A recent visitor sent us this charming poem, inspired by and largely written in Dalemain Gardens. We are delighted that she found her surroundings so beautiful and simply had to share it. If anyone else has been inspired by Dalemain or the surrounding landscape, and would like to share poetry, art or photographs, we would love to see them!


Dalemain Mansion

Fishing rods packed in the boot
Jack was off to catch a trout
He dropped me off at Dalemain House
For an historical afternoon out

I Started in the tearoom
Couldn’t resist the cake and tea
Before the 1 o’clock tour around the house
How interesting it would be

From medieval through to Georgian
Many treasures did it hold
The house guide took us through the rooms
And what a brilliant tale she told

The Chinese painted wallpaper
All worked delicately by hand
An 18th Century masterpiece
It made the room look very grand

The chairs made especially for that room
In good quality dark brown oak
The rug designed to match the rest
These were very wealthy folk

The Story of Lady Anne Clifford
Her diary recounts her sad tale
Father left Dalemain to her cousin
Just because she wasn’t a male

Anne won it back in later years
When a male heir was not in sight
She moved back in to end her days
No further need to fight

The gardens were extensive
They were an absolute delight
Walked along the coloured terrace
Flowerbeds to left and right

The far view to the grazing sheep
A special view to behold
Was very restful to the eye
Pure manna for the soul

Along the way the rose lined walk
I stopped to smell the flowers
Pale Pink, Deep Red, and gold and white
Before the shaded bowers

I sat awhile to sit and think
And start to write my verse
The inspiration still in mind
I relaxed, and sat immersed

The first seven verses now writ down
I carried on exploring
The lower garden still to view
My spirits started soaring
Down slippery steps I trod my way
The lower garden beckoned
Informal, wild with dragon head hedge
Quite a special place I reckoned

Back up the steps to explore some more
Had the wood and stumpery to see
A tree filled place with a seat to reflect
But alone, it seemed eerie to me

By now 4 o’clock so I found my way back
To the teashop, but Jack wasn’t there
So I trotted along to the giftshop to find
My present for me in their wares

Lady Anne Clifford’s Diaries the book I desired
No longer would I be vexed
I then wondered if Jack was by now on his way
I had better check for a text

Not one, but two messages now on my ‘phone
‘Leaving now’ and ‘In the car park’ came over
Oh Good, no long wait to get back to the Van
There he was, in the Landrover

No trout for our tea, I was sad to find out
But so pleased that he’d had a good day
Fly fishing’s not easy, there is quite a knack
And it takes quite a while, they all say

By Joan Birchley

June 2016