Hampton Court Castle and Gardens in Herefordshire

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I write fiction/fantasy, in case you hadn't noticed. And I'll be the first to tell you that vampires and fairies are not real. Disappointing, I know...I mean hugely disappointing! Seriously!!! Why can't fairies be real? Why?

Anyway, those "fictional" stories in my head are inspired by real places. That's surprising too, I know, but there you have it...

In Chapter 4 of Fateful I describe one of the these "real" places called Van Kampen Gardens  at Hampton Court Castle. (NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Hampton Court Palace, though!) There are two Hampton Courts, but there is a big difference between the two. The one mentioned in Fateful is in Herefordshire and is easily far enough away from Chertsey to give Ethan plenty of time to talk to Danielle without exposing her to his magical vampire gaze too much. Such a romantic gentleman he is! Sorry, he isn't real either, just in case you were hoping. I know that's rather disappointing too. Oh well...

For my 20th Anniversary, my husband took me to England and to Van Kampen Gardens. Twice. Yes, I loved it so much I had to go see it twice.

These are just some of the pictures we took while there. Unfortunately for us, spring had not yet sprung so while the garden was beautiful, it had not fully bloomed.

Just as there is in the book, there is a huge wisteria arch. However, as you can see below, there were no blooms or leaves on it yet. :(

And of course there was a maze. This is the archway and door that led to the start of the maze.

And of course there is a tower in the middle of the maze.

The area of the gardens is very flat. And from the tower you can see the entire garden and of course the entire maze.

The tower has a secret exit that runs under the maze and deposits you into a garden that is hidden and secluded.

We wished we could have seen the garden at it's peak. I'm sure we'll try to get back here someday...

We took over 400 pictures.

Here's the strange coincidence about this garden: I didn't know I had so many ancestors who lived near here when I chose the location for my book. My ancestors on both sides of my family, my mother's and my father's, are from Herefordshire. So close to this garden in fact, that they probably visited it. I only discovered the connection after I wrote the book. Weird, huh?

My Great Grandfather was born near here in 1824. For over 180 years prior to that, my ancestors called the surrounding area just west of this garden home. In fact, my 2nd Great Grandfather is buried only about 4 miles from this garden.

And the release date for The Order of Curse-Bound Knights is nearing!!! Check back soon to see a preview of the first three chapters! Here is a preview of the cover.

Anonymous said...

That has to be the coolest secret tunnel hidden garden ever and the coolest my ancestors ended up related to my novel story ever. :)

Cheri Schmidt said...

Thank you so much for dropping by to leave a comment for me, Madeline! You made my day. :)