Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Badminton, Root House (Hermit's Cell)

Standing eerily alone in the  Deer Park, out of sight of  Badminton House (or any other building) and unseen by the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Horse Trials is the mysterious Root House.  It was designed and built by architect and genius Thomas Wright for the Duke of Beaufort sometime between 1748-1756, and is an early example of Gothick experimentation.

The Root House was not only an embellishment to the landscape it also served a 'practical' purpose; it was a hermit's cell, inhabited by Badminton's resident hermit, Urganda. 

To have a hermit living in your park was the height of fashion in the late 18th century.

For a thatched building constructed from pieces of diseased wood and untreated roots, most likely riddled with worm, to have survived for two hundred and fifty years is quite remarkable.

Urganda's front door