SK9226 : River Witham, Easton Walled Gardens (5)

taken 11 years ago, near to Easton, Lincolnshire, Great Britain

River Witham, Easton Walled Gardens (5)
River Witham, Easton Walled Gardens (5)
This view south from the footbridge in SK9226 : River Witham, Easton Walled Gardens (3) clearly shows the Victorian improvements to the original canalisation of the River Witham in the gardens at Easton. This was carried out during major reconstruction of the old Hall in the 19th Century and included the building of the ornamental bridge in the centre of the photograph. Restoration of this distinctive garden feature is under discussion with the Environment Agency and has to be carefully planned as the river has an important natural ecosystem (it is the only river in Lincolnshire supporting our native crayfish).
Background to Easton Walled Gardens

There had been a country estate at Easton since at least 1592 when Sir Henry Cholmeley (1562-1620) moved to Lincolnshire and bought the Manor of Easton. The Elizabethan house was built on a site overlooking the River Witham and, although much altered and enlarged over the years, the essential elements of the house are believed to have survived until the beginning of the 19th Century.

During the early Victorian period rebuilding and modernisation by Sir Montague Cholmeley, second baronet (1802-1874) brought the house up to date. The Hall was described in 1872 as “large and handsome, with elegantly furnished apartments, containing many valuable paintings and other works of art.”

At the start of the Second World War Easton Hall was requisitioned by the army and became home to units of the Royal Artillery and of the 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment for four years. As happened to many similar properties requisitioned across Britain, it suffered considerable damage both to the fabric of the building and to the remaining contents, to the extent that live rounds were let off inside the house and grenades were lobbed into the greenhouses as part of combat training.

After the house was handed back to the Cholmeley family it was never lived in as a family home again. After the lead was stolen from the roof, causing major deterioration of the fabric, the house was demolished in 1951 leaving only the Gate House and stables standing. The gardens, dating back to at least the mid 16th Century, were abandoned and by 1990 the roofs on the remaining buildings had fallen in. By 2000 the site of the house and gardens had become more of a woodland than garden with brambles, elder and sycamore completely obliterating the garden plan.

The revival of this "lost" garden has been spearheaded by Ursula Cholmeley and, in late 2001, 18 months of work to clear the site was begun. Tonnes of rubble and felled trees have been removed, the terraces restored, the Gate House and other associated buildings renovated and the greenhouses reinstated but, although the garden is open to the public and is a lovely place to visit, reconstruction work is expected to continue well into the 21st Century.

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SK9226, 113 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 2 May, 2011   (more nearby)
Sunday, 8 May, 2011
Canalised river   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 926 266 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:49.7490N 0:37.5785W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 926 266
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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