The 'Pond Garden' at Hampton Court Palace: 'One of the Best-Known Examples of a Sunk Garden'

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    The 'Pond Garden' at Hampton Court Palace: 'One of the Best-Known Examples of a SunkGarden'Author(s): David JacquesSource: Garden History, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Summer, 2005), pp. 87-105Published by: The Garden History SocietyStable URL: .Accessed: 02/08/2013 11:43

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    The sunk garden, a favourite motif of the Arts & Crafts garden architect, became popular in Edwardian times. One of the chief examples was the Tond Garden9, otherwise known as the 'Dutch Garden', at Hampton Court Palace, Middlesex. Originally an ornamental

    pond constructed for Henry VIII in the IS30s, and then an orangery quarter for William III in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this area delighted the historicists as a specimen of genuinely ancient gardening. At the same time, as a flower garden, it delighted the gardener and garden author. When restoration was mooted, rival

    conceptions of the garden's value and future gave rise to well-aired disputes. Meanwhile, the garden featured regularly in books on garden design and inspired a number of close imitations.

    The sunk garden became a favourite motif of the Arts & Crafts garden architect, with its low terracing surrounding canals, pools, rose gardens and, later on, swimming pools.

    Robert Weir Schultz's sunk garden (1901) at The Barn, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, Harold Peto's water garden (1902) at Easton Lodge, Essex, and Edwin Lutyens's 'sunken pool' gardens at Marsh Court, Hampshire, were very nearly contemporary. C. E.

    Mallows's north garden (1910) at Canons Park, Middlesex, and Lutyens's sunken pool garden (?.1912) at Folly Farm, Surrey, are also well-known examples from slightly later. By the 1930s, books on garden design were illustrating numerous further examples.

    It has been suggested that the Marsh Court sunken pool was prompted by Gertrude Jekyll's Wall and Water Gardens (London, 1901J.1 This described and illustrated a sunken 'Lily Tank in a Formal Garden' inspired by her memories of Italy. She built a little one for

    herself at Munstead Wood, Surrey. There were historic examples too. In William Ill's time in the late seventeenth century, English parterres had often been surrounded by terraces

    on three sides, and some examples remained, such as at Ven House, near Milborne Port, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, and Holme Lacy, Herefordshire.2 Historic sunk gardens with terraces on all four sides were rarely found; but there were three examples together in the 'Pond Yard' at Hampton Court Palace, Middlesex, which were survivals of ancient gardening from the times of Henry VIII and William III.3 It is with this garden area, and in particular the central one, that this paper is primarily concerned. The three 'ponds' were promoted by Hampton Court's historian, Ernest Law, from the 1890s; and

    his revelations inspired garden designers and writers to an historicist appreciation of the Pond Yard, and also architects to a purer vision of a return to previous historical forms. Architectural Association, 34-36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, UK

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  • 88 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    The present state of the central 'pond' derives largely from Law's time, when its three

    levels, formerly colonized by grass, were turned into a flower garden by being given paths and beds, and, later, crazy paving, topiary and statuary. Various minor changes have taken place since, including the blaze of summer colour that draws gasps from visitors, and this area is without question one of the most photographed at Hampton Court.

    A note on the complex history of the nomenclature of the 'ponds' in the Pond Yard is warranted (Figure 1). They were named in Queen Anne's time in the early eighteenth century as the 'Auricula Quarter' (on the west), the Orange Quarter and the 'Flower Garden' (on the east). The central 'pond' acquired the epithet 'Pond Garden' from the late nineteenth century via Law, though the Office of Works preferred the term 'Dutch

    Garden'. At the same time, the western 'pond' became referred to as the 'Tudor Garden'.

    Confusingly, postcards of the Pond Garden sometimes also referred to that area as the 'Tudor Garden'. Today, the use of 'Pond Garden' for the central 'pond' and 'Tudor

    Garden' for the western helps to check confusion.


    The origins of the 'ponds' at Hampton Court lie in the construction of the Pond Yard at the behest of Henry VIII within his Great Wall parallel to the River Thames. Massive

    Figure 1. Changes in nomenclature in the 'sunk

    gardens' at Hampton Court Palace. The names of areas in the eighteenth-century

    Greenhouse Garden are

    given (along with the names of the same areas in the

    twentieth-century Pond

    Yard): 1, greenhouse (Lower Orangery); 2, Greenhouse Quarter (orangery garden); 3, glass case (vinehouse); 4, Auricula Quarter (Tudor Garden); 5, Orange Quarter

    (Pond, or Dutch, Garden); 6, Flower garden (orchard); 7, Privy Garden; 8, Great

    Wall along the River Thames; 9, Banqueting House.

