I was pleased to see that our star White Peacocks made the pages of Tatler this summer. Alas the story only tells half the story of the peaccock wars at Upton Cressett – as a result, we are now down to just one white peacock.
At our Easter Weeekend opening our star new attraction was a pair of rare White Peacocks for the new Moat Aviary at Upton Cressett that is set in the old 15th century grass moat of Upton Cressett Hall. The Moat Aviary features fowl, including rare chickens. We used to have five India Blue Peacocks and a male pair of the unusual White Peacocks but the ‘peacock wars’ of Upton Cressett has resulted in heavy casualties this summer. I will be blogging separately about the peacock saga.
The chickens have all been supplied by the Gobbett Rare Fowl Farm near Burwarton. The collection includes Appenzellers, Salmon Faverolles, Rhode Island Reds, Silkies, Gold Sussex chickens, French Marans and a variety of peacocks. The White Peacocks were tracked down to a rare peacock breeder in Yorkshire after a long search. They were a Christmas present from Lady Laura to her husband William.
Following an unfortunate incident involving a fox jumping into the Moat Aviary, a large Bronze turkey called ‘Pavarotti’ was killed before Easter, along with one of the Gold Sussex chickens. ‘The incident is being called ‘Murder in the Moat’ says Laura. ‘I was very attached to Pavarotti who was huge and used to stamp his feet whenever a male peacock was flirting with his wife, another bronze turkey, who fortunately survived last week’s fox attack’.
The ‘rare fowl’ aviary is located in penned off section of the Grade 1 listed garden medieval moat (which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument). Combined with the new tourist signs, the Elizabethan aviary is hoping to become a popular local family tourist attraction.