The Garden At Rufford Old Hall Talk By David Roberts
At our meeting on 9 November members explored the garden at Rufford Old Hall guided by our speaker, David Roberts. David has been responsible for the gardens for over twenty years. Throughout the lockdown he worked alone in tending the grounds and pathways and gladly welcomed back the team of Trust volunteers when it was safe to do so.
Members were lead in a series of overheads through a brief history of the property up to when the Hesketh family removed to their property in Northamptonshire and the National Trust became involved.
Unlike a great number of old properties within The Trust’s portfolio, there are few historical papers or plans about the garden. David has successfully relied on old family photographs as part of the redesign work.
His talk took us through the woodland area with its autumn colours, especially the autumn crocuses, and describing the work to encourage bird life there and in the north paddock. The pictures then moved along the squirrel border giving views of the south range of the house and the two giant green squirrel-shaped topiary. Other topiary displayed along the north lawn added to its attraction.
David recommended a peaceful stroll along the beech walk paddock with the Leeds-Liverpool canal alongside. We learned some of the history and detail of the orchard where he referenced some documentation from the Hall. In 1779, this area of land was leased to a gardener called Thomas Lowe who worked it for 21 years. Through his pictures of apple and pear trees we learned about fruit names including Keswick Codlin, Duke of Devonshire, Lemon Pippin and Bramleys seedling.
David was thanked for his efforts to maintain the gardens for our pleasure and enjoyment. The care taken in restoring structures using authentic building materials was appreciated. As a result of the presentation and questioning, members agreed to fund the purchase of a suitable leaf blower for use around the property.
Our next speaker meeting is on Tuesday is on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at 14:15 The Star of Bethlehem – Dr S Barrett, if you would like to come along as a guest or would like to become a member of our association, please click here for our contact form.