    Drawing: author

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    brick walls were erected in 1534 from the palace to the Towing Place (now the Barge Walk) by the river.4 This left a triangular space between the Base Court of the palace, the west wall of the Privy Garden and the Towing Place; and Henry started to enclose the area and form ponds there. The idea for the ponds, and thus the Pond Yard, appears to derive from stew ponds where fish would be kept awaiting the cook's attention. Whether those at Hampton Court were ever fully functional in this way, or simply ornamental versions of features found at many manor houses across England, is unclear. Work on 'dyggyng the fondacyons of the ponds' was taking place between March and July of 1535.5 It seems that, at first, the ponds were banked around; and in January and February 1536, the banks were planted with 'queke setts of wood bynd thorne and hasyll'. The inclusion of

    woodbine (honeysuckle) is interesting, as it implies that this hedge was ornamental with the woodbine adding scent and colour.

    The supply and retention of water were being worked on from April. Installation of pumps and lead pipes was commenced that month to fill the ponds from the river.6 The natural ground is extremely pervious sandy gravel and, so, in May the bottoms of the ponds were clayed. There were also sluices made of elmwood to enable the ponds to be drained.7 Various trials were made of filling and emptying the ponds from May to

    July. The arrangements seem to have worked, because in July a lead pipe was laid from the

    'fountayne in the inner courtt to the pondds' to supplement the pumps; in September the construction of a well was being undertaken; and in December two further pumps

    were supplied to draw water from it.8 These measures seem to have been adequate; and in 1537 the ponds were being embellished by 'stoon beests that standyth a bought the

    ponds' on vanes. At the same time 'irne raks' were supplied 'to levell the ailes a bought the ponds'. For some reason it must have been decided to abandon the hedges around the ponds in favour of low walls, for in April 1538, a 'brykk wall a bought the pondds' was

    underway.9 It was coped with carved Reigate stone. Meanwhile, work continued on the King's Beasts. A William Russell was paid for 'prymyng vi stoon bests standing a bowght the ponds'.10 In May there was a payment for 'pynnys of irne servyng for stayes to the basys of freestone baryng the beests in the ponde garden'.11

    Antonius van den Wyngaerde, a Netherlandish artist in the service of Philip IV of Spain, depicted Hampton Court from the south in Queen Mary Fs reign (Figure 2). He showed three rectangular spaces within the Pond Yard enclosed by low walls, adjacent to which were columns, speculatively those topped by some of the King's Beasts.12 The south facade of the Base Court lay behind, to the north. The arrangement of the Pond

    Yard during Mary IFs time in the early 1690s is shown on a map by John Taiman (Figure 3).13 The Pond Yard appears to have retained the three 'ponds' with a rectangular 'canal' constructed down the centre of the central

    'pond'; this would have been both ornamental and useful for watering. Around all three 'ponds' were alleys. Various other areas, mostly triangular, existed as left-over spaces between the alleys and the bank under the Great

    Wall. The most evident new work was the construction of three 'glass cases' to be seen

    by the south range of the Base Court. These were for housing exotic plants and required Dutch specialists to be brought over for their construction. The Taiman map also shows a rectangular area in front of the glass cases. This was enclosed with a low wall.

    The principal changes under William III ruling alone (1694-1702), after Mary II had died, included the replacement of the range of three glass cases by the present greenhouse (now referred to as the 'Lower Orangery') in 1701. William must have decided to house the citrus plants and exotics in a more conventional structure, even at the risk of losing

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  • 90 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    Figure 2. Antonius van den Wyngaerde, a drawing of Hampton Court Palace from the south

    (c.1555) (detail). Courtesy: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, L.IV, p. 9b

    Figure 3. William Taiman, map of

    Hampton Court Palace and its adjacent parks (c.1698) (detail). Courtesy: RIBA Drawings Collection, London, B4/1

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    a few of the latter. Preparations to form an enlarged 'Greenhouse Quarter' in front of the greenhouse for plant display started with cutting a section off the north of the

    Orange Quarter, new low walls and a new paved alley aligned with the gate into the Privy Garden.14 Labourers were

    'raising and levelling the ground before the new green house', probably filling in the severed end of the Orange Quarter. During the eighteenth century the Pond Yard was generally referred to as the 'Greenhouse Garden'.

