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Fordell Estate, Fordell Nursery, Walled Garden

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.054 / 56°3'14"N

Longitude: -3.3754 / 3°22'31"W

OS Eastings: 314435

OS Northings: 685422

OS Grid: NT144854

Mapcode National: GBR 21.QPMR

Mapcode Global: WH6S4.33X8

Entry Name: Fordell Estate, Fordell Nursery, Walled Garden

Listing Date: 27 March 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396732

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49162

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Mid 18th century. Rectangular-plan, open-ended walled garden (approximately 100m wide/69m long), sloping to S. English garden wall bond brick walls to E and W; N wall of random sandstone rubble (part brick-lined to interior) and canted where it meets E and W walls. Former cast-iron railings enclosing S end (now removed). Droved sandstone ashlar coping; stugged sandstone ashlar quoins. Walls higher to N and to N half of E and W walls (wall-line abruptly sweeping down to S at mid point). Central pedimented Gibbs surround doorways to E and W walls (pedimented to both sides of wall). Wide later opening to NW end of N wall. Evidence of former glasshouses attached to both sides of N wall, with remnants of whitewashed backing and small original flue holes. Plain doorway leading into remaining glasshouses set on NS axis. Modern greenhouses (formerly early glasshouses) set atop earlier brick bases to N section of walled garden. Low stone walling outlining path to former quadrant arrangement of ground.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Fordell Castle (see separate listing).This garden was built to the NW of Fordell Castle (built 1580) and Fordell House (built 1721; demolished 1963) amidst the parkland of the Fordell Estate which was formerly part of the lands of Pitadro. These lands, lying W of the Fordell Burn, were acquired in the late 17th century by the Henderson family who occupied the neighbouring lands of Fordell to the E of Fordell Burn from the early 16th century. A walled enclosure appears on part of the newly enlarged Fordell Estate at Pitadro on Winter's 1756 estate plan. However, subsequent estate plans show that the walled garden was in disuse by the late 18th century to later be revived again in 1818 by Thomas White at the request of the then owner Rear Admiral Sir P C C Henderson-Durham. A number of improvements were made to the walled garden and its amenities by George William Mercer Henderson (1823-1881) from 1855 when a great number of glasshouses and a fine gardener's cottage (Pitadro House - see separate listing) were erected to the N of the walled garden. An account of 1887, which names Mr Ramsay as the head gardener, refers to the walled garden as a kitchen garden whose walls were covered with well-trained fruit trees. Also mentioned as part of the walled garden scheme of that period were extensive glasshouses consisting of 2 peach and nectarine houses; 4 vineries, a span-roofed stove; hanging baskets with fine pitcher plants; a span-roofed orange and camellia house; fern house, pine stoves; span-roofed zonal pelargonium house; span-roofed house for rowing soft-wooded plants; a good number of pits for forcing and other purposes. In 1953, the Fordell Estate was divided up by Sir John Hampden Mercer Henderson (1906-1963) and the walled garden was acquired and used as a commercial nursery, still operating as such today.

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