In January it was announced that Cannon Hall Park & Gardens were successful in their application to the Heritage Lottery & Big Lottery, Parks for People programme. Work will start very soon on the £3 million programme to restore elements within the park and back to their original Georgian glory. This blog sets to tell the brief story about some of those elements and follow progress of the works.
This months blog looks at the Walled Gardens
Within walls erected over 200 years ago, fruits, flowers and vines flourished. Generations of gardeners carefully tended them and produced vegetables for the hall’s dining tables.
Gardeners cultivated exotic fruits for their rich flavours and status. Beds were packed with beautiful flowers. Vegetables were carried inside to be prepared and cooked in the hot bustle of the kitchens.
The nearest greenhouse was built in the mid-1800s. The one beyond is much earlier. Both provide evidence of the changing technologies, fashions and expense of gardening on estates such as this. In contrast, the gardener’s cottage and fruit-rooms in the corner were barely changed for centuries.
An ice-house lies hidden and buried on the other side of the house, near another walled garden that is now privately owned.
Packed with straw and winter ice from the lakes, the ice-house cleverly kept foodstuffs fresh through long hot summers.
Land Army girls worked the gardens in the Second World War and thousands of school children now lend a hand each year.
Part of the Heritage Lottery/ Big Lottery Parks for People application process is to carry out many surveys to determine what is required for the restoration and preservation of the elements included in the bid. One of these surveys in the walled garden confirmed a feint circular outline in the lawn was in fact the original Georgian pond. As part of the project it is planned that the pond is reinstated as per Richard Wood’s original plans.
The gardens are in excellent condition, the wall itself is a fine specimen of Georgian architecture, its sublime curved edges are still very much intact. The gardens are maintained by the many wonderful volunteers who come out in all weathers to weed, prune and dig. If you would like to help preserve and support Cannon Hall Museum, Park & Gardens and are thinking of becoming a volunteer then click here and please do get in touch