One of the purposes of the Copped Hall Trust, in purchasing Copped Hall, was to restore the mansion, ancillary buildings and gardens according to strict criteria. Considering the appalling state of the place, great progress has been made in this direction.
When the Trust acquired the Walled Kitchen Garden in 1999 I was one of the first volunteers to help with its restoration. One of the major projects was to clear all the glasshouses of trees, brambles and weeds. As well as becoming overgrown, the Orchard House underwent major alterations in the 1950s, when the Walled Garden was run by a firm of market gardeners. They built a brick wall round the sides and also in the centre to form three beds which were then filled with earth. Once the tiled floor had been discovered, it became a passion of mine to clear the earth and the brick walls. This took two years to complete. Since then, I have planted three apple trees in pots and kept the weeds under control. The dream, though, was to restore this important building to its former glory.
Sadly, last year my father passed away after a short illness. He left me an inheritance which has enabled me to give a donation to the Trust to restore one third of the Orchard House. It is quite likely that this glasshouse is the only remaining Bolton and Paul Orchard House still standing. It is a fine building and forms an essential piece of the gardening history of this exceptional walled garden. It will take more hard work and skilled craftsmanship to realise my dream, but it also takes funds. If you are able to give a donation, large or small, to help complete the remaining two-thirds this would be much appreciated. This can be done by: Visiting our JustGiving website. Follow the link. Here you can make a one-off donation of any amount, large or small. You can also set up a regular monthly donation of any amount. By donating in this way we are able to reclaim gift aid (if you are eligible) simply and there are no forms for you to complete.
View of the Victorian wing from the mansion roof, showing the construction workPhoto: Peter Gamble
Text “OHRP13” and the amount of your donation (£5, £10 or £25) to 70070. Quick and simple for you,but we can’t reclaim gift aid. Alternatively, you can donate the oldfashioned way and write a cheque, payable to “The Copped Hall Trust”. This needs to be sent to The Copped Hall Trust, Stables Courtyard, Copped Hall, Crown Hill, Epping, CM16 5HS. You will need to accompany this with a note telling us that this is a donation for the Orchard House Restoration Project. If you want to allow us to reclaim gift aid, you will need to state “I am a UK resident and pay tax…..”
Please clearly write your full name, and sign your name next to the declaration. The restoration of the Orchard House would be one more milestone in our road to success. Please come and see the building when you next visit and I am sure you will see why I am so passionate about rescuing it.