantes, Environmental Data, Victorian Beauty Spot Rediscovered, Jamestown, The Anglers' Country Park, Children's Museums, Fairburn Ings
Idealog - March 2007
A Sense of the Past- The 'Amsterdam', The Outdoor Classroom, Film-Induced Tourism, Making Tracks for the Coast and Country, Pictures, Context and Meaning, Classics-on-Sea, Hi Hi Everyone!, Dark Side of the Dream, Holodyne - The Action Cycle
Idealog - February 2007
Don't Go There!, Space Tourism, The Crystal Cathedral, New Books on Tourism, Dark Tourism - Undercliffe Cemetery, Showcase - The Louvre, A Class Act, First Impressions Count, Postal Pleasures, Canaletto in Venice, Serpent Mound, Capsule Culture etc
Idealog - January 2007
Capsule Culture,Seaside Style, Poble Espanyol, Mallorca, Edgar Dale, Children's Holiday Homes, Representations of Reality, Outdoor Education in Germany, Baedeker Guides, Geography Textbooks, Environmental Data Theory etc
Idealog - December 2006
Writers on Landscape, Story Books, The Deep, Flour Power and the Archers,Showcases: Grand Tour, Halifax Piece Hall, Books of Concern about Tourism, Tourist Traces, Tourist Typologies, The Growth of Educational Tourism, The Field Studies Council, etc
Idealog - November 2006
A blog of ideas, comments and notes
Travel To Understand: Belfast
Telling the stories of troubled times
World Quiz 2010
Geography with a tourism angle
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
An outstanding educational facility in California
Chicago: Tourism Re-Imaging
A closer view of an iconic city
Colonial Williamsburg
A Virginia history showcase
A Social Club Outing By Train, 1935
How to do Scotland in 30 hours flat
Going Dutch
Presenting the past in the Netherlands
Keukenhof: Business is Blooming
Using tourism to promote an industry
A View of Italy for the City
Trentham Gardens Revived
A Case Study in Heritage Management
A curious tale of misleading publicity
Old Rice Farm
The story of the house in the 'holler'
Perfection in Paradise: The Eden Project
New page being added: The Eden Project's design for success
Escaping From Slavery: Facing Our Past
The US National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Prague Tourist Shows
Outstanding showcase attractions in the city
Retracing the Steps: Tourism as Education
ATLAS Conference paper given in Finland, 2000
Tourism and Historic Towns: The Cultural Key
A background paper for a Council of Europe Conference
The Social Helix
Visitor Interpretation as a Tool for Social Development, 1989
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 1
Reports and Pictures
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 2
Photos and reports of Friday 17 Feb onwards
Malta Residential, 14-21 February 2006 - Page 3
Reports and pictures from Sunday, 19 February onwards
Tourism Alumni Reunion, 8 March 2003
Leeds tourism students reunion 2003
World Geography Quiz 1
A test of your knowledge
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
The answers
Tall Ships Race 2010 Converged on Hartlepool
A major event-based boost for tourism in the town
Plymouth: From the Tamar to the Sea
Starting point for explorations round the globe
Plimoth Plantation
A reconstruction of the Mayflower settlers' village of the 1620s on the north east coast of North America
World Geography Quiz 2010 - Answers
Geography with a tourism angle
World Geography Quiz - Answers
Christmas Quiz 2009 - Answers
A day in the city including the Botanic Garden
Tourist Showcases
Examples from around the world

Learning through Landscapes


Page in preparation
: five sections completed. 

Scroll down for the latest - Stowe Landscape Gardens..

Text will be added shortly to accompany the other sets of photos already added below.

Oxon 01

Photographs and comments made following a set of visits in June 2013.  We were based in our caravan near Shipton-under-Wychwood.  The weather was at first glorious but later on, overcast, and finally, repeatedly wet.

