Historical context

The original manor house was surrounded by a moat and later converted into cottages which date from the 17th century (Grade II listed). It has a small rectangular walled garden (not surveyed) and outbuildings including stables, farm buildings and a mill house. At the end of the 19th century, a more modern house was built on higher ground which in turn was rebuilt in the early 1920s. It is now a residential care home.

Walled Kitchen Garden

The early 20th century walled garden adjoins the aforementioned smaller walled garden and occupies an area of 0.7 ha. Created in the early 20th century, it was first shown on the 3rd edn OS (1912) map as rectangular in shape with the long axis approximately west to east. There were wide cruciform paths and a range of glasshouses outside the south east corner, demolished in the 1960s. A bothy, potting sheds and a boiler house were built outside the south wall which were converted into two residential properties in the second half of the 20th century and the walled garden divided.

The walls are constructed in brick throughout, mainly in English Garden Wall Bond, with ornate brick copings. The walls are high, up to 3.5 metres, supported by buttresses, and some sections are decorated with chequerwork pattern of red brick and vitrified black headers. The inner and some outer walls are covered with hooks and other fixtures for supporting plants. There were wide, brick piered entrances in the centres of the west and east walls, whose locations are alluded to on the 3rd edn OS map. The west wall was shared with the aforementioned earlier small walled garden to the east of the stable yard.

Current use

Ornamental. Largely laid to lawn, with herbaceous perimeter borders and several fruit bushes and trees. Two large mulberry trees to the west may date from the building of the walled garden.

Special features


Designation status

None for the walled garden

Degree of completeness

Fair. There are alterations to walls, buildings and use. The cruciform paths do not survive.

Ownership and access

Privately owned. No public access.

Sources of information

Unpublished site survey undertaken by volunteers with Oxfordshire Gardens Trust, October 2013

Map reproduced by permission the National Library of Scotland – Maps

Name of district

South Oxfordshire

Grid reference

SU 60614  91658

Arrival 27th July 1921

The Botanic Gardens

Magdalen College

The bike ride from Woodstock to Oxford would have been along the same road as today but a much quieter road. The 1921 [Oxford and District special edition one inch map] shows the road  passing by Yarnton, over the Oxford Canal, through Peartree Hill, past Upper Wolvercote and down the Woodstock Road. As Loyal and Sam arrived in Oxford on the afternoon of the 27th July, it was possibly quite a leisurely ride.

The following day they manage to squeeze in visits to the Botanic Gardens, Magdalen College, a glimpse of Merton, lunch at the University Museum, a flash past Wadham, St John’s College, the Bodleian (Duke Humphrey’s), the Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College.

In the Botanic Gardens Loyal was able to identify a tree that he had been unable to at Blenheim – (possibly) the ‘Cypress’ planted by ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II.  The specimen he recognised at the Botanic Gardens was a Taxodium disticheum – the cypress that Loyal may have been familiar with from the swampy south eastern States of America.  The tree planted in 1840 was unfortunately severely damaged by a freak gust of wind and the top snapped off.  It had to be felled in 1995.  To celebrate the 400 anniversary of the gardens (2021) it has been decided to plant a Taxodium very close to the original spot where the first tree grew.

Just over the road at Magdalen College, Loyal was greatly impressed with the ‘most beautiful tower  . . .but the finest thing there is the meadow with the deer, the walk along the Cherwell and best of all Addison’s walk with the beautiful trees overhanging’