    Detailed representations of the Pond Yard commence with three bird's-eye views of Hampton Court, being, or deriving from, drawings by Leonard Knyff, which he

    mentioned in a letter of 1702. A drawing from the south survives (Figure 4);15 a view from the west was engraved by Johannes Kip;16 and a third, a view from the east, was turned into an oil painting and later engraved.17 These items show the situation after the

    completion of works by William III between 1699 and 1702, and during the reign of

    Queen Anne. They indicate what the Taiman map could not ? that each 'pond' was on two levels ? the lower was perhaps formerly the flooded area

    ? and were encircled with

    their low walls of about 3 feet height. The former ponds had been converted by Queen Mary to the cultivation and display of rare plants in the open; and the uses are more

    precisely suggested by the names they were given.18 These were indicated on an annotated

    plan of sometime 1710-14. The westernmost was shown as the 'Auricula Quarter', the middle one as the

    'Orange Quarter' and the eastern one as the 'Flower Garden'. Its companion copy showed the detailed design of selected areas (Figure 5).19

    The term 'Auricula Quarter' suggested the cultivation of the highly specialist and prized 'florist' flowers, of which there were six: auriculas were one, and tulips, Anemone

    Figure 4. Leonard Knyff, a drawing of Hampton Court Palace from the South (c.1702) (detail); British Museum, London, 1961-4-8-1

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  • 92 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    Figure 5. Plan of Hampton Court Palace (c.1710-14) (detail). Courtesy: Sir John

    Soane's Museum, London, Folio II, No. 40

    and Ranunculus were some of the others. The Taiman map showed a basin for a fountain, as do the Knyff views. This was revealed in 1951 when the area was stripped to remake the 'Tudor Garden' (see below).20 It was 9 feet in diameter and a l^-foot drain ran towards the great sewer along the south front of the palace. The planting design showed on the Knyff views was of this Auricula Quarter being filled by curvilinear beds, centred around the fountain. This garden may have been a flower garden in the French manner, similar to the King's and Queen's gardens either side of the palace at Het Loo, or to that at Chatsworth, Derbyshire. Alternatively, the views may have indicated broderie installed between 1699 and 1702, but this is made less likely by the absence of mention in the accounts.

    The Orange Quarter was an 'orangery' ?

    a term that usually referred to the garden rather than to the building. The Knyff and Kip view shows that it had been arranged as three gravelled 'steps' descending to a pond, with the benefit that the fragrance of the flowers would be concentrated in one place. Apart from being a rectangular adaptation of an earlier garden, this made the Hampton Court orangery similar to Dutch examples at the time, which were often circular. Mary and her gardeners would have been familiar

    with several, including, possibly, those at Zorgvliet, Heemstede and Zeist.21 The collection of oranges, lemons and citrons, plus perhaps other exotic greens (i.e. evergreens) at

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    Hampton Court, was evidently large as ninety-five tubs of various sizes were delivered there in 1700.22 Knyff shows how it was arranged on the steps. As frosts approached, the collection would have been moved inside and over-wintered in a

    'greenhouse'. The

    principal one at first was the Greenhouse (or 'Upper Orangery' as it is termed today) facing the Privy Garden; but after 1701 it was William's new greenhouse (or 'Lower

    Orangery' as it is termed today) in the Pond Yard. The Knyff and Kip views indicate espaliers around each of the 'ponds' (Figure 6). Henry Wise had been paid in 1701 for bringing earth into the garden 'for the Hornbeam Hedges'.23 In 1704, he proposed to

    provide trenches of good soil and to plant tall limes amongst the existing hornbeams.24 This was to 'break off the Wind from the Orange trees that so much annoyeth them'. Law mentioned them in 1900;25 and there are even today a number of limes and hornbeams, stunted by centuries of clipping, to be seen around the Orange Quarter. It is perhaps not too fanciful to identify these as hedge plants installed by Wise himself.

