Historical context

A country house seven kilometres miles south of Chipping Norton, built c. 1808 for the Gorge family.

Walled Kitchen Garden

This rectangular garden of 0.4 ha lies 10 metres north-west of the house, with the long axis facing south-west. The 1st edn OS (1881) map shows two enclosures across the north-west end; a frameyard to the south and a possible animal yard with animal houses and pens to the north. In the main area of the garden were perimeter paths, one of which extended into the frameyard, and another path divided the main garden across the middle. An orchard lay to the south and wooded areas to the north.

The 2nd edn OS (1899) map shows a glasshouse in the frameyard and another inside the main garden against the north-west wall. There were also four small buildings added to the outside walls to the south-west and north-west. By the time of the 3rd edn (1922) map, only part of the glasshouse in the frameyard remained, and also the buildings in the animal yard.

The exterior walls are of local Cotswold stone, in coursed rubble stone with dressed stone quoins, and brick surrounds to openings. Interior walls are similar except the long brick wall facing south-west. A small part of the original frameyard enclosure wall survives. This, and the buildings in the animal yard, are coursed rubble stone.

Current use

Ornamental plantings with some vegetable beds, soft fruit cages, and trained fruit trees on inner walls. Otherwise laid to lawn, with a tennis court and swimming pool.

Special features

None

Designation status

None for the garden

Degree of completeness

The frameyard enclosure wall and buildings have been demolished to make way for the tennis court. The path structure no longer survives although some paths are visible beneath grassed areas. Entrances may have been altered.

Ownership and access

Privately owned.  No access.

Sources of information

Heritage Gateway

Unpublished site survey by volunteers with Oxfordshire Gardens Trust, June 2013

Map reproduced by permission of National Library of Scotland – Maps

Name of district

West Oxfordshire

Grid reference

SP 31247 20470

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’