The Golden Temple
World Cultural Heritage featuring a shining golden pavilion and a pond-centered garden in Japan, (and in West Berkshire!!).
Kinkaku-ji is one of Kyoto’s leading temples. Its formal name is Rokuon-ji. It was built at the end of the 14th century originally as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the shogun at the time. After Yoshimitsu’s death, as indicated in his will, the building was converted into a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which is famous for the practice of zazen, or religious meditation (a major method of Buddhist training, and method of meditation for establishing one’s foundation in Zen Buddhism). The shining Kinkaku (“Golden Pavilion”) is a symbol of Kyoto. This temple has been burnt down many times in the flames of war and other conflagrations, and more recently by arson, which incident has been made famous by Yukio Mishima’s novel, Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion). However, it was restored in 1955, with major improvement work being done on it in 1987, so that all of the gold leaf has been replaced. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Kinkaku-ji is one of the historical buildings most representative of Japan.
Now take a look at the picture. Who would have imagined that this copy of the top of the golden temple (above) would have found its way from Japan in the 1990's and remain nestled in a private walled garden at Donnington Grove, West Berkshire?
Donnington Grove's Temple
Parasampia first converted the beautiful 18th century gothic style manor (Donnington Grove) to hotel accommodation and created the Dave Thomas design Championship golf gourse in Newbury, opened in 1993 by the Earl of Carnarvon. During this following years the temple was enjoyed as a tranquil place to meditate, as in Japan.
Today, the Temple sits quietly in the walled garden, below Donnington Castle, on the Donnington Grove estate and it is popular for wedding photographs, private parties and celebrations. It will be licensed for ceremonies in 2017, it has been very interesting to uncover some of the history relating to this beauitiful creation andmore recently to learn that the design of our temple is a copy of the top of the Golden Temple in Japan.