Corfu was the Moncks’ first point of contact with Greece as we now know it. They had meant to visit Zakynthos (Zante) first, but diverted due to warnings of French privateers. A similar problem affected their proposed visit to Corfu on the return journey - wartime travel was perilous! Antiquity-wise, there was not much to see: most of Corfu’s ancient sites were excavated after the Moncks’ visit. Sir Charles was eager to see the ancient citadel he had read of in Virgil’s Aeneid, and was shown temple remains, probably those of the Temple of Artemis. Here as elsewhere, however, he was just as much impressed by the plant life. Monck's admiration for the flora of Greece, alongside its architecture, is evident at Corfu and reflected at Belsay.

Click on the drawings of the artefacts to find out more






                       














“We were conducted by [Mr. Foresti] to walk in the country to the great delight of us all — we saw...”
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“We were conducted by [Mr. Foresti] to walk in the country to the great delight of us all — we saw orange trees and prickly pears in abundance, with a few date palms. Cypress — acanthus — garden anemones wild — The hills crowned with groves of olive, and diversified with villas afforded us an enchanting prospect — here is an ample field for the landscape painter.”


Click below to listen to this diary entry
of the 20th of March, 1805












                                    
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Terracotta Antefix
400-300 BC
[Shefton Collection 611]

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the wild and hunting. Here she wears a lion’s skin, a motif associated with Bendis, a similar goddess worshipped in Thrace, to the North of Greece. Antefixes covered the end of the tiles on the roof of a Greek temple.
                                     









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Marble Statuette of Nike
100 BC – 100 AD
[Shefton Collection 815]

                                       

“[Mr Foresti] conducted us through the fields
to the site of the ancient town of Corcyra —
it is elevated and you may imagine the...”
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“[Mr Foresti] conducted us through the fields to the site of the ancient town of Corcyra — it is elevated and you may imagine the aërias arces [citadels high in the air] as Virgil calls them — there are also near it the remains of the cella of a temple — our walk was enchantingly pleasant through orange and olive groves, the ground enamelled with wild anemones, asphodells and many other beautiful flowers whose exact names I did not know — the air perfumed by the blossoms of the orange trees.”


Click below to listen to this diary entry
of the 22nd of March, 1805