Parlington Hall, Aberford, West Riding, Yorkshire, England Gardens House  2006


Gardens House, Parlington
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The images on this row show the walled garden, once the pride of Sir Thomas and his keen gardener John Kennedy. The remains of once proud espalier fruit trees are mere husks, stark against the brick wall. The last on the row, of a modern greenhouse, itself in a dilapidated condition, is lost in the wilderness in front of the wall which once was part of an extensive range of south facing glass houses.

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Various views of the single storey section which backs the former glass house wall, A looming shot of the houses, and massive weeds in the shelter of the garden wall.

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The first and second, the north elevation, note the different eaves detail, with an exposed gutter, whereas the other elevations have a hidden gutter behind the decorative stone cornice. The driveway to the gates, which I am told in earlier times were a very large heavy wooden pair, then two views of the west elevation.

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Evidence of the original heating system at the foot of the wall, the whole is a double skin of brickwork inside which heating pipes were laid. The muddy access hiding the gravel beneath due to years of neglect. The south elevation and the fountain... how sad!

The Gardens House, revisited!

There is little left of the Parlington Estate that would be recognised by the last Baronet, Sir Thomas Gascoigne. Naturally were he to return by coach and horses up the main driveway he would reflect that his entrance gates were no longer to be found, and a new lodge house [late nineteenth century addition] on the right as you turn in to Parlington Drive from Cattle lane, would no doubt have elicited a comment, as would all the small twentieth century houses, so crowding the stone entrance walls, or their remains...
"Hmm! at least the driveway seems to have a sound surface, requiring less maintenance perhaps than my earlier simple crushed stone drive... alas today the pot holes and strange humps require a fortitude of body in my iron shod wheeled carriage.
What can be this open grillage across the drive, we are stranded... 'Driver take the carriage through the gates to the right.' A devilish contraption indeed! Whomso would have undertaken such a hideous device to prevent my return!"
[The cattle grid]

Pressing on up the long driveway, he marvelled at the great trees, all now magnificent and in mature splendour, sadly there appeared gaps in the line, disturbing the regular planting, so precise in the eighteenth century that had dictated each be separate by one half a chain. Though, as with the entrance gates, many fine trees were gone... But then off to the left he spotted the 'Round House' built for him to a design by William Lindley 1802-3. "It saddens me to see it so, collapsed and all but totally neglected. But here comes the arch, still proud even if weathered these two hundred years. Alas though I see the roadway is changed, we no longer present through the arch... again we are faced with an infernal grillage, but I swear there is no way round."

"We must take stock and walk a while to the Garden House, driver. It is a little distance I'm sure, but the woods hereto are not as I remember them, for sure. I am as convinced as any man that Mr John Kennedy [Sir Thomas's Gardener] would never have allowed the destruction of the deciduous species and the plantation of a single culture of fir trees. And yet more the ground cover is as if the plague itself hath strewn the land with every branch and fallen foliage, to make cover for more foxes than could be hunted in a lifetime."

"We take the roadway to the right, and down this short hill to the Gardens House, let us see how it is!".