Oxon 02

The Rollright Stones are near Long Compton in Oxfordshire.  There are actually three locations with stones, two close together by the roadside and the third a short walk away.  A layby is close to the monument known as the King’s Men and the King’s Stone.  Notices by a footpath gate mention a visitor fee.  What might be a collecting box for cash just inside the gate has no label, and might be nothing of the sort.

On our visit, there were several people there.  Maybe the nature of the site induces quiet, or perhaps the rural location and beautiful weather we enjoyed induces a relaxed and thoughtful mood.  Everyone wandered around, taking photographs and talking in low voices.  The main site has a circle of stones known now as the King’s Men.  Across the road, in a field made accessible through another gate, is a single monolith known as the King Stone.  It is protected by an iron fence.  The third site has four stones known as the Whispering Knights, again protected by a fence.  A fifth stone lies on the ground.  These have to be reached along a path round the edge of a field, itself fenced to keep walkers off the crops.  It is only this site, which has information, in the form of an interpretive panel shown above.  So visitors who don’t visit the Whispering Knights find no information at all.

The Whispering Knights are stones erected in the Early Neolithic period, perhaps around 10,000 BC.  They formed a dolmen, probably used as a burial chamber, with the stone on the ground having been a roof capstone before it collapsed.  The circle of the King’s Men is 33 metres across and has 77 stones.  It was built in the Early Bronze Age around 3,000 BCE.  Across the road – and not shown here – is the King’s Stone, solitary and standing prominently on a rise with an excellent view across the countryside.  No one can be sure about its age and original purpose, or the reasons for the circle of stones making the King’s Men.  Their present titles date back to a tale recorded by William Camden in 1610.  It claimed that a king with his knights met a witch who turned them all into stone, some of the knights being cast under her spell well away from the main party.  Camden had earlier speculated that they commemorated some ancient victory in battle.  But even the modern view that the Whispering Knights were actually stones making a burial chamber cannot be held with any certainty since human remains have not been found.  They could have existed once, but been removed later.

By the way, the name Rollright might be a corruption of the Old English Hrolla-landriht, meaning "the land of Hrolla".

So modern visitors enjoy the countryside, ponder on the mysterious origins of the monuments and apply whatever reasons for their building that they fancy.  Commemoration?  Astronomical tool?  Sacrificial site?  Ritual location?  The only honest conclusion is - we just don’t know.  We can learn much, but not everything, from this piece of landscape,

Oxon 03

We visited Chedworth Roman Villa.  It was one of the biggest Roman villas and close to no fewer than five other villas near to the Fosse Way from Exeter to Lincoln.  Cirencester and Cheltenham are nearby.  The village of Chedworth is over the hill to the south.  This is remarkably attractive, gently hilly and generously farmed countryside.  The Roman site is in the valley of the River Colne.  A freshwater spring was one of the attractions in 120 AD when work on Chedworth began.  Around the spring, the Romans built a shrine to the water nymphs.  At first, there were separate buildings, but these were reorganised into a continuous range later with dining, sleeping and bathing rooms, heated by a hypocaust system of underfloor hot air.  By the fourth century AD there was another set of guest and bathhouses, so that people could enjoy either dry-heat or damp-heat bathing suites.  Some metres to the southeast a temple was erected.  Another building stood to the northwest.

After being abandoned later, the villa remains were raided for building stone.  It was only in 1864 that the existence of a settlement by the Romans was discovered when a gamekeeper named Tom Margetts was digging for a ferret.  The land was owned by then by the Earl of Eldon.  Because he was only 19, he had a guardian, James Farrer, the MP for South Durham and an antiquarian.  The Earl financed excavations by Farrer over a two-year period.  He also paid for a fine mock-Tudor house with a museum room to house some of his guardian’s discoveries.  Just three years after the excavations were completed, a railway branch line was constructed close to the Roman villa, destroying the site of the Roman building standing separately to the north-west.

