Walled kitchen gardens in Cherwell


The hamlet of Northbrook lies near the river, two kilometres north west of the village of Kirtlington. Northbrook Manor house was demolished as Kirtlington House was built. 

The earliest mention of Northbrook is in the 1st ed. OS of 1875 which shows the garden as three rectangles with a second separate rectangular garden to the north east of the house. The historic path layout shows the main enclosure has perimeter paths, a main north south path and crossing paths at a right angle. The smallest enclosure to the west has a path around a pond. The north enclosure has a path along the north wall. The second garden has double cruciform and perimeter paths. 

Extant historic structures on the current Landline OS map includes walls and buildings on the inside north wall of the north enclosure. There are also buildings on the outside eastern wall of the main enclosure. There is a bothy on the outside south wall of the main enclosure. There are three ornamental ponds in the main enclosure. 

The second garden has walls and a large farm building and animal enclosure. The garden is mostly laid to grass with trees and the main enclosure has vegetables and animals. 

The historical map shows a possible narrow slip to the south of the garden. House and farm buildings to the east, surrounded by farmland. The second garden is five metres north west of the house. There is a road to the north, farm buildings and yards to the west, a small garden and buildings to the east (possibly a cottage), and a possible slip garden to the south. The current context is similar. Both possible slip gardens have trees. 

The 1st ed. OS of 1875 shows that the main enclosure has a large formal pond in the eastern part of the garden. There are also two rectangular ponds/canals leading to the smallest enclosure to the west. The smallest enclosure has a pond. The area around the large formal pond has trees. Some paths in main enclosure are lined by trees. North of the enclosure is a possible orchard. By the 2nd ed. OS of 1899, the pond in the smallest enclosure has gone and there is a small glasshouse on the inside north wall of north enclosure. By the 3rd ed. OS of 1922, the southern part of the main enclosure has trees and the large formal pond has turned into a reed bed.