18 August 2011

Celia Fiennes

Bifrons Park and Canterbury
"Canterbury opens to view 6 miles distant,
by the advantage of a high hill."

Celia Fiennes traveled through England on horseback, riding side-saddle. Born in 1662, she never married and took great relish in traveling. Her travels were concentrated in her native England where she is the first woman to visit every county in England. Fiennes had a great interest in the architecture of her day and visited many of the stately homes in the country side. In fact, she saw many of the finest houses of the Baroque period as they were being built and landscaped. Here are just a few.

Hampton Court Palace
"There is two broad gravell walks runns aslant
like two wings from the first garden."

"The Gardens are very fine, with many gravel walkes
with grass squaires set with fine brass and stone statues."

"The front appear'd like a Princes Court of brick and stone very fine,
with a large Parke wall'd in of good extent."

Wollaton Hall
"On the Leads you have a very fine prospect...
you see Thomas Willoughbys fine house[Wollaton Hall]
on the other side of town."

In December 1998 a monument commemorating the 300th anniversary of Celia Fiennes' Great Journey was unveiled.

The Celia Fiennes Waymark

Penguin's English Journeys reprinted Celia Fiennes' Through England on a Side-saddle and Christopher Morris first compiled her journals in 1947. They have been reprinted in numerous editions since. Celia Fiennes died in 1741.


  1. I've seen her quoted hundreds of times, yet, stupidly, it has never occurred to me to read her---until today. Thanks!

  2. Exactly. I had heard her name and finally got the bright idea to see if there was any info. That happens so often... and I always want to know everything.

  3. Maybe one of the greatest painters of our times! theres no doubt about it


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