Bailey Butterfly Archives - CHCH
The approach to the Castle was via a slope to the West, leading to what is now the Gatehouse, all that remains of the double-drawbridge and huge octagonal towers through which men had to pass to enter the Outer Bailey and approach the present Great Doors. The gardens specialise in scent and the roses in particular are a delight in June.
Rare plants, shrubs and trees are to be enjoyed. Evidence of earlier times can still be seen: below the sloping approach to the present gatehouse is a long "bowling green," thought to be where Queen Elizabeth I played bowls during her stay at the Castle.
From here sweeping curved steps lead down to the Great Lawn on which the two remaining Culloden Pines stand. These are said to have been brought back as pine cones from the Battle of Culloden by the 4th Earl of Berkeley. The greater of the two trees is in its own sunken circle: this was because the level of the Great Lawn was raised in the s to prevent flooding.
Rhines The gardens are ringed on the South and East with rhines pronounced "reens" , or drainage ditches. These are fed from the River Severn and can vary in depth from a few inches to 8 or 9 feet during the winter.
These rhines are still actively managed in this area of the county for agricultural purposes and to prevent flooding. In the far south-western corner of the gardens is a small bridge with old sluice gates beneath.
In earlier days, barges used to draw up here bearing deliveries to the Castle. For a lot of people the pain, both mental and physical continues.
Paul Bailey in good spirits during his 15 kilometre butterfly swim. Photo by Terry Gainey.
It was a croaky voice that greeted me on the phone the next morning. I was calling to congratulate him and assumed said voice was an after-effect of his mammoth feat. I was shocked when he apologised for his voice, explaining he had been suffering with a chest infection since Monday. So not only did you just swim 15k of fly in one day, but you did it with a chest infection? Running an accounting business would definitely keep one busy.
The Tale of Betsy Butterfly
On top of a 40 hour plus work week, Paul still finds time to swim train three times a week and complete a variety of dryland training sessions. Paul set himself a goal of swimming 15 kilometres of butterfly in one day. That is a feat that would sound a tad crazy to a lot of people, but Paul has done it before. This year he set up two donation accounts so he could raise money for two charities close to his heart.