    After the accession of George III in 1760, it was clear that the palace would not be occupied by the Royal family, and so there was no need to keep the apartments for his retinue. By the late 1760s, individuals were being granted the various apartments, and soon the palace, apart from the State Apartments, was parcelled out to 'Grace-and

    Favour' residents.26 The fixed maintenance contracts held by the head gardeners dissuaded them from making significant changes, and merely to cater for the residents' needs. It was inevitable that the content of the gardens changed over time, though, even if the old

    names did continue. The collections of exotics and florist flowers declined and ceased to be remarked upon by visitors. A map that is dated by indicating John Haverfield's house ? he was the royal gardener 1783-1806

    ? showed little discernible change in

    layout, and most of the old names surviving.27 Whilst the Orange Quarter retained its

    Figure 6. Leonard Knyff and Johannes Kip, engraving of Hampton Court Palace from the east (1702) (detail). Source: Print sold by Henry Overtoil, based on Knyff's painting, presently

    hanging in Hampton Court Palace

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  • 94 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    name, one suspects that its gravel surfaces had been allowed to become grass by this time. The Crown had, c.1832, exchanged much of the Royal palaces and parks with Parliament for an addition to the Civil List. Whilst the Grace-and-Favour apartments at

    Hampton Court, together with the Privy Garden, the Glass Case Garden and the Kitchen Garden (formerly the Tiltyard) remained Royal property (being administered by the Lord Chamberlain), the Commissioners of Woods & Forests were asked to take charge of the State Apartments in the Palace, the Wilderness, the Great Fountain Garden and Pavilion

    Terrace. In 1841, the Office of Woods & Forests commissioned a map by Henry Sayer (Figure 7).28

    One gardening author, Charles MTntosh, in writing about orange trees, could still remark in the 1850s that 'The largest collection in Britain is that at Hampton Court Palace,

    Figure 7. Henry Sayer, 'A Plan of the Royal Park of Hampton Court with the Palace and Gardens' (1841) (detail); The National Archive: PRO, WORK 34/1349

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    where two large apartments on the ground-floor, having only large glass windows in front, are filled with magnificent specimens'.29 Despite being the remnants and replacements of the country's finest since the 1690s, the collection no longer seems to have been much valued by the Crown whilst at Hampton Court. In 1892, seven large orange trees, 'said to have been brought to Hampton Court in the time of William IIP, were conveyed to the East Terrace at Windsor Castle, opposite the Royal Apartments.30


    Law considered that 'about the year 1878 Hampton Court entered upon a new epoch of improvement and restoration' under the enlightened management of the Office of Works (a new shorthand name for Woods and Forests), namely Algernon Bertram Mitford (the

    Secretary), John Lessels (the Surveyor) and E. Chart (the Clerk of Works at Hampton Court).31 At first, the members of the Board had concentrated upon the palace buildings, but by the end of the 1880s their thoughts were turning to improvements to the palace's surroundings. Meanwhile, the office of Bailiff of the Royal Parks was created in 1877,

    which was responsible for the garden superintendents; between 1880 and 1902, he was Col. Wheatley. He and the Works officials responsible for the built structures made a sustained attempt to render Hampton Court Palace presentable as a major national


    Law might have mentioned his own efforts. He was christened Ernest Philip Alphonse Law in 1855 and spent his childhood at Hampton Court in Grace-and-Favour Apartment IX. He became a passionate devotee of William Shakespeare and all things Old English; and he managed to combine this with an equally passionate mission to induce the general public to share his preferences. This led him to advocate many proposals for improvements to Hampton Court, as a testimony and repository of that which was best in English history. He took an early interest in the contents of the palace and his A

    Historical Catalogue of the Pictures in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court (London, 1881) was published when he was aged twenty-six. Meanwhile, he had made a collection of antiquities connected with Hampton Court; and in 1883 was asking to be allowed to display it.32 In 1894, Law was seeking an official appointment as the curator of the paintings at Hampton Court, but this request was ignored; however, he did succeed the next year in being granted an apartment, the Pavilion, which he still retained at his death in 1930.

    Although a member of one of the Inns of Court, Law appears to have spent much of his twenties in the Public Record Office, at that time in Chancery Lane, London. He

    was perhaps the first garden historian to found his conclusions on archival material. He explained that 'every effort has been made to render this history complete and accurate, by researches in the Record Office and the British Museum, and in the Bodleian, All Souls, and Ashmolean libraries, and by consulting in almost every case, the ultimate historical authorities and original documents'.33 He combined this concern for accuracy

    with 'many of the historical events that occurred within its walls, with a local "colouring,"

    which may add something to their vividness and interest'. The result was The History of Hampton Court Palace in Tudor Times (London, 1885), to which was added a history in Stuart times in 1888, and in Orange and Guelph times in 1891, making a three-volume set. In the 1890s, his interests extended to other Royal palaces, resulting in Kensington Palace, the Birthplace of the Queen, Illustrated: Being an Historical Guide to the State Rooms, Pictures, and Gardens (London, 1899), and other guides.

