Arch, architecture, Cleveland, country house, Dovecote, garden history, landscape, landscape garden, North Yorkshire, Temple

The Pigeon Cote, Kirkleatham, North Yorkshire

In 1934 a local paper published a ‘Cleveland Ramble’ featuring a walk around Kirkleatham village. The author looked across the park to the ‘elaborate castellated pigeon-cote’ which was described as a ‘startling example’ of the extravagant ‘pseudo Gothic craze’ of the later 18th century. Only a couple of decades after this account was published the castellations were gone, and the pigeon cote was cracked and crumbling, and soon to disappear.

architecture, belvedere, Dovecote, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, North Yorkshire, Observatory, Tower

Oliver Ducket, Richmond, North Yorkshire

Photo January 2021 courtesy of Nigel Tooze.

Just outside Richmond in Yorkshire is the Aske estate. The grounds were landscaped by successive owners in the 18th century, and various ornaments added to the park. The most curious is Oliver Ducket*, a folly high above the park with many a tale attached.

Dovecote, eyecatcher, Folly, Lancashire, Summerhouse

The Kennels and The Temple, Gisburne Park, Gisburn, Lancashire

Postcard courtesy of a private collection.

Built in the later 18th century, The Kennels were designed in the style of a sham castle, with a central room flanked by two squat towers. The building also served as an eye-catcher from the bridge over the River Ribble, although this latter function has been lost as trees now block the view. Sadly the castellations are also long gone, but the building appears to have a happier future ahead.

architecture, belvedere, Dovecote, eyecatcher, Folly, garden, landscape, Midlothian, Monument, Obelisk, Scotland

Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

Sir John Clerk’s great mansion at Penicuik was devastated by fire in 1889, and remained derelict and dangerous for over a century. It was consolidated by the Penicuik House Preservation Trust in 2007-2014, and is now a thriving visitor attraction and education centre. The Trust will soon turn its attention to another of its stated conservation aims: ‘preserving and restoring the historic built structures within the Designed Landscape’. Excellent news!

Dovecote, Folly, Grotto, Menagerie, Tower, West Yorkshire

Shaw Park Sham Castle, Halifax, West Yorkshire

In the 18th century the Shaw family of textile merchants operated out of the magnificent Piece Hall in Halifax (recently restored and very well worth a visit) https://www.thepiecehall.co.uk.  By the end of the century a new mill had been established at Holywell Green near Stainland, outside Halifax. It was greatly extended in the second half of the 19th century by Samuel Shaw, who also built a new family home nearby, which he called Brooklands. The house was almost ready for occupation in the autumn of 1868 and the grounds were being laid out at the same date. The landscaping included a pond with fountain and a series of 3 curious towers linked by a wall. The Halifax Courier described the scene in 1877, noting that the three towers gave ‘the impression that a castle of somewhat imposing dimensions’  overshadowed the grounds.

Dovecote, Scotland, Tower

Place Makers

Saltoun Doocot. Courtesy of Ed Kluz

Recently opened at The Scottish Gallery, in Edinburgh’s handsome New Town, is Place Makers, a new show featuring the work of artists Ed Kluz and Vicki Ambery-Smith.