Carlton Hall, kitchen garden 7091

Worksop, England, Nottinghamshire, Bassetlaw

Brief Description

The kitchen garden wall is an important surviving element of a landscaping commission carried out by William Emes in the late-18th century. Its semicircular plan is most unusual and it forms an impressive sweeping curve of considerable aesthetic appeal. The impressive height of the wall, together with the evidence of smoke-blackened flues, strongly suggests that it was a high status heated wall for growing peaches, apricots and other similar fruit.

History

The kitchen garden wall was constructed in the late-18th century as part of the redevelopment of the Carlton Hall estate by the renowned garden and landscape designer William Emes. A copy of Emes' plan, dated 1783, shows his improvements which included the kitchen garden with its distinctive semicircular wall situated north-west of the house, and the ha-ha which formed the southern boundary of the kitchen garden.

Detailed Description

The following is taken from the English Heritage Assessment for Listing

The kitchen garden wall is an important surviving element of a landscaping commission carried out by William Emes in the late-C18. Emes was noted for his use of irregular kitchen gardens, often elliptical or even polygonal, although none of his other designs were quite like this one. Its semicircular plan is most unusual and it forms an impressive sweeping curve of considerable aesthetic appeal. Zigzags or curves in kitchen garden walls appeared in the late-C18, probably due to influences from abroad, but they more commonly took the form of a crinkle-crankle wall, rather than the semicircular wall found on the Carlton estate. Curves added strength and stability which meant that walls could be built more thinly, with fewer bricks (an appealing option after the introduction of the Brick Tax in 1784). Brick walls were preferred to stone walls for growing fruit, despite the expense, because they were strong, durable, and heat-retentive. The best bricks to use were the darkest red, like those at Carlton, as they were the most highly fired and therefore the hardest. The impressive height of the wall on the Carlton estate, together with the evidence of smoke-blackened flues, strongly suggests that it was a high status heated wall for growing peaches, apricots and other similar fruit.

The wall has survived in very good condition, although not all of its associated elements have remained with the same degree of intactness. The bothies and sheds on the north side are in a partly ruinous state but their buttress partitions and the small C19 range provide important evidence of their configuration and former usage. The C19 glasshouses on the south front have unfortunately been removed but this does not unduly affect the special interest of the wall. The loss of the main house, the kitchen garden layout, and part of the walls surrounding the former orchard, is also regrettable, but a considerable proportion of Emes' landscape still survives, including The Lawns, lake, ha-ha and woodland areas. These designed elements, together with the stables and outbuildings, form an important historical and architectural context for the wall. Emes' work at Carlton falls within his greatest period of activity in the 1770s and 1780s, and his design for the kitchen garden wall is unusual, both in his oeuvre and in the context of C18 kitchen gardens. It is therefore a rare and important survival and merits inclusion on the List.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION

The kitchen garden wall at Carlton Hall Lane, is recommended for listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: it has an unusual semicircular plan that forms a sweeping curve of considerable aesthetic appeal.

* Architectural interest: its impressive height, rich red brick, and smoke-blackened flues strongly suggest that it was a high status heated wall for growing peaches, apricots and other similar fruit.

* Historic interest: it is an important surviving element of a landscaping commission carried out by Emes, one of the leading late-C18 garden designers in the Midlands noted for his irregular designs for kitchen gardens.

MATERIALS:

Rich red brick laid predominantly in English garden wall bond with magnesium limestone coping and buttresses. Bothies constructed of red brick and limestone under roofs covered in corrugated iron.

PLAN:

The wall is semicircular and faces south. It has a recessed central section where the glasshouse was formerly positioned, behind which, on the north side, are attached bothies.

EXTERIOR:

The wall is approximately five metres high and over 200 metres long, forming an impressive sweeping curve, slightly staggered in places. It has coping of limestone flags which project a few inches on each side. The wall is buttressed on the north side in order to leave the south, fruit-growing side unencumbered. There are three doorways placed at regular intervals: the outer two have segmental brick arches and the central door in the recessed section has a flat brick arch. This recessed section, which was the heated wall, has a shallow raised lower section which enabled trellises to be positioned a few inches away from the wall to prevent trees from being scorched by excessive heat. The range of brick and stone lean-tos, occupying the north side of the wall, are divided into four sections by three buttresses of coursed limestone rubble with large quoins, and there is another small, L-shaped building attached on the west side. One of the bothies has been partly rebuilt in C20 brick and they are all in a semi-ruinous state with crumbling masonry. The glazing in the windows has been lost, as has one of the lean-to roofs.

