The Walled Garden at Harewood End
A project to restore a historic walled garden and lake at Harewood End in Herefordshire is now complete. The Duchy of Cornwall led a team of archaeologists, builders and landscape gardeners to transform the site which was overgrown and in disrepair.
David Curtis, Duchy of Cornwall Land Steward in Herefordshire said: "Harewood Park covers around 900 acres and was purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall in 2000. Since then we have converted redundant farms and buildings into homes and work places and now we're delighted to see the lake and walled garden restored to their former glory for the benefit of everyone on the estate."
The Walled Garden
In 2001 the garden was identified by Herefordshire Council and the Hereford and Worcester Gardens Trust, as one of almost 100 walled gardens in the country urgently needing restoration or repair. It was hoped that this derelict land could be transformed into a local beauty spot to be enjoyed by the public and preserved for future generations.
It is thought that the walled garden structure was built between 1833 and 1877. It was the second walled garden created at Harewood Park but the first was completely removed around 1959. The remaining garden however was in poor condition. One quarter of the perimeter wall was missing and the other sections were in a dilapidated condition. A sizeable section of the glass house had been dismantled and the land had been grassed over.
In-keeping with the Duchy's commitment to sustainability, the restored garden now features a collection of 45 fruit trees representative of many of the traditional varieties grown in Herefordshire and sourced from a local supplier. An ornamental birch surrounded by a yew circle has also been planted which will mature into a spectacular centrepiece for the garden.
The Lake at Harewood End
The lake at Harewood End was originally a 14th century "fish stew" - a pond used to hold live fish ready for eating. The stew will have served the Preceptory of the Knight's Templar, the headquarters of an order of monastic knights which in 1312 was recorded to contain a hall, grange and chapel. In the late 17th century, Sir John Hoskyns adapted the medieval stew into a formal pool with a broad path, defined by crisp stone walls with a series of terraces below the house. An ancient stone-vaulted well house was later adapted to fit into the composition.
However, with the change of fashion to the naturalistic style in the 18th century when the landscape park was created, the terraces were backfilled, the pool edges softened and the dam raised, thus enlarging the lake. Later it was extended towards Grange Farm with a small island. During the 20th century the site declined and the stumps of the park's mighty trees, sadly felled in 1959, were bulldozed into the lake. By the time of the Duchy's acquisition in 2000 it had become so silted and weed-choked as to be unrecognisable.
Archaeological work commissioned by the Duchy brought to light the original features, including a ruined Victorian pump house and bathing pool which have now been repaired. The lake has been rebuilt along its original lines to allow the site to be 'read' in its 17thcentury form whilst at the same time retaining the later features. The water in the lake has been returned to its earlier level and at each end the feel of the early terracing has been recreated, while along the sides the later Georgian landscaping prevails. Work was carried out by Treasures Ltd of Ludlow using stone from the Duchy's own quarry at Harewood.
The Lake at Harewood End
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