In 1924, Chedworth Villa was acquired by the National Trust.  Over the years further excavations took place, conservation work carried out and visitor facilities improved.  Last year, a new cover building for the fine foundations of the western range of buildings with their mosaics and under-floor heating.  Incorporated in them are raised walkways, hidden lighting and a sensitively, low-key, audio-visual enhancement in the dining room area.  This shows animated silhouettes on a wall accompanied by the quiet chatter of ‘diners’.  There is a teaching room in the new building with plenty of objects to handle and table games to play. 

A good guidebook is on sale in the Trust’s shop, plus many other books on Roman history.  It is interesting to see that an old form of on-site communication has returned here: hand bats.  Out by the north-side remains there is a lidded box with four wooden hand bats, one of which is seen in the photo above.  Set into the face of the bats are pages of text and graphics about the site.  These can be read while walking round.  An interactive handset with games for children or guided tour for adults can be used.  It has a display screen and sound.  On occasion, two costumed interpreters give demonstrations and tours while presenting themselves as people of the time.  An events programme adds more, from gladiator-type combats to archaeological investigations.

That dreadfully overused cliché, ‘step back in time’ should be subject to on the spot fines.  All we can do is attempt to discover, by one means or another, something of the history being hinted at by landscape fragments like those at Chedworth.  The villa is a very good example of how well it can be done, thanks to an outstanding archaeological site in the hands of a highly competent charity.

Oxxon 04

Sometimes, the interesting place in a landscape is relatively small – and difficult to find.  That was the case when I looked for the Church of St James the Great in South Leigh.  I was on the way in to Oxford on the A40.  I had come across a mention of the church in a book somewhere.  It’s not a major tourist attraction – just some wall paintings in a church.  Yet many old churches are indicated with white-on-brown signs at road junctions.  Not this one.  The first turn, east of Witney, is along a single-track road with passing places.  After a good distance and only a vague notion that I was close to South Leigh, it was getting obvious I had made a wrong turn.  Out came the quarter-inch AA road map.  At that scale, a small village doesn’t show in detail.  But I backtracked to a likely junction to a new road.  South Leigh straggled along it.  An interesting pub called the Mason’s Arms appeared.  Then – Church End lane.  Always a good clue!

You never know if a church is going to be locked.  St James’s was open.  Inside, the treasured late medieval paintings were visible.  They’re one of the best collections in the country.  Photographing them wasn’t easy in the low light.  A bit of post-production was needed to make them easier to see in the group above, which explains the poor quality.

I could imagine the villagers standing for a service in the church – in the 15th century there were no pews.  Perhaps there were candles and rush lights, but the windows would have been the main illumination and they were not big.  Medieval churches were places of worship.  They were also places of instruction, propaganda for a largely illiterate congregation.  This was the point in their limited landscape for what little learning they acquired.  The priest, the service and the graphic scenes around them reinforced ideas of the punishments or rewards awaiting beyond the grave on Judgement Day.

Over the chancel arch is a ‘doom painting’.  It shows the dead rising from their graves on Judgement Day.  Some are sent, weeping, to hell.  Others make their way to heaven.  To the right is a painting of St Michael weighing the sinfulness of mortals in the scales of justice (photo at top, right).  Just visible (and marked off here by a white line) can be seen an earlier painting showing through.  I have enlarged it with the same white line, above the title line.  While the oldest parts of the church were erected in the 12th century, additions and changes were carried out over the next three hundred years.  Between 11871 and 1888, restoration work repaired and changed parts of the building.  The paintings were uncovered and the St Michael picture repainted at twice its original size.

John Wesley preached in the church in 1725, delivering his first sermon.  The pulpit he used is still there, shown in the photo above.

The landscape of medieval South Leigh would have seemed isolated to most of its inhabitants.  The forest closed in round the strip-fields and cottages.  St James’s church and the manor house will have been prominent reminders of the overlordship of church and state.  St James’s would have been the social focus, and the dissemination point for the news of the time, as well as the tidings of life in the hereafter.

