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Kitchen Garden Enclosure Walls and Heated Wall, Blagdon Water Garden Centre

A Grade II Listed Building in Burrington, North Somerset

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Latitude: 51.333 / 51°19'58"N

Longitude: -2.7683 / 2°46'5"W

OS Eastings: 346572

OS Northings: 159605

OS Grid: ST465596

Mapcode National: GBR JH.W8CD

Mapcode Global: VH7CN.YRWG

Plus Code: 9C3V86MJ+6M

Entry Name: Kitchen Garden Enclosure Walls and Heated Wall, Blagdon Water Garden Centre

Listing Date: 3 September 1996

Last Amended: 12 January 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268309

English Heritage Legacy ID: 461960

Location: Burrington, North Somerset, BS40

County: North Somerset

Civil Parish: Burrington

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Tagged with: Kitchen garden

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Former kitchen garden enclosure wall and a heated wall for a hot house (demolished). Late C18/early C19 with alterations of C19 and C20 date.

MATERIALS: The enclosure walls are of random stone rubble to the outer face and red brick in an English garden wall bond to the inner with copings of pantile and stone. The former heated wall is also of red brick and its attached lean-to has walls of random rubble and red brick. It has a pantile roof with brick stacks to either end.

PLAN: The site lies to the east of the Langford Brook. The walls define a trapezoidal-plan enclosure with walls to north and south approximately 60m and the return connecting length to the east approx. 50m long. Attached to the south is a smaller section of wall which is attached to Brook Cottages (not included).
The heated wall is set at an angle to the main enclosure, just beyond the north west corner and is orientated west-east. Built against the north side is a single storey lean-to which formerly housed the stoves. Attached to the right (east) is a late-C19 two storey addition and mid-C20 flat-roofed building of two bays. Both are derelict and not of special architectural or historic interest. The late-C19 detached building to the west of the heated wall is also not of special interest.
ENCLOSURE WALLS: The north and east sections of wall are approximately 4m high, coped with pantiles, and the return to the south approximately 3m high, with weathered stone coping. This wall formerly returned to the north to complete the enclosure but has been demolished at its north end. There are segmental-headed doors with brick lintels at either end of the north wall and a further doorway in the south west wall.

The HEATED WALL is 10m long and 5m high and is of cavity (hollow) construction which allowed hot air to be pumped through. The south face is mostly whitewashed, indicating the position of the former glasshouse/hot house (demolished). It has three rows of sixteen round-headed recesses, originally for the growing and display of pineapples or other exotic or tender fruit or flowers; the upper row has been blocked and a wide square-headed opening has been inserted at ground level. The recesses have flush half-brick arches and large quarry-tile sins. The west elevation of the rear (north) lean-to is of random stone rubble construction while its rear is of brick and appears to have been largely rebuilt. New openings, including doors and windows, have been inserted in the late C19 and C20.

INTERIOR: The lean-to is of two bays, sub-divided to the upper part of the structure by a partition of timber scantling which has lath and plaster on its east face. Although no evidence for the heating system survives, the west half of the lean-to appears to have originally housed the stove that heated the south wall and, in turn, the associated hot house. A shallow rectangular pit may indicate its former position. The eastern half is more domestic in character and may have served as a bothy. It retains a hearth with brick jambs and lintel.

HISTORY: This former walled garden was associated with Mendip Lodge, a house located on a north-facing slope in woodlands some 500m to the south. The house was built in the late C18 by the Reverend Thomas Whalley, an eccentric clergyman and playwright. It was approached by a winding carriage road and was surrounded by terraced walks, grottos, plantations of trees and shrubberies. Rev. Whalley's life ended in decline following separation with his third wife. In an attempt to put his finances right he tried to sell Mendip Lodge which was reputed to have cost £60,000, but it failed to realise £30,000. After a period of neglect, Mendip Lodge is now ruinous.

A map of the area, dated 1844, depicts the walled garden as 'Garden', while the area immediately to the west is described as 'Flower Garden, Green Ho, Hot Ho'. The land further to the west, now Blagdon Water Gardens, is shown as 'Card's Open Garden' and included a fishpond and a further hot house. Little remains within the flower garden except for the free-standing length of walling designed as a heated wall for an attached hot house (now demolished). Against the north face of the wall is a single storey lean-to which housed the furnaces. In the later C19 the lean-to was extended with the addition of a two storey single bay addition and appears to have been converted to residential use. Further changes have occurred at the site since the mid-C19 and include the loss of a short section of walling on the west side of the garden, the loss of all greenhouses and hot houses, and the addition of a flat-roofed, two storey building to the east of the heated wall in the late C20.

In the C20 the site became a nursery growing vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees, but it has been largely vacant since the late C20.

SOURCES: A Brief History of Blagdon Water Gardens (February 2007) Water Gardener Magazine.com. http://www.watergardenermagazine.com/node/684. Accessed on 28th August 2009
Stephens, C, Mendip Lodge Garden (2009), Avon Gardens Trust Journal, No. 4, pp. 14-22
Williams, J, Penpoint Pinery - past, present and future? Extract from www.walledgardens.net/downloads/penpointpinery.doc Accessed on 30th June 2009

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The former kitchen garden wall and heated wall are designated for the following principal reasons:
* A well-preserved and almost complete circuit of late-C18/early-C19 kitchen garden walls that retain their historic character
* Despite the regrettable loss of the hot house, the heated wall is a substantial structure that has an unusual form with its symmetrical arrangement of recesses
* The heated wall provides evidence for the late-C18 and early-C19 interest in the cultivation and display of exotic plants and/or fruit
* These structures have an historic link with the ruinous late-C18 Mendip Lodge which was built in a wooded landscape for the Reverend Thomas Whalley


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