This illustration is reproduced from A Prospect of Weston in Warwickshire by Michael Warriner (see A Little History of Cherington and Stourton, Bibliography). It shows the Elizabethan mansion where Ralph Sheldon hung the tapestry maps made in the family workshops, giving him a panoramic view of England from the Bristol Channel to the Berkshire downs.
The engraving gives us a snapshot of everyday activities on the great estate, against a backdrop of the hills to the west, where Beighton has named towns and villages and marked their parish churches. These churches are, from left to right, i.e. south to north, those of Stow-on-the-Wold (just over 8 miles away as the crow flies), Great Wolford (2 miles), Todenham (2¼), Chipping Campden (almost exactly 8) and Ebrington (6½). They appear in the “correct order”, though the distances between them on the horizon show some artistic licence. However, “Cadley Arbor” (today’s Cadley Coverts), is misplaced. It lies on Cadley Hill, a little north of Batsford and its arboretum; the correct bearing from Weston Park would place it just to the right of Wolford.
No-one appears to be tending the gardens, but sawyers work away while the gentry bowl at skittles. Michael Warriner noted two curiosities. On the far right, two mounted men perhaps 50 yards apart are riding parallel to each other and dragging a net. There are unidentifiable objects on the ground in front of them: he speculates that they may have been attempting to net partridges. One of the trees in the avenue close to Weston House has a conical thatched roof and a square platform. The author guesses that it is a hide from which deer could be shot.
Today, a public road runs through the park, which is well worth a visit, although sadly, no great house graces the landscape, and skating on the fish pond is but a distant memory too. Only the overgrown remains of an ice-house hint at former glories.