Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Walled-in Garden

The Walled-in Garden.
When Waldorf William and his wife Lady Nancy arrived at Cliveden and took over White Place Farm, there was a requirement for a much larger kitchen garden than the one that was in exsistance at Cliveden at that time, plus they wanted fresh produce for their London home as well. Fresh fruit was required so an orchard was required.
So the walled in garden was built. The size of this project covered some 12-14 acres in size. So sometime between 1906 and 1910 this garden was created with what must be the longest brick wall in Cookham. It is somewhere between 9 to 10 feet tall and had two main gate entrances. One was off the Avenue to the farm, the other was oposite the entrance to Sutton Farm off Sutton Road. There was a small doorway added so that staff could gain access to the two cottages that were built in the 1930's in the top left of the map as a yellow block next to the Sutton Allotments.
The vast amount was planted as an Orchard. "A" was a large fruit storage barn, which was purpose designed with fruit racks for apples and pears in the main. Surplus fruit was sold off to local greengrocers. "B" was the toolshed and lunchroom for those who worked in the garden. "C" was the cultivated area for large crops of vegetables. "D" Was again a purpose built brick wall so that peach trees could be trained, plus about a 10 foot strip in front was cultivated for growing salad vegetables and fresh herbs. 1 & 2 were the only two main gates.

This is a recent Google Street View of this wall which I estimate has stood for a full 100 years, which only goes to prove the great skill of the bricklayers in those days.

Take a closer look at the top of the wall where the Red Arrow is pointing. To finish the top of the wall off the workmen embedded broken bottles in the cement to deter people from climbing over after fruit when ripe. Mind you someone already pointed out that now that would not be allowed as the person breaking in might hurt themselves!

This is what is left of the green main gate off Sutton Road, as you can see that it is now all overgrown. To think this was a very well used entrance during the 1920's, 30's and 40's When Ted Ruffell from Maidenhead was in charge. Ted's favourite pastime was Greyhound Racing at the Slough track, and he always said he bet 3&7 and 7&3 each way.

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