A while back I read a magazine article about an estate called Eyre Hall over on the Eastern Shore, which is on the other side of the bay from Mathews (about 10-15 miles as the crow flies, but about 2 hours as the car drives).
Every now and again I'll get over to the Eastern Shore and have seen the sign for the historic home, but I always thought it was private property. According to the article, the gardens are open to
the general public. So yesterday, on my drive home from Delaware, I decided to stop in and take some photos.
After a long drive down a lane riddled with pot holes (odd, I remember thinking at the time, because the article made the place sound immaculately kept
), I came to the entrance gate and was stunned to be greeted by the horses above, who evidently had broken out of their fence and were trotting across the driveway in front of me. There were five or six of them running wild all over the property.
Strange, I thought.
There was nobody else around, so I pulled over on the grass and wandered around with my camera. The house itself was massive, and incredibly beautiful, but very, very much....in need of maintenance. The article said the house was normally closed, so I wasn't expecting that to be open, but I also wasn't expecting it to be so...in need of maintenance.
Perhaps they focus their resources on the gardens, I told myself.
Below is a shot from where I parked my car. Notice the holes in the windows and the shutters
leaning against the house.
At this juncture most normal people might conclude that they were in the wrong place, but not Chesapeake Bay Woman, who
is anything but normal
kept wandering all over the grounds in search of this
This magnificent home on an enormous amount of land is on Cherrystone Creek, which leads out to the bay. I wandered all over admiring the views
the waist-high grass
and the charming outbuildings.
Still, I couldn't figure out where the gardens were.
The more I wandered around, the more perplexed I became. Why would they publish a magazine article advertising magnificent gardens that were so difficult to find?
Perhaps the photo below can begin to convey the state of affairs at these "Open to the Public" formal gardens:
Finally, Chesapeake Bay Woman returned to her car with a camera full of delightful pictures of a beautiful, stately, waterfront manor whose windows were smudged with
noseprints. Her fingerprints may
even be on the
doorknob, who knows.
But alas she had no photographs of the much touted formal gardens.
Little did she know that the reason she had no garden photos is because this was the wrong house
.Dear Property Owners, I had no idea. I
think swear the sign at the end of the road said Eyre Hall. But really, your place is gorgeous. You might want to make sure the horses stay out of the road, though, You never know when some frizzy-haired woman might drop by unannounced and unknowingly trespass startle them
If I hadn't eventually found the real
Eyre Hall, I'd still be wondering why I couldn't find the gardens at this first house.
The whole experience was surreal. Truly.
Sort of like last weekend's Womanless Beauty Pageant
Stay tuned for photos from the real Eyre Hall and the gardens, which not only exist but are truly works of art, just like those biceps on Lady #6 above.