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Anglesey Abbey

February 24, 2017

Anglesey Abbey is a confusing name. It is neither in the Welsh island of Anglesey (but on the outskirts of Cambridge in England) and there is not much trace of the medieval abbey. The site of the priory, which was dissolved in the sixteenth century, is now occupied by a rather grand National Trust house which retains just a few features of the original building.

When we visited in February, the house was shut for the season, but no one really visits Anglesey Abbey just to see the house. The grounds are extensive, and on a cold overcast day the Winter Garden formed a winding corridor of colour. The reds and yellows of dogwoods contrasted with bare branch deciduous skeletons.

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Pink petal blossom lit a curving corner.

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Splashes of snowdrops lined the path.

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Sheltered by a mass of evergreen, colours competed for attention – pinks, oranges and bright yellow forsythia.

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At times, the path became a blur of colours and shapes.

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Anglesey Abbey is famous for its snowdrops. In open ground they formed a carpet albeit one that was rather threadbare in places.

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More imposing were a crowd of silver birches jostling for attention.

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Beyond the Winter Garden, the manicured river bank leads to a mill house, the doors of which had been shut well before the official closing time.

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Much of the Abbey’s gardens will not become alive until Spring gets under way, but that’s a visit for another day.

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