This is Longshaw Lodge just outside Sheffield. It was built by the Duke of Rutland in 1827 as a hunting lodge and it sits in the middle of what was once a country estate of over 11,000 acres.Actually, let me rewind a little to correct myself. The Duke of Rutland only financed the building. He didn't raise a trowel or heave a single stone block into position. He was just the sponsor.
He wanted the lodge as a northern retreat for himself his family and privileged guests. They shot grouse and rabbits in the hunting season and no doubt enjoyed themselves immensely though it certainly would not have been my idea of a good time.
The Dukes of Rutland lorded it over this estate for a hundred years but with the changes wrought by modern times, the estate's ownership was transferred to The National Trust in 1937. Nowadays, it is a place for day visitors, ramblers and other outdoor enthusiasts though some of the land is still farmed by tenants.
On Monday afternoon I was a hundred yards south of Longshaw Lodge when I took this picture looking towards Higger Tor and Carl Wark:-
On my way down to the woods above Padley Gorge I spotted this cow with two obedient calves near Yarncliff Quarry. It's nice to see cattle grazing happily, enjoying the freedom to wander but behind me I noticed a stocky bull, lumbering around his domain like an Olympic weightlifter. You can't argue with a bull but fortunately he was ignoring me. I asked if I could take his photo but he declined and swung his tail like a pendulum.
Right before I descended into Yarncliff Wood, I spotted this old stone sheep barn beyond the field gate, It's a building I have investigated and photographed before but it looked so nice in a burst of sunshine with heavy clouds beyond it. And sure enough, just before I made it back to Clint the rain started spitting again. Our English weather is so unsettled at the moment - you have to make the most of your opportunities. My personal thanks to The Dukes of Rutland. It's not your land any more you grouse-shooting, self-important toffs! We the plebs, the huddled masses are enjoying it now.