March ’18 News Letter

Dear All,

Welcome to my first News Letter of 2018, and I hope you had a happy time over the Christmas break.   We had a quiet but enjoyable time, but, as I think you will agree by the time you get to the end of this Letter, quite a lot has been happening at Pulham H Q since then. Continue reading “March ’18 News Letter”

c1877 – St Albans Court, Nonington, Kent

I am greatly indebted to Peter Hobbs, the current owner of St Albans Court, for permission to publish an article that he has written based on his research into the history of his gardens.

A PULHAM GARDEN REDISCOVERED IN NONINGTON, KENT.

(An edited version of this article is in Archaeologia Cantiana 138 2017 291-299) Continue reading “c1877 – St Albans Court, Nonington, Kent”

November ’17 News Letter

Dear All,
Time flies, doesn’t it? I just can’t believe that it is now three months since my last News Letter, but my calendar assures me that it is, so it must be time to catch up again. I hope you have all had a good summer, and can look forward to a nice warm, comfortable few months ahead.   Continue reading “November ’17 News Letter”

August ’17 News Letter

Dear All,
It’s been a fascinating few weeks since my last Letter. More people have sent me details and snippets of information for me to pass on, and I’ll get to those in a minute, but, before I do that, I want to start with an item that concerns me personally. Continue reading “August ’17 News Letter”

June ’17 News Letter

Dear All,

I have to start this Letter by saying how delighted I am with the reactions I have received to my last two Letters about the Pulham Memorial Project in Broxbourne earlier this year.   But it’s now time to catch up with all the other news that has been coming my way over the last few weeks – and what a mailbox I have had!   My sincere thanks are due to all my readers who have been in touch with me, and sent me items of varied interest that broadly fall into two main categories – landscape and terracotta – but integrate into a nicely linked sequence.

Continue reading “June ’17 News Letter”

The Pulham Memorial New Letter – March ’17

Dear All,

Well, Spring is here, and it’s time to catch up with what’s been going on in the World of Pulham since my Christmas News Letter.   Continue reading “The Pulham Memorial New Letter – March ’17”

Christmas 2016 News Letter

161214-christmas-decorationDear All,

It is only a few weeks since I published my last News Letter, but a lot is happening at the moment, and I have been able to put quite a Bumper Bundle together for Christmas.  We even have two video clips for you to access . . . Continue reading “Christmas 2016 News Letter”

November ’16 News Letter

Dear All,

Time flies, doesn’t it, but quite a lot has been happening over the last few months, and I thought it was time to catch up.

The Pulham Memorial Project

In my July News Letter, I announced that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given a grant to the partnership of Broxbourne Borough Council, B3Living and Lowewood Museum to support the conservation of what remains of the site of the old Pulhams’ Manufactory in Station Road, Broxbourne, and to create a Touring Exhibition and supporting Events Programme.   Continue reading “November ’16 News Letter”

1901 – Newgate Gap, Margate, Kent

Add  1 – Sep 16

Just after the publication of ‘Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’, I received an email from James Brazier, Newsletter Editor of the Margate Civic Society, who wondered if I knew whether James Pulham and Son ever did any work on a set of steps leading down into the cutting at Newgate Gap, in Cliftonville.     Continue reading “1901 – Newgate Gap, Margate, Kent”

Gazetteer

In ‘Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’, I described and illustrated just over 40 of James Pulham’s most prestigious sites, and these are listed in Chapter order in the CONTENTS’ page of this website.   In my ‘Site of the Month’ series, I added a further 60 sites, so I have now described and illustrated more than 100 sites, and there could even be more to come!   Any further details of  ‘new’ or ‘rediscovered’ locations that come my way will be inserted into the Gazetteer, and indicated by the prefix ‘Add xx

They are all cross indexed in the following Gazetteer Index in alphabetical sequence under both the name of the site and the town in which they are situated.   Thus, Belle Vue Park in Newport can be found under both ‘Belle Vue Park’ and ‘Newport’ .   Links to the brief synopses of the sites in the book are listed under their Chapter Number, and links to the full articles on those featured as ‘Sites of the Month’ are indicated by their month of publication.    ‘New’ sites will be indicated by the prefix ‘Add xx‘.   Simply click on the link to the site you want. Continue reading “Gazetteer”

July ’16 News Letter

Dear All,

I began my last News Letter by rejoicing in the fact that summer was on its way.   I didn’t realise that we would have to wait two months for it, but at last it has arrived.   We had better make the most of it, though, as they tell us it may not last for long.   However, let’s leave the weather to one side, because quite a lot has been happening in the world of Pulham lately.
Continue reading “July ’16 News Letter”

1862-67 – Welbeck Abbey, near Worksop, Nottinghamshire

SM 24 – May 13

Welbeck Abbey is about 3½ miles from Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, and its park, which covers more than 2,000 acres, is part of Sherwood Forest.   It is the largest of the estates in North Nottinghamshire that are collectively known as the Dukeries, and is one of the few remaining places in England where they survive almost completely unspoiled. [i] Continue reading “1862-67 – Welbeck Abbey, near Worksop, Nottinghamshire”

