People and Places Discussed and Pictured in Chapter 32 of:
Hugh Hammersley, a banker, bought and rebuilt Warren House, on the Coombe Estate in Kingston upon Thames, in 1865. The estate was almost completely intersected by a tongue of land that used by Veitch and Son, the famous nurserymen, for the display and sale of their flowering trees and shrubs, and was also famous for its Japanese Water Garden. Hammersley purchased the lease for this piece of land, but agreed that the nursery should be allowed to continue in operation until the expiry of the lease c1913.
He died in 1880, and the next owner was George Grenfell Glyn – the second Baron Wolverton – who died in 1887. On the death of his wife in 1897, George Holford bought the house, and lived there until 1907. The next owner was Sir Arthur Paget, GCB KCVO, who added many notable features to the house and grounds, including the Winter Garden, with its grotto, and an Italian-style loggia. It is known that James Pulham and Son was one of the contractors, because the firm’s Garden Catalogue c1920 contains a picture of this feature.
There is a fernery at the side of the house, which is all that now remains of the old Winter Garden. There is a small octagonal fountain, a Pulham six-seater ‘Norbiton’ Seat, and a small sunken walled garden in the main formal gardens at the back of the house, together with the Italian Loggia, which still looks as good as it did in the Pulham Catalogue picture. In fact, everything is maintained in an excellent condition,
Italian Loggia at Warren House
Warren House was acquired by ICI for use as a Conference and Training Centre, but parts of the gardens were parceled off, and a block of security apartments was built on the piece of land once occupied by the old Coombe Wood Nursery. That section is now called ‘The Watergardens’, because the Japanese Water Garden still exists, as discussed in detail in the Chapter 33. Warren House then changed hands again, and reopened in 1988 after a major refurbishment.
An additional ‘Chapter’ was published each month over a period of five years on this website under the tag of ‘Where? / Site of the Month’, and these can now be accessed alphabetically under the comprehensive ‘Where? / Gazetteer’ tag, so don’t miss those. Click on the link to see the complete list of Pulham sites described and illustrated by Claude Hitching.
Another link that you might like to refer to takes you to the ‘Press and Media / Book Reviews’ tag, where you can read all the reviews of ‘Rock Landscapes‘ written by professional critics in the National and Garden Press.
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A full description of the work done by James Pulham and Son at Warren House – together with a number of pictures – can be found in Chapter 32 of Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy – the critically-acclaimed and lavishly illustrated definitive story of the lives and work of James Pulham and Son. Written by Claude Hitching, with featured photography by Jenny Lilly. Published by Garden Art Press.