Historical context

The house was built in 1720. The kitchen garden is 135 metres to the east of the house, with an enclosed orchard to its west, shown on the 1st edn OS (1877) map.

Walled Kitchen Garden

The irregular shaped walled kitchen garden, which lacks walls on the south side, occupies 0.27 ha (measured between the southern ends of the east and west walls). The boundaries of the orchard to the west are no longer visible.  The 1st edn map also shows peripheral paths around the main kitchen garden and through the orchard but these are no longer visible.

At the narrow north end of the garden there are three glasshouses in an east-west row, all of which are shown on the 1st edn OS map and are now derelict. Each has a lean-to shed or bothy attached to north side. The glasshouse to the west has an additional small building attached, perhaps a privy while the one at the centre is a larger building with windows, a loft, and the remains of a boiler and chimney. The third glasshouse has a taller lean-to structure, now inaccessible, which is not shown on the 1st edn OS map but is visible on 2nd edn (1899) and later OS maps. The centre and east glasshouses both have a cold frame attached to their south sides, although these might be later additions. A fourth glasshouse, shown on the 1st edn OS map just to the north of the row of three does not survive. This area may have been a frameyard.

The walls run south-east on the east side of the kitchen garden, and south on the west side. The walls are tall (2.4 – 2.9 metres), brick built in English Garden Wall bond and Irregular bond, and supported by numerous brick buttresses. The west wall is part restored due to storm damage. Copings are half-round brick, where original.

Current use

Derelict since mid-20th century. Southern half is now used as a paddock.

Special features


Designation status


Degree of completeness


Ownership and access

Privately owned. Limited public access: Ardington House

Sources of information

British History Online

Unpublished site survey undertaken by volunteers with Oxfordshire Gardens Trust, January 2013

Name of district

Vale of White Horse

Grid reference

SU 43456 88244

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’