May 2016 – News Letter

Dear All,

The weather is getting warmer, and summer is on its way.   Now is the time to get out the diary, and plan your visits to all those Pulham parks and gardens that you want to see.   Or perhaps you will be able to come to meet us at one of our presentations?   There are some interesting bookings coming up over the next few months. Continue reading “May 2016 – News Letter”

1902 – Dutton Homestall, East Grinstead, Sussex

SM 60 – May 16

This is the last of my current series of ‘Sites of the Month’, and I have saved something very special to occupy this slot.   It relates to a lovely garden that I would have included in my book, Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy had it not been for the fact that, at the time of preparing for publication, this property was in the process of being sold, and I did not want to offend the potential new owners by including it without their knowledge or permission. Continue reading “1902 – Dutton Homestall, East Grinstead, Sussex”

1929-33 – Exbury Gardens, near Southampton, Hampshire

SM 59 – Apr 16

Introduction

As far as I know, their projects around the coastal resorts – discussed in Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy – were among the last undertaken by James Pulham and Son.   However, there is one more quite major piece of work undertaken during their final years that should be mentioned.   It has not been conclusively documented as being by the Pulhams, although the visual evidence is certainly sufficient to satisfy me as to their authenticity unless or until I can be proved wrong. Continue reading “1929-33 – Exbury Gardens, near Southampton, Hampshire”

March 2016 – News Letter

Dear All,

This is a very special occasion!   Two wonderful pictures have come my way over the last few weeks – both from people I had never met or heard from before – and I thought they were both worthy of sharing with you in a special News Letter. Continue reading “March 2016 – News Letter”

1874-75 – An Exciting New Discovery in S.E. London

SM 58 – Mar 16

There is a small, and fairly insignificant entry in James 2’s promotional booklet, Picturesque Ferneries and Rock Garden Scenery, which tells us that the firm built a ‘Dropping Well’ for a Dr Barry, who lived in S E London, in 1874-75   Dr Barry was born in County Down during the 1820a, and studied Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Edinburgh, from where he qualified as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1844.[1]   Continue reading “1874-75 – An Exciting New Discovery in S.E. London”

1891 – Carpenders Park, Watford, Hertfordshire

SM 57 – Feb 16

Robert Russell Carew – who made his fortune in India growing sugar and producing gin and rum [1] – purchased the mansion at Carpenders Park in 1862, in the area that used to be known as the Woodwalks, near Watford.  Continue reading “1891 – Carpenders Park, Watford, Hertfordshire”

1883-85 – The Rectory, Benington, Hertfordshire

SM 56 – Jan 16

This month’s site is something different.   In fact, it is something completely unique in my experience, and I was only made aware of it after the publication of my book, ‘Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’.   A lady told me one day that she had recently been to an ‘Open Garden Day’ in Benington, near Stevenage, and wanted to know if I had ever seen the Pulham grotto there?   Continue reading “1883-85 – The Rectory, Benington, Hertfordshire”

A Fascinating Day in Woodbridge

I promised in my last News Letter that I would write a short account of a visit that Val and I made to Woodbridge in October..   I think it was possibly the only wet day during the whole of the month, but it was nevertheless a fascinating trip.   We had been to Woodbridge before, but this was the first time we gave ourselves the opportunity to look around some of the Pulhams’ old Home Town. Continue reading “A Fascinating Day in Woodbridge”

Christmas 2015 – News Letter

Dear All,

It is unusual for me to produce two News Letters within one month of each other, but Christmas is almost upon us, and this one is rather special. Continue reading “Christmas 2015 – News Letter”

1845 – Bayfordbury, near Hertford, Hertfordshire

SM 55 – Dec 15

In 1845 – three years after he created his first ever rock garden for John Warner at ‘Woodlands’, in Hoddesdon – James 2 was awarded his first landscaping commission by William Robert Baker to build a rockery and rose garden at his imposing Georgian and Regency mansion at Bayfordbury, on the outskirts of Hertford.  Continue reading “1845 – Bayfordbury, near Hertford, Hertfordshire”

November 2015 – News Letter

Dear All,

The Autumn Season has got off to a flying start for Valerie and myself!   Our ‘Pulhams of Broxbourne’ Presentations have gone down very well, and we had a fascinating day in Woodbridge.   Let’s get down to the details: Continue reading “November 2015 – News Letter”

1901-03 – Bushey House, Bushey, Hertfordshire

SM 54 – Nov 15

Bushey House was owned by a prosperous London solicitor, Mr George Lake between c1865 and 1899.   He wasted no time in improving and renovating the house – a project that included the installation of a gas works to light the house, and a mains water system to supply the cistern, bathroom and toilets.   Nothing much else is known about Mr Lake, apart from the fact that he was partly responsible for ensuring that the Almshouses in Bushey were ‘completed on time’. [i]   Continue reading “1901-03 – Bushey House, Bushey, Hertfordshire”

1873 – Smithills Hall, Bolton, Lancashire

SM 53 – Oct 15

On the edge of Bolton, in Greater Manchester, there is a splendid, rambling Elizabethan manor house called Smithills Hall.   It is one of the oldest halls in Lancashire – part of it actually dates back to the reign of King John in the 14th century, and it has been added to progressively since that time.   Continue reading “1873 – Smithills Hall, Bolton, Lancashire”

September 2015 – News Letter

Dear All,

I hope you have all had an enjoyable summer, and managed to visit a few Pulham sites on your travels.

