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Prinknash Bird Park
The Bird Park was created in 1974 by Philip Meigh an established cartoonist and artist living locally who had amassed a wonderful private collection of waterfowl.
He restored the original monastic fish ponds to display the birds in a wild setting in landscaped parkland together with a collection of deer and pygmy goats.
Peter Meigh died in 2008 leaving the legacy to be continued by his like minded daughter Melanie.
On entering the park over 50 peacocks and waterfowl welcome you as you stroll towards the Love Bird aviary and wood full of magnificent Golden Pheasants leading to the haunted Monk's fish pond teeming with large fish. Then onwards past the Wendy House skirting the lake towards the tame Fallow Deer nosing your pockets for food and the Black Swans and frisky friendly Pygmy Goats.
Bird and deer food is available from dispensers to make you even more popular with the inhabitants during your visit to this very charming attraction.
On leaving the bird park it is worth taking the rather long climbing walk to view adjacent Prinknash Abbey a Catholic Benedictine monastery
For nearly nine hundred years the land known as Prinknash has been associated with Benedictine monks. In 1096 the Giffard family, who had come to England with William the Conqueror, made a gift of the land to Serlo, Abbot of St. Peter's, Gloucester. A large part of the present building was constructed during the abbacy of William Parker, last Abbot of Gloucester, around the year 1520. It remained in the abbey's hands until the suppression of the monasteries in 1539 when it was rented from the Crown by Sir Anthony Kingston who was to provide forty deer, annually, for King Henry VIII, who used the House as a hunting lodge. Prinknash Park continued to be used as a home for the gentry and nobility of Gloucestershire during the next few centuries and each generation left its mark upon the property.
On 1 August 1928 a Deed of Covenant was made out by the twentieth Earl of Rothes, the grandson of Mr Thomas Dyer Edwards, a Catholic convert, whose wish was that Prinknash should be given to the Benedictine monks of Caldey Island. These monks had converted to the Catholic Faith in 1913 and were led by Ælred Carlyle, a convert also, later to become a famous Abbot. Caldey Island was eventually sold to the Cistercian monks and on 26 October 1928 six Benedictine monks arrived from Caldey Island to convert the house at Prinknash into a monastery. The rest soon followed and after some years of poverty they managed to purchase all the land around the house to make Prinknash as it is today. Sadly the peak of 25 monks has now shrunk to 12 who are considering moving to a smaller more easily maintained property.
Prinknash Park is situated near the village of Cranham in Gloucestershire