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  • 96 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    Law's campaigning led to an uneasy relationship with the Office of Works at times, but he was always respected for his scholarship. He was instrumental in having turf laid in the Base Court, and the return of the two larger-than-life lead statues of Mars and Hercules from Windsor. He came to be especially interested in the gardens and he

    wrote articles in Country Life in 1900 extolling their wonders. Then, in 1902, he was instrumental in the return of the Tijou screens from museums around the country to the

    Privy Garden; and he took part in reshaping the gardens after the First World War. He was the prime mover behind the 'Knott Garden' installed in the north-east corner of the Pond Yard in 1924. Law's early researches led, a 1900, to a spate of renaming the garden areas by reviving their old names or associations. Hence, the Office of Works officials abandoned the term 'Private Gardens', which became once more 'The Privy Garden' and 'The Pond Yard', whilst the orangery quarter became the Pond Garden or Dutch Garden,

    and the Auricula Quarter became the 'Tudor Garden'.34


    The post of the Hampton Court Royal Gardener had been abolished in 1881, when his residual duties in the Pond Yard were added to those of the Queen's Head Gardener at

    Windsor. From this time onwards, the neglect of the central 'pond' ceased. Gravel paths were cut, running the length of the garden, down the steps, around the fountain and up the steps again; also around the middle level. Herbaceous planting adorned the back of each level and four standard roses were planted on the bottom level (Figure 8). Law took particular delight in this area: 'The Pond Garden alone, ... which is perhaps the most

    enchanting spot in all the grounds at Hampton Court still retains something of its ancient

    Figure 8. The former Orange Quarter in the late 1890s; Hampton Court Photographic Archive

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    Tudor aspect ... low brick walls in the corners of which may be detected the bases of the stone pieces that supported the heraldic beasts'.35 This observation was seized upon by others, for example Inigo Triggs, who, in discussing Hampton Court in his Formal Gardens in England and Scotland (London, 1902), stated that: 'Nothing now remains of these Tudor gardens except perhaps the small pond garden'.36

    The Privy Garden was transferred to the Office of Works in 1894, so that it could be formally opened to the public. The vine was de facto open as well, and, in 1899, the issue of how to adapt the vinehouse for the increasing numbers of visitors was raised.37 During negotiations, the Secretary of the Lord Steward's department noted that expenditure

    would be a 'useless cost to the queen', and thought the vine 'might be conveniently handed over to the care of Mr Gardiner', the Office of Works's Superintendent of the

    Hampton Court Pleasure Gardens, 1897-1907. In 1902, Viscount Esher, as Secretary to the Board of Works, arranged with the Royal Privy Purse that the Board would take over the remaining Private Gardens at Hampton Court. Also at that date, Major Hussey replaced Col. Wheatley as Bailiff of the Royal Parks.

    As soon as the Pond Garden came into the hands of the Bailiff and his Superintendent, they undertook various embellishments. The central path was surfaced with crazy paving sometime between 1903 and 1907; and various small rock plants grew through the gaps between the stones (Figure 9).38 The path around the middle level was narrowed by increasing bed widths and turfing; and some yews clipped as birds were installed in place of the standard roses ? photographs show them becoming plumper over time. In 1906, an eighteenth-century lead statue of a scantily clothed Venus, which Law had discovered, face to the wall in shame, in 'Mrs Grundy's gallery' in 1892, was placed in a yew arbour.39 In 1909, four lead figures of cherubs representing the seasons were purchased from a Dr

    Figure 9. The Pond, or Dutch, Garden in the 1920s; from Ernest Law, Hampton Court Gardens: Old and New (London, 1926), p. 70

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  • 98 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    Daniels at Epsom, Surrey, for ?120.40 They were placed either side of the two flights of steps down to the bottom level.41 In 1912, a letter was received from Paris from La Vie ? la Campagne, the French equivalent of Country Life, with a number of questions about the Pond Garden. On 16 December, the Bailiff, Major Hussey, sent La Vie ? la Campagne extracts from Law's book and a 'list of plants which are used in the mixed borders of this

    garden' (see the Appendix).42 A plant list as at 1926 was contained in Law's Hampton Court Gardens: Old and New (London, 1926).43


    Law had earlier emphasized the Pond Garden's Tudor origins, but he also came to realize that the garden's 'bones' were recognizably those of William Ill's orangery garden shown on the views by Knyff.44 Triggs had access to the Sir John Soane's Museum, London, plans of c.1710-14; and in 1901 he redrew them as a composite including the names of the

    gardens.45 Hence, a wide audience was to learn that the Pond Garden had once been the

