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Buildings and Walls of the Kitchen Garden at Shardeloes Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Amersham, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6783 / 51°40'41"N

Longitude: -0.6476 / 0°38'51"W

OS Eastings: 493605

OS Northings: 198590

OS Grid: SU936985

Mapcode National: GBR F60.R31

Mapcode Global: VHFSG.Q2HR

Plus Code: 9C3XM9H2+8X

Entry Name: Buildings and Walls of the Kitchen Garden at Shardeloes Park

Listing Date: 25 October 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391411

English Heritage Legacy ID: 493798

ID on this website: 101391411

Location: Buckinghamshire, HP7

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Amersham

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Amersham with Coleshill

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Tagged with: Kitchen garden

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166/0/10011 WENDOVER ROAD
25-OCT-05 Buildings and walls of the Kitchen Gar
den at Shardeloes Park

DATE: 1787-9, possibly incorporating elements of a water garden of mid 1720s.

ARCHITECT: Not known.

MATERIALS: Red brick walls, ceramic coping 'stones', some flint walling, red brick structures with tiled and slate roofs.

PLAN: Rectangular.

FAÇADE: The walled gardens tip slightly downhill to the south, and from them a view is obtained across the northern parkland. They comprise five main compartments, in all 280m long and c.35m deep (the central compartment a little more), extending roughly east-west against a C18 3m tall brick wall with red ceramic coping `stones' which runs alongside, and slightly set back from, the A413. The wall is breached by a double entrance alongside the gardener's cottage, and by an original C18 doorway towards its west end. The C18 brick end walls of the garden, to east and west, running downhill, are up to 6m tall. Along the south side of the compartments is an 18m wide slip garden bounded to the south by a brick and flint wall c.1m high. A ruinous cart entrance lies at the west end of that wall.

Set against the main north wall in the central compartment is a fairly plain and simple brick gardener's cottage of the mid-late C19 (extended during that period from three bays to five), of two storeys set beneath a gabled tile roof and with tile-hung east gable wall. Wooden sash windows overlook the garden. Abutting on its west side is a contemporary single-storeyed, slate-roofed, brick shelter with four arched entrances with blue brick detailing.

Ruinous slate-roofed brick sheds (heavily overgrown and impossible to properly inspect) stand along the north side of the south wall of the main compartment. Ranges of glasshouses shown therein on late C19 and early C20 Ordnance Survey maps have been cleared away. Ruinous glasshouses, perhaps of the late C19, stand against the south side of the south wall of the main compartment.

HISTORY: The walled kitchen garden is an element of the parkland landscape around Shardeloes House, a mid C18 country house (architects successively Stiff Leadbetter, Robert Adam, and James and Samuel Wyatt; Listed grade I) which stands 250m to the south-east. The present parkland there (Registered grade II*) was created in the 1760s by Nathaniel Richmond who naturalised an older formal landscape by Charles Bridgeman associated with an earlier house, with further work being undertaken by Humphry Repton who produced a Red Book for the place in 1794. After the Second World War the estate was split up and the house subdivided into flats.

Estate accounts (Drake family papers in Bucks RO) indicate the walled garden was built 1787-9. The gardens' removal from the vicinity of the house (kitchen gardens behind the house are hinted at in a view of c.1730: Pevsner and Willamson, p618) was presumably part of ongoing improvements at Shardloes. The site had previously been part of water gardens shown on the view of 1730, these gardens probably being among the works at Shardloes for which Charles Bridgeman was responsible in the mid 1720s. The kitchen gardens are set behind a tall wall screening them from the Aylesbury-Amersham turnpike (later the A413, now a dual carriageway), probably retained from the earlier water gardens (estate accounts (D/DR/5/62) record £101 spent 'Repairing old walls near the road'). Indeed, comparison of a view of the water garden c.1730 (Willis pl.62a) and later maps suggests that the kitchen garden's footprint directly overlies the boundaries of the northern part of the water gardens. The five compartments were new-built, and the estate accounts record heavy expenditure on walls and coping, three stove houses, and a hot house. Alongside the accounts are undated and unsigned drawings for a 135-foot long 'Green House' with an elaborate, octagonal, central, masonry, pavilion-like structure (D/DR/4/5), and for a 'Hot House' (D/DR/4/21).

The late C19 first edition OS shows that at that date the every structure associated with the gardens was packed tightly into the central compartment - a slightly unusual arrangement. The four compartments to either side and the slip along the south side stood empty, and were presumably entirely given over to horticulture. On the opposite side of the Aylesbury-Amersham road, its boundaries respecting those of the walled kitchen garden, was an orchard. Some form of structure stood at the south end of this, over the road from the gardener's cottage. This, perhaps another gardener's house, was presumably demolished when the road was dualled.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Walled kitchen gardens built in the late 1780s as part of the improvements at Shardeloes where a landscape park had been created some 20 years before. The gardens apparently incorporate elements, possibly including a wall, from an early C18 water garden by Charles Bridgeman. The original five brick-walled compartments, overall some 280m long, with a slip to the south survive, together with a C19 gardener's cottage in the central compartment. The gardens are of significance locally, and especially in terms of the parkland landscape, and are sufficiently complete to merit inclusion on the list at grade II.

SOURCES: Bucks RO, Drake family records (D/DR); Register of Historic Parks and Gardens; P. Willis, Charles Bridgeman (2001), 434, pl 72a; N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (2000), 617-19

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