22 April 2008

The Duke Estate

We were welcomed through the gates and things became grand very quickly...

We saw the 100 year old two story cement basement foundation of a chateau that was never finished. Its mossy footprint looked like the Roman catacombs or the Colliseum labyrinth.

A fountain to greet guests was even constructed, though the manse was never to be.

This greenhouse comes complete with friendly sentinels. The more "historically significant" one is off-limits for now.

A walk along winding paths of reddish gravel revealed the back of a roofless hay barn which now serves as a sculpture garden.

After our exploration of this amazing vignette, we continued on to explore more of the amazing vastness whose breadth photographs cannot describe . The friendly, warm and inviting scents of springtime surrounded us at every turn.

I can't ever seem to resist an abandonment. This small prefab greenhouse was no exception.

We lost track of the number of times the sun played hide and seek with us and the number of random smatterings of daffodills we found.
It was hard to be disappointed about the fact that the main residence was closed when there was a creepy old shed (with manger-like dog house) to peer into.

One last peel before leaving the park...
And one last surprise guest who showed his face (and tail) along the reddish stone path that walked us all the way through the day.

Duke Estate And Farms. Hillsborough, NJ. 20 April 2008.