Walled kitchen gardens in South Oxfordshire

Brightwell Park

Brightwell Park is in the village of Brightwell Baldwin, some seven kilometres north east of Wallingford. The original house at Brightwell Park was burnt down in 1786, and replaced by a new house in 1790, probably by James Wyatt. The house was used as two prep schools during the Second World War and was eventually pulled down in 1947, but its kitchen wing and stables have survived.

The 1876 1st ed. OS map shows a productive rectangular walled garden, with a slip all round and perimeter and cruciform paths. This map shows a building outside the north wall of the garden, now Woodman's Cottage and a glasshouse, extant, on the east wall inside the garden.

In the 1876 map, there is a glasshouse running along the line of the central path north to south, to the south west edge of path; two glasshouses outside the north wall - one central to the garden, one to the north east and one building behind the central glasshouse, plus one building in a slip at the south east corner. There also appears to be a large orchard to the north of the garden, the whole two areas planted all round with deciduous and coniferous trees.

The current Landline survey shows a rectangular productive garden divided into three parts with a slip outside the east and half of the south wall. The second and third OS maps show additional glasshouses, two against the east wall and a sun dial in the slip below the south wall.

The walls enclosing the kitchen garden are Grade II listed, and date from the mid to late 18th century. This garden used to feed the estate and the entire village of Brightwell Baldwin.

Designation status

The walled garden's walls at Brightwell Park are included in the Historic England Register of Historic Parks and Gardens at Grade II. Further information is available in the National Heritage List for England.

Sources of information