PG Features map

This plan of the garden, which was drawn in 1897, was based on the Ordnance Survey map of 1884.

1.      Site of the gardener’s cottage (demolished in the 1960s).  Nearby were potting-sheds, greenhouses and the gardener’s office. The second photo shows the addition of a tea shed, constructed in 2013.

The tea shed

2.      Possible site of an early lime kiln.  The garden was laid out in a former chalk quarry.  The chalk was converted to lime in the kiln and used to make building mortar.  This is one of two in the garden marked on a map of 1830.

3.      Remains of glasshouses.  The area now has a brand-new greenhouse (2009) in the Victorian style and is used for propagating plants for the garden and for sale. Dominating the skyline is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist, built between 1884 and 1910.

4.      The 57ft-long rustic bridge.  The original was demolished in the 1920s, and was probably to designs by Edward Boardman, who may have been architect of the Plantation House.

5.      Remains of an underground boiler-house.  It contained two Boulton and Paul saddle-boilers.  They probably were fired by coal which was stored in the cellar. The hot water was then circulated in pipes around the interior of the palm house which stood nearby.  The heat protected exotic plants during the winter months.

6.      The site of the palm house.  This was a grand 35ft-long glasshouse by the Norwich firm of Boulton and Paul.  The octagonal section was 29ft in diameter. Inside were hot-water pipes, slate shelving, Doulton’s edging and a fountain.  It was dismantled in about 1912 and its whereabouts are unknown.  It is now marked out by flower beds.

Outline of the palm house

7.      The palm house terrace.  It is an artificial construction of about 1870 and after the style of Paxton’s great stove at Chatsworth.  Underneath the circular flower bed is a brick chamber where water for the saddle-boilers may have been stored.

8.      The Plantation House.  To the north of the palm house terrace can be seen Henry Trevor’s imposing house, built for him in 1856 to designs believed to be by the eminent Norwich architect, Edward Boardman.

Plantation house

9.      The gothic fountain.  This is a combination of moulded brick with flint buttresses.  The gothic element of the pinnacle has ecclesistical overtones (the designs can be seen in Victorian churches and chapels around Norwich).  The fleur-de-lys were cast at Gunton’s brickworks near Norwich and the same pattern can be seen in the chimneys of the Queen’s residence at Sandringham in North Norfolk.

Gothic fountain

10.    The site of the propagating house.  An early photograph shows this as a glasshouse with a boiler house at one end.  A contemporary observer described it as screened by ‘ornamental architectural dressings’ and topped by stone eagles. Fragments of one of the eagles have been found.  The piers and arcading were covered in ivy, giving the effect from the house of looking down onto a picturesque ruin.

11.    The parterre.  This was described in Henry Trevor’s time as the Italian garden.  In the early 1900s a tennis lawn was laid out covering the central beds and path. These have been accurately reinstated using the evidence from nineteenth-century photographs and maps.

12.    Traces of an apple orchard.  This was planted in about 1904 on the north bank to catch the southern light and warmth, and replaced Henry Trevor’s planting.

13.    The rockery.  This massive construction is resting on substantial brick foundations.  Two water cascades of limestone tufa and three large brick-lined planting basins are built into it.  It may date from around 1891.

14.    The gothic alcove.  The ruins of a three-bay structure were reconstructed in 2007 based on photographs in the archives.  Sections from a fourteenth-century window from the Norwich church of St Giles were found nearby and stand at the left end of the rockery.

Restoration of the gothic alcove

15.    Tree ferns occupy an area which was once a water feature.   A water basin is believed to have stood at the central point of this elaborate arcading.  Recent excavations have revealed drains leading to a large brick-lined sump.

Tree ferns

16.    The Italian Terrace. This fine piece of engineering is derived from the garden terraces of Renaissance Italy.  It is constructed from moulded bricks and flints, imaginatively arranged into blank arcades.

Italian terrace

17.    Terracotta crests.  These are ‘wasters’ and almost certainly from Gunton’s brickworks at Costessey just outside Norwich.  They incorporate the arms of the Wallace and Amhurst families with an unidentified crest.

Teracotta crests

18.    Moulded brick shields.  These were made at Gunton’s brickworks.  Similar examples were used by Henry Bedingfield and his wife at Oxburgh Hall in the second part of the nineteenth century.

We have produced a history of the Garden in a booklet with many photographs.  This can be purchased for a mere £2 from the Garden on summer Sunday afternoons or at any of our events.