Kitchen Garden to Cowdray Park, built by 1808 and may date to the last years of the C18, with C19 and C20 alterations and additions.
Reason for Listing
The kitchen garden to Cowdray Park, comprising garden walls, gardener's buildings and a glasshouse, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Form and intactness: a substantially intact hexagonal kitchen garden which has impressive brick walls and surviving garden buildings, built to provide produce for Cowdray Lodge, subsequently remodelled as the mansion Cowdray Park
* Date: a kitchen garden which was built before 1808 and possibly in the very last years of the C18 when the family moved from Cowdray House to Cowdray Lodge in the 1790s
* Group value: the kitchen garden is located within the registered landscape of Cowdray Park (Grade II*), in close proximity to the fine Victorian mansion of Cowdray Park which it
served. It also has group value with the coach house, stable yard and other historic estate buildings which are located to the immediate east and south of the garden
In particular it has strong group value with the old bothy which provided accommodation for Cowdray Park's unmarried gardeners from the early C20 onwards
The kitchen garden and its associated garden buildings are located to the south-east of the large Victorian mansion known as Cowdray Park. Cowdray Park was built in the mid-1870s. At its core is Cowdray Lodge, a former keeper's lodge which was occupied and remodelled by the seventh Viscount Montague's family in the late C18 following a serious fire which made the C16 Cowdray House uninhabitable.
The date of the kitchen garden and its buildings can be partly understood from historic mapping. The hexagonal kitchen garden is shown on an Ordnance Survey drawing (preparatory to the first edition map) of 1808 and thus predates the Victorian house. Presumably it was built when the family were living at the lodge in the late C18. On the Easebourne Tithe map of c1847 its hexagonal form is clearly shown with two buildings built to complete the circuit on its south side. On the first edition Ordnance Survey of 1874 the central cross-wall is depicted for the first time and the two southern buildings are still shown, the westernmost as a glass-house at this date. These buildings were either replaced or extended, at their west and east ends respectively, at some time between 1897 and 1912. By 1912, the buildings to the west of the gateway are shown with a northern shed and glass-house on the same footprint as those which survive today (2011) although a further building south of the glasshouse has been demolished in the intervening years. The same configuration of a glass-house between two sheds is also depicted to the east of the gate although only the northern building survives.
Kitchen or walled gardens supplied the household with vegetables, fruit and flowers. Their large walls and location, often on south-facing slopes as here, provided both security and a suitable micro-climate for growing. From the 1840s cheaper glass led to a proliferation of glasshouses to enable the production of more exotic blooms and foodstuffs so enjoyed by the Victorians, and this trend is also evident at Cowdray Park.
English Heritage, Register Entry for Cowdray House and Park, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, (1982)
Website of the Cowdray Heritage Trust including a Cowdray timeline at www.cowdray.org.uk [accessed 25 Oct 2010]
MATERIALS: red brick garden walls, mostly in English Garden Wall bond, with some flint and stone. Gardener's buildings also brick with slate roofs. Glasshouse has brick dwarf walls and a timber framed superstructure.
PLAN: kitchen garden is an irregular hexagon in plan, with a cross-wall. Two garden buildings with an entrance gate between form the southern boundary of the garden.
DESCRIPTION: the kitchen garden walls stand to approximately 3.5m in height and are mostly red brick although there are patches where flint or stone work is employed. Both brick and stone coping stones are evident. The exterior is stone faced with brick quoins at its north-east corner presumably because of its inter-visibility with the coach house, stable yard and drive to the east. In the north wall is a stone gate-way with a Tudor-arched head and a decorative iron gate which allows access between the kitchen garden and the gardens immediately adjoining the main house. A short stretch of wall to the west of the gate is half the height of the remainder probably to allow uninterrupted views down slope from the house. There is a broadly central cross-wall supported by stepped buttresses on its south side. A pair of brick single-storey gardeners' buildings form the southern boundary of the garden. These have slate roofs which are hipped where they adjoin a shared arched gateway. They have simple wooden plank doors and timber-framed casements. The interiors were not inspected. The western of the two has an attached lean-to timber glass-house to its south supported on brick dwarf walls.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.