The chestnut tree / by Sasha Ward

The southern boundary of Kelmscott Manor is bounded by water, the Radcot Cut, not the River Thames as some visitors presume - see map above to clear up any confusion. The Cut provides a lot of excitement; in April a champagne bottle was dredged from the mud and dated to the 1860s-70s, and in August a huge horse chestnut tree fell with a crash in to the water.

Now the living half of the tree is flowering in the water and circled by the rooks who live in it, the dead part will be taken away soon. The view through the chestnut trees to the field, the river and the woods beyond is a favourite spot and has been reminding me of a stained glass panel by Kerr-Xavier Roussel, below right. This is from a series of 13 panels designed by French artists and made by Louis Comfort Tiffany; Vuillard's design also featured chestnut trees but his stained glass panel is now lost.

 Left: one of my drawings from the cut. Right: Garden by Roussel, 1894.

Left: one of my drawings from the cut. Right: Garden by Roussel, 1894.