Walled kitchen gardens in South Oxfordshire

Thame Park

Context
Thame Park lies two kilometres south east of the centre of Thame. The park is divided into two, the old park to the west, and the new park adjacent to the east, the whole being bounded to the west by the B4012 road running south from Thame to Postcombe, to the north by an arm of the Cuttle Brook, a tributary of the River Thame and on the other side by agricultural land.

Description
Thame Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey founded around 1140 on the site of the present house which was acquired in 1547 by Sir John Williams, later Lord Williams of Thame. The greater part of the Abbey buildings were either pulled down or used as farm buildings. When Lord Williams died in 1559, the estate went to the Wenman family in whose family it remained until the early 20th century.

The kitchen garden has walls of brick and stone and lies 70 metres north east of the house, separated on its south side from the north wing of the stables by a short path, from which it is entered through a doorway in the wall. The garden is an irregular rectangle, having no south west corner due to the canal. The 1881 OS map shows the area was roughly rectangular in shape with perimeter and cruciform paths. Some trees lined the paths and there was a bothy with a large glasshouse in the south east of the garden and a small walled area to the south. This area had perimeter and cruciform paths and a line of trees. There was a frame yard with two glasshouses to the south east of the garden. Extant remains external walls and a glasshouse in the north of the garden. The garden is partly productive and partly grassed.

Designation status
Thame Park is 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