The part of the Bolton and Paul orchard house we are restoring now has the main roof and side frames installed. This is this is the first glasshouse we are rebuilding. The previous glasshouses we have worked on have all been repaired - rather than rebuilt. The orchard house was beyond repair but worth rebuilding due to its historic interest. It is hoped that visitors will be impressed enough by our efforts to assist with the costs of carrying on with the restoration.
The Walled Kitchen Garden never ceases to amaze visitors – especially when they enter the top gate for the first time. What is perhaps not always realised, is the sheer amount of hard work which goes into the cultivation and maintenance of the garden. Support is always needed. In the lower gardens, further work has taken place on the pleached Lime Walk and its young branches are gradually being trained to grow horizontally to recreate the original ‘hedge on legs’ which is the nature of a pleached lime walk. Both the excellent Long Garden and Rock Garden continue to be maintained to a high standard. The most significant of the archaeological remains adjacent to the Rock Garden need stabilising and it is intending to carry out this work shortly.The archaeologists have been carrying out considerable investigations into the layout of the 17th century formal gardens - immediately south of the site of the Elizabethan house. The foundations of the main set of steps in the change in level have been unearthed. These steps and the 17th century garden layout were probably removed in 1775. It has also been discovered that the change in level (the bank between the two major lawns) was reinforced with brickwork. If clear evidence is found, then we may reinstate part of this 17th century formal garden.On the Terraces west of the present house, the attractive bed beside the causeway continues to impress - as do the beds either side of the garden entrance gates from the car park. Both these are carefully maintained by volunteers. The yew hedge adjacent to the wing – on its raised bank – had grown very tall and we have been reducing its height more in keeping with its original form - so that the view from the first floor windows of the wing is not interrupted. Many years ago I planted some yew brushes next to the dairy in order to create some topiary. After a number of years of pruning, two key garden volunteers have taken over much of the work for which I am very grateful.
Topiary in progress, phot. Iris NewburyThe Lanscape Setting
The Copped Hall Trust was born out of the nine-year campaign to save the Copped Hall Conservation Area from development. The mansion is the centrepiece of its surrounding Grade II* parkland. As readers will know from the last newsletter, the Trust has felt it vital to investigate the possibility of undergrounding the overhead electricity cables that disfigure the relationship between the mansion and the landscape. As the over-loaded transformer that feeds the Trust and its neighbours was being upgraded, it became economic to carry out the undergrounding of the overhead cables at the same time. This work has now taken place and the result is very satisfying.