Oxon 06

We made an all-day visit to Stowe Landscape Gardens near Buckingham.  Even so, we didn’t get round all of the Gardens and the famous Stowe House that they serve will need another trip, another day.  The Gardens are owned by the National Trust, the house by a separate Preservation Trust.  Stowe School occupies several buildings and private ground to the side of the House and Gardens.  It is a co-educational boarding school rated as one of the leading independent educational establishments in the country.  The combination makes this one of the biggest and most interesting attractions – if you like eighteenth century theme parks, that is! – and we started by discovering a new jewel of an addition opened only last year.

Since our previous visits, the National Trust has re-orientated the visitor approach.  Instead of entering the Gardens near to the house, visitors follow signs taking them along the Grand Avenue from the direction of Buckingham, just as people would have approached the house years ago.  It duplicates some of the sense of anticipation that 18th century travellers must have felt.  We left our car on the new car park – well landscaped with new shrubbery planted – and walked to the main entrance.

That was where we enjoyed our first, delightful, surprise.  The way in is under an arch to a small courtyard, part of what was begun as the New Inn of 1792.  The sign shown in the photo above told caught our attention.  Going through a door alongside took us into something we had not realised existed – the reconstruction displays of the Inn.  Even though we had not reached the entrance desk and showed our membership cards, we, and everyone else who cared to, were free to wander around inside.  And although I, for one, have great respect for those Ladies and Gentlemen who Volunteer to look after rooms on display, it was quite refreshing that there were none around.  The best are attentive but discrete – the worst are desperate to have you spend half an hour listening to their well-rehearsed lecture on every item present on show.

The description on the sign points to the kind of rooms shown.  They don’t include bedrooms, but range from a kitchen with its hand-pumped cold water supply to a small dining room and a sitting room, or parlour.  In the kitchen, there is an example of a roasting jack, with a (plaster) ham hanging inside an iron hood.  It faced an open fire when cooking, the hood reflecting heat back on to the ham.

In the sitting room, there was a writing table with quill pens in a holder.  I don’t suppose that the traveller who wrote up a journal each evening would then send a letter home with the words ‘wish you were here’.  Yet from the early days of travelling, the writing up of a journal and the occasional letter home was important, not only to reassure the folks  back home that all was well, but also in helping to spread the word about the latest interesting destination.  Like Stowe Gardens.

Oxon 05

After exploring the New Inn at Stowe, visitors enter a smart new visitor facility.  The National Trust has been doing a great deal to make the new arrangement of good quality.  There isn’t a further history display at this point, just the usual ticketing/café/shop combination.  As usual, the emphasis in the shop is on good taste gifts with a nice smell of lavender upping the ambience.  Matching the goods on offer with the customers arriving is an essential in order to help support the very expensive demands of property conservation and preservation.  I always finish up wishing there was more than the main guidebooks on the shelves.  There is the typical retailing trap for shop managers, though.  If they stock products other than their own label, they are liable to be undercut by online sellers.  National Trust members are just as adept at window shopping at attractions but buying online when they get home.  There are some good remaindered books in some NT properties.  It’s a bit hit-and-miss whether you can find something useful. 

We spent two or three hours going round the Stowe Landscape Gardens Even then, there was a whole circuit of pathways we had to leave out for a future occasion.

The focal point of the gardens is Stowe House.  That long approach road mentioned above impresses visitors in cars just as it did when they were in horse-drawn carriages.  The effect continues when walking round – just as the original owners intended.  A dynasty of Temple-Grenvilles owned Stowe between 1571 and 1921.  Among them, they included a few Sirs, Earls, Marquesses, Barons and Dukes.  They behaved like landed gentry by gentrifying their land.  The house sits at the centre of property including extensive farmland, some of which still carries recognisable patterns of roads, lodge houses and the farm buildings themselves.  In 1889 the last male owner, the 3rd Duke of Chandos and Buckingham, died and the fortunes of the estate began to get complicated.  It passed to the Duke’s daughter, who tried to sell it, without success.  She then rented it out for five years after which it was empty until Lady Mary Morgan-Grenville, the Duke’s daughter, returned to live there after her husband died.  Between her death in 1908 and 1921, her son owned Stowe.  Debts built up.  He sold it for £50,000 to a Mr Shaw, who intended presenting it to the nation, but such a move requires a large endowment to go with it to provide for the upkeep, and Mr Shaw didn’t have the money.  So he sold it, to a group who set up a school in the house.  There was further buying and selling of parts of the grounds, but in 1989 an anonymous donor put up the money to present the gardens to the National Trust.  Today, the school – one of the leading public schools in Britain – owns several new buildings and sports grounds, and the National Trust owns the gardens.  Between these two bodies, there is a jointly owned trust caring for the house.