In my News Letter for November ’14, I included some notes about a number of Pulham sites that were either scheduled for; were in the process of, or had recently benefitted from major restoration work, largely as a result of their local ‘Friends’ or councils receiving considerable grants from the Heritage Lottery FundContinue reading “September 2015 – News Letter”

1922-23 – Dunira, near Comrie, Perthshire

SM 52 – Sep 15

This article is an extract from James Pulham in Scotland, previously published in The Rock Garden Magazine #131, in July 2013

____________________

The final currently known Pulham site in Scotland is Dunira, near Comrie, in Perthshire, of which very little now remains.   Like Mount Stuart – see Site of the Moth #50, Jul 15 – these gardens were designed by one of the greatest English landscape artists of all time, Thomas Mawson, and they were also one of the very few gardens constructed by James Pulham and Son after the First World War. Continue reading “1922-23 – Dunira, near Comrie, Perthshire”

1880 – Ware Park Manor, Hertford, Hertfordshire

SM 51 – Aug 15

Ware Park was only a few miles from the Pulhams’ headquarters in Broxbourne, and comes under the general heading of ‘small projects’.   The land on which they worked – at what is now Ware Park – used to be associated with the stable block of Ware Park Manor, which, strangely enough, is located in what is now known as the Hertford suburb of Bengeo.[i]

Continue reading “1880 – Ware Park Manor, Hertford, Hertfordshire”

1898 – Mount Stuart, Argyll and Bute

SM 50 – Jul 15

This article is an extract from James Pulham in Scotland, previously published in The Rock Garden Magazine #131, in July 2013

______________________

James Pulham and Son worked with the eminent landscape architect, Thomas Mawson, on a number of occasions.   Their first collaboration was in Belle Vue Park, Newport, Monmouthshire, in 1893 – the first contract that Mawson was awarded for a municipal park project – and they evidently got on well because, when the 3rd Marquess of Bute commissioned Mawson to design a new garden for him to the west of his house at Mount Stuart in 1898, he invited James 2 to work with him again.   Continue reading “1898 – Mount Stuart, Argyll and Bute”

1868-74 – Hutton Hall, Guisborough, North Yorkshire

SM 49 – Jun 15

Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease Bart – M.P. for South Durham, and grandson of Edward Pease, the ‘Father of the Railways’ – lived in Hutton Hall, near Guisborough, Cleveland, a small market town on the Northern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, and in 1868 he commissioned James Pulham and Son to construct: Continue reading “1868-74 – Hutton Hall, Guisborough, North Yorkshire”

1882 – Halton House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

SM 48 – May 15

Baron Lionel de Rothschild – of the famous international banking family, and owner of Gunnersbury Park, in London (see ‘Site of the Month’ #15 – Aug 12) – bought Halton estate, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1853.   He did nothing of any significance with it, however, and eventually gave it to his middle son, Alfred, a bachelor and confirmed city dweller.[i] Continue reading “1882 – Halton House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire”

April 2015 – News Letter

Dear All,

It seems a long time since I wrote my last News Letter, but that doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening. Continue reading “April 2015 – News Letter”

1889 – ‘Piggots Manor’, Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire

SM 47 – Apr 15

Mr George Villies purchased ‘Piggots Manor’ in 1884, demolished the small house, and constructed the mock-Tudor building that still stands in its place.   George Harrison, the ‘Quiet Beatle’, purchased it in 1973, and presented it as a gift to ISKCON – the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. [i]   They renamed the property ‘Bhaktivedanta Manor’, after the Society’s founder, and it continues to serve as the Society’s Headquarters in Britain. Continue reading “1889 – ‘Piggots Manor’, Letchmore Heath, Hertfordshire”

1878 – Mesnes Park, Wigan, Lancashire

SM 46 – Mar 15

The area of Wigan around Mesnes Park is traditionally known as The Mesnes, after the old manorial demesne land.   It was purchased for the Wigan Corporation for £2,000 by the then Mayor, Nathaniel Eckersley, a local mill owner, under the Wigan Rectory Glebe Act of 1871, with provisions for a public park and a Grammar School in the southwest corner.   The total area of the land was approximately thirty acres, and responsibility for its development was delegated to a sub-committee of the Council. Continue reading “1878 – Mesnes Park, Wigan, Lancashire”

1873-74 – Sundridge Park, Bromley, Kent

SM 45 – Feb 15

Edward George Lind bought the Sundridge estate in 1792, and called in Humphry Repton to advise on the landscape.   He recommended that the old house should be re-sited on the opposite side of the valley, and that the surrounding farmland should be converted into a park, but, before any improvements had been made to the estate, Lind sold the property to Claude Scott, a wealthy corn merchant, who accepted Repton’s recommendations, and had the new mansion built.   Continue reading “1873-74 – Sundridge Park, Bromley, Kent”