Archive for the ‘Nottinghamshire’ Category

Clumber: a lost house, a flourishing garden

March 1, 2012

Part of the two-mile-long lime tree avenue at Clumber Park. ©NTPL/Andrew Butler

We have just purchased a 1937-1938 auction catalogue for the contents of Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, annotated by the original owner, from Patrick King Rare Books.

Nineteenth-century view of the house at Clumber by W. Watkins after Thomas Allom. ©NTPL/John Hammond

The house at Clumber was pulled down in 1938 and the collections dispersed. The National Trust will never be able to reassemble those collections, but it is useful to know what was there.

The lake at Clumber. ©NTPL/David Levenson

The park, as created by successive Dukes of Newcastle from about 1760, survives and thrives. There is a Brown-style serpentine lake, probably created on the advice of Joseph Spence and a series of meandering views and walks.

The chapel, epitomising the high Victorian period at Clumber. ©NTPL/Jerry Harpur

The garden designer W.S. Gilpin planted the lime avenue in the 1830s for the 4th Duke of Newcastle, to provide interest and grandeur in the flat landscape. Gilpin also created the areas of picturesque and formal planting, with conifers, rhododendrons and specimen Mediterranean trees.

The central conservatory and palm house in the walled garden at Clumber. ©NTPL/Stephen Robson

In the late 1880s G.F. Bodley built the splendid chapel. The stable block and the walled garden with its range of glasshouses are also still there, and one could easily forget that there is no longer a ‘big house’ at the centre of all of this.