Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why is it called "The Main Courtyard" ?

The photo above, taken from a helicopter in 2004 shows the early stages of creating the space now known as The Main Courtyard.  What is a "courtyard"?  In Australia when we hear the word "courtyard" we tend to think of a relatively small outdoor space enclosed by walls on all four sides, perhaps at the rear of a renovated terrace or in a new townhouse.  Not necessarily so.  

The Oxford  Companion to Australian Gardens states that the "courtyard" of substantial rural properties in Australia was most usually formed by three separate buildings surrounding a large open space, with the fourth side left open. The book cites George Henry Cox's 1864 homestead, Burrundulla,  in Mudgee as a prime example.  So the word "courtyard" refers to a variety of forms,  one common element being that it denotes an unroofed architectural space, intended to provide privacy or protection. 

Here at The Drip the area we now call The Main Courtyard is defined by the eastern and western wings of the house and by The Moat, The Outdoor Kitchen and The Wine Cellar. It is designed to provide protection from the elements and from the unwelcome visitations of wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and ferals. 

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