House was built in the mid to late 18th Century. It now
houses during term time 44 children with learning difficulties. The
stable block has been turned into classrooms. The house is now run by
a charitable trust.
the garden, Mary drew our attention to a well-established stand of
several Viburnum rhytidophyllum, large shrubs with glossy
elliptical green leaves and abundant red to black shiny fruits. This
shrub is excellent on chalk. (Hillier)
Mawson, a supporter of the arts and crafts movement, designed the
hard landscaping. I consider it a great success, a series of
terraces of varying depth making the most of the attractive views.
Dyffryn, S Wales, is another of his designs. The canal pond, a very
attractive feature of the South lawn, is occupied by Horace the carp
and a flotilla of golden orfe. Let us hope that Horace is too big and
the orfe too agile to escape the attentions of the local herons.
planting, designed by Gertrude Jekyll, may have been appropriate in
1920/21 at a time of plentiful and cheap labour. Now, with one
full-time gardener plus part time help, it is obviously a struggle,
not helped by plentiful deer and rabbits who just love young roses
and herbaceous plants.
is little prospect of generating a large income in so inaccessible a
place with no house available for conferences or weddings to command
large fees. The planting scheme did not take into consideration the
thin, hungry soil over chalk, not ideal for roses or labour-intensive
herbaceous borders. This asks the question, ‘Why is it so
necessary to restore the planting to Jekyll’s plans?’
we were served tea and home-made cakes on the South facing top
terrace, protected from the West by a wing of the house and from the
East by a large and very healthy looking horse chestnut.