INTERIOR:

The bothies have either brick or stone floors and exposed brick or masonry walls. The L-shaped building on the west side has two rooms and a small range in the east wall, probably added in the second half of the C19.

Features

Plant Environment

  • Kitchen Garden
  • Plant Type
  • Garden Wall
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Carlton in
History

Detailed History

The following is taken from the English Heritage Assessment for Listing

The kitchen garden wall was constructed in the late-C18 as part of the redevelopment of the Carlton Hall estate by the renowned garden and landscape designer William Emes (1729/30-1803). The original Carlton Hall was built as a hunting lodge in the early C17 by the Clifton family of Nottingham but they rarely visited, and in 1765 it was purchased by the Mellish family of Blyth and Hodsock. Only nine years later, the estate was sold to Robert Ramsden who was responsible for reconstructing Carlton Hall into a Neo-Classical house and commissioning Emes to design the parkland. A copy of Emes' plan, dated 1783, shows his improvements which included the kitchen garden with its distinctive semicircular wall situated north-west of the house, and the ha-ha which formed the southern boundary of the kitchen garden. The lake was remodelled, several lawns were laid with panoramic views, wooded areas were created to the north-east and south-west of the park, and a new lodge was built at the eastern boundary.

On the 1783 annotated plan the semicircular wall is shown to have a small, rectangular building centrally placed on the north side. The south side is shaded, forming a crescent shape, and is labelled ‘kitchen garden'. The Ordnance Survey (OS) maps of 1886 and 1929 both depict two parallel walls running east-west from the east side of the semicircular wall, enclosing an orchard. On the south side of the wall is a long glasshouse, and attached to the north side of the wall is a range of four or five small buildings, most likely bothies, potting and storage sheds, and a further attached building to the west. The 1886 and 1929 OS maps depict the layout of the kitchen garden which is divided into six main areas by a path running north-south from the glasshouse, crossed by two paths running east-west. The 1886 map shows that there were trees lining the paths. The glasshouse has since been removed and nothing now survives of the kitchen garden layout or orchard as shown on the historic OS maps. The two eastern-most buildings on the north side of the wall have been removed, and the surviving buildings are in a partly ruinous state. The westernmost building is the most substantial, comprising two rooms, one of which has a small range in the east wall, probably added in the second half of the C19 to provide warmth and comfort for gardeners. One or more of these buildings would have housed the tiny fireplaces used to heat the wall to aid the fruit tree growth. The removal of some bricks low down in the recessed section reveals the smoke blackened flue through which the heat was conducted around the wall. The wall shows evidence of minor repairs in the brickwork, as is usual with kitchen garden walls where the repeated need to nail support for branches chips away the brick and mortar. Small sections of the coping have been replaced with concrete. Carlton Hall was demolished in 1955, and seven dwellings were built on the site and in the kitchen garden in the 1960s. In the 1980s and 1990s the associated stable court and outbuildings to the east of the former Hall were converted to residential use.

William Emes was head gardener at Kedleston, Derbyshire, from 1756 to 1760 before he developed an extensive practice as a landscape designer, predominantly in the North Midlands and Wales. His style, which is similar to that of Lancelot Brown, is characterised by sinuous lakes, tree belts around boundaries and clumps of specimen trees in parkland. Emes is known to have received over ninety commissions, twenty-three of which are on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, including two at Grade I and five at Grade II*. He created numerous kitchen gardens, including one at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire (Registered at Grade I), but none of them quite in the same form as that in Carlton Park.

Period

  • Late 18th Century
Associated People

Just one person associated to Carlton Hall, kitchen garden

Contact
References

References

Contributors

  • Michael S. A. Tagg

  • Conservation Team, Bassetlaw District Council