Winter is always a difficult time for restoration work in the gardens - as we cannot bring any vehicle onto the lawns to carry out works – as the ground is so soft.
Nevertheless, restoration work has continued on the flowerbed below the retaining wall on the lower southern terrace - to the west of the mansion. This has now been dug over and has been fitted with its timber edging - see below.
Work has also continued on the restoration of the mansion forecourt. The coursed stone rubble low walls at the northern end have been restored. These formed the base of the railing screen. Other work continues in this area - with the post and rail fencing being up-graded to the south of the mansion. This work will go some way of returning the forecourt to something like its original condition – albeit without its gates and railings.
My co- trustee, Duncan, has now embarked on another project - the restoration of the curved path that once meandered through the holly shrubbery adjacent to the racquets court – see Duncan’s article on page 8. This path was for the gentry, while within the shrubbery, further to the north, there is another path for the gardeners. If any of the 31gardeners saw a member of the family coming down the garden, they made themselves invisible by hiding behind hedges and shrubberies.
Our council approved tree surgeon has been carrying out urgent work on our old Horse Chestnuts in the lower gardens to the north - see below. As many readers will know, this species of tree can suddenly drop branches - especially when very old. Some of these trees are unfortunately in very bad condition and needed attention.
In the walled kitchen garden the second of the smaller glasshouses nears completion. The Orchard House remains an important and very worthwhile project that needs finance. It is hoped that our visitors will give support during 2016. Howard Styles’ article on page 13 gives more details of activity in the kitchen garden.
Someone forced our main gates on Crown Hill - causing over £5,000 worth of damage to the mechanism - which had to be renewed. Rather than take funds away from the restoration of the buildings and gardens, we decided to allow a medium sized one-day film shoot inside the mansion. This provided the funds for the gate repair.
Progress report Autumn 2015
Progress report Spring 2015
Progress report Autumn 2014
Progress report Spring 2014
Progress report Autumn 2013
Progress report Spring 2013
Progress report Autumn 2012
Progress report Spring 2012
Progress report Autumn 2011