The cash-strapped 3rd Duke had felled most of the timber around the house to raise money, and sold off many of the statues from the gardens.  The house became a liability for the school as it concentrated on the new buildings it required.  By the time, the National Trust got involved, the situation with the grounds had become serious.  As the two charitable bodies surveyed the cost of restoration, they found that £40m was needed for the house and £10m for the gardens.  Money was found from English Heritage and private donors.  The work continues today, replacing lost statues with replicas and making the house secure and properly presented.

So what is now Stowe House and Landscape Gardens has a whole library of tales to tell from its rise and fall and rebirth.

The whole complex was utilitarian – house, food and flower gardens, pleasure gardens, farmland and woodland – but also, propagandist.  In this respect, it was no different from other great estates of its time.  Its architecture, layout and decoration was meant to reinforce the position of its owners through a series of redesigns over the centuries.  The intention was also to show off ideas about the running of estates to the prominent visitors who came.  There were three main phases of design.  The first was for a fine house supported by what was needed to live there – food, cash profit and leisure pursuits.  Next came the period when the food and profit functions were moved away so that a landscaped park could be developed, full of heroic monuments that drew attention to the political and cultural opinions of the man in charge.  The third phase saw a softening of the gardens into a private Elysium, withdrawn from the public life of London.

We toured the gardens.  Making a left turn at the end of the approach lane took us to a point on the main axis of the gardens, stretching from the house to the lake and pavilions looking back at the property.  The top photo above is a panorama-sweep from one pavilion to the other, so the path is actually a straight line!  Just visible in the distance is the house, framed by trees.  Out of sight to the left of it are the main school buildings and a golf course.  You can’t see a game of cricket that was being played in front of the house by mixed-gender teams (it’s now a co-educational school).  The lady about to catch her death of cold is Venus in the Rotondo.  The Palladian Bridge crosses an arm of the lake.  At the top of a rise near the bridge is the Gothic Temple.  Other statues and monuments commemorate, among others, Saxon deities, Captain Cook the explorer, Lord Cobham (of whom more in a moment), Queen Charlotte and a works foreman, named William Nelson, who was in charge of building at Stowe at one time.  There are monuments extolling Ancient Virtues, Pastoral Poetry, Contemplation, Concord and Victory, and British Worthies.

There used to be a Temple of Modern Virtues.  This was designed as a ruin.  One of the owners of Stowe was Viscount Cobham (rather appropriately himself a Temple) who was in government until he fell out with the Prime Minister, Horace Walpole over foreign policy and then the introduction of Excise Duty.  In disgust, Cobham resigned, returned to Stowe, and began to add new monuments there making some sharp political points.  The Temple of Modern Virtues was a ruin, just as he considered British political life.  His Temple of British Worthies was a collection of people he thought ranked as the great and the good (no Walpole here, of course).  Busts of the Black Prince, Queen Elizabeth I, John Hampden, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, Sir Francis Bacon, Inigo Jones and William Shakespeare are among the sixteen set out here to be lauded.  Under each is a carved inscription recording why he, or she, was thought worthy. 

Viscount Cobham began to lead a branch of the Whigs political party.  By speeches, debate, writing and the use of his monumental estate he set out to impress the establishment of his day. 

Below: The Temple of British Worthies

Stowe Gardens - Temple of British Worthies
Oxon 07
Oxon 09
Oxon 08
Oxxon 10
Oxon 11
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