Ah Ha it’s a Ha Ha





So walking across a different part of Belsay Hall on Saturday Mr. Ray taught us about yet another brilliant European invention.  This wall is called a Ha Ha.  It gives the illusion from the house that the gardens and adjoining fields are one continuing piece of green land.  The Ha Ha was also invented by the Chinese but  it was also in Europe before Europeans had any knowledge of Chinese gardens.


The unspoiled view from inside Belsay Castle across the Ha Ha

Before there were lawn mowers large estates kept their grass trimmed by deer or sheep.   I wonder if that would work in Alabama.  Grass and weeds sure grow fast there.  The Middleton family built these around their estate to keep the sheep trimming the desired places and not allow them to graze the lovely gardens.


The main house at Belsay Hall is connected to the old Castle (former Middleton family residence) by a gorgeous rock quarry garden.  The rocks for the new hall were quarried on property and the resulting quarry was turned into an enchanted place.  Here is a short slide  show of the beautiful walk from the Hall to the Castle.


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Ha Ha, don’t spoil the view!




4 responses to “Ah Ha it’s a Ha Ha

  1. Pictures are so beautiful and I know that is nothing compared to the real thing!! I know that the grass is a little greener, the flowers are a little more fragrant and the air is so clear. Thanks again for sharing this with all of us across the pond. Martha Anne

  2. Beth, are these the same Middletons that came to Charleston by way of the Bahamas? Betty Unwin- Love all your info

    • I don’t know Betty. I was wondering the same thing myself. Isn’t there a Ha Ha at Middleton Place as well? You know another curious thing is that one of the Middletons changed the family name along the way. He changed his name to (get this) “Monck”. Isn’t that how Monck’s Corner is spelled in the Charelston area? Later his family changed their name back to Middleton. We must find out if there is a connection.

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