    Orange Quarter. Law's researches and writings had encouraged architects at the Office of Works to acknowledge the gardens' intense historical interest, and they responded by various attempts to recover the form of the garden more along the lines shown by Triggs. This intent was signalled by their references from about this time to the Pond Garden as the Dutch Garden. Meanwhile, in August 1903, the architects put forward an elaborate and inventive proposal to reconstruct the Auricula Quarter in Tudor form (Figures 10 and 11). This garden had been on two levels since William Ill's time, or before, but the fountain basin had been filled in c.1800 and the area laid out as beds for the propagation and holding of plants. The proposal of 1903 was to sink a rectangular pond in the lower level, and to pave around this pond and the upper level, leaving raised flower beds


    Figure 10. 'Sketch Design for Tudor Garden.' (1903); from J. R. W., 'Plan and Sections for the Tudor Garden' (July 1903); Hampton Court Curator's Department

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  • Figure 11. View of the proposed Tudor Garden (1903); from J. R. W., 'Plan and Sections for the Tudor Garden' (July 1903); Hampton Court Curator's Department

    between the paving and the walls. King's Beasts would have surmounted the rail around the water, and the garden's enclosing wall.46 Survey mapping of that date began to refer to the area as the 'Tudor Garden'.

    This idea was not welcomed by the Bailiff and his staff, who took a more sceptical view, no doubt apprehensive of the architects' enthusiasms. The sum of ?600 for this

    garden was inserted annually in estimates of expenditure, though the sum was just as regularly struck out.47 This recurred till October 1909, when the Bailiff, Major Hussey,

    wrote to the Secretary of the Board of Works that the architects had new costings suggesting that ?750 would be required by them alone, and that he, the Bailiff, would need to find ?250, making ?1000 in all. Hussey argued that its use as a reserve garden for growing young plants was 'useful for our requirements'. His suggestion of dropping the scheme for good was agreed.

    No significant changes seem to have occurred in the Pond Yard during the First World War, but afterwards the Office of Works returned to thoughts of restoration of

    the Dutch Garden. This seems to have implied simplification, for example by removing the clipped birds and various shrubs that had been growing unchecked in the beds. Word leaked out and the Surrey Comet instantly joined battle, reporting that 'the hand of the despoiler is also to be heavily laid upon the quaint and interesting Dutch garden, one of the old-world charms of Hampton Court'.48 The District Council were alarmed enough to pass a resolution that, inter alia, 'there shall be no interference with the Dutch

    Garden'; there was even a move towards organizing a petition to the king, George V. Whilst the Office of Works was motivated chiefly by restoration through stripping recent

    and excess decoration and growth, its critics accused it of destruction with the saving of maintenance expenses in mind. The Office of Works explained a few days later that 'certain clearances' were being undertaken in the Dutch Garden, 'where the growth was

    considered too thick, with a view to bringing the garden more into the condition in which

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  • 100 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1

    it was originally designed and laid out'.49 They were supported in this by the Gardener's Chronicle:

    The Dutch Garden [formerly the Orange Quarter, or middle Tudor fishpond] certainly does require attention. It has ceased to be 'Dutch' owing to the ragged and generally

    worthless character of the mixture of shrubs and small trees which occupy the beds. In our opinion this garden should be restored to what it was intended to be.50

    Meanwhile there were much more far-reaching proposals relating to the Fountain Garden, which excited considerable controversy. Many parties objected to the simplification of the gardens. In June, the First Commissioner of Works appointed an expert committee to examine the various proposals.51 Law was one of them, alongside Miss Willmott of

    Warley Place, near Brentwood, Essex, Peto, and various of the good and great. Their deliberations led to a White Paper in August 1919; most recommendations related to the Fountain Garden, but they also supported a partial restoration approach in the Pond


    The Committee recommend that the centre and first plateau be relaid to the original level as shown by the old retaining walls, and that the grass on the first plateau be increased in

    width, that the general lines of the Garden be retained, and that the grass in the fountain

    be removed. They also think that plants in tubs on the middle plateau would add to the

    interest and beauty of the Gardens, and that the condition of the Garden should revert

    as far as possible to the original intention.52

    However, the Superintendent appears not to have acceded to these recommendations, seemingly preferring the gardened look to that of an orangery garden. His office drew

    up a plan with the intention of indicating his intended alterations to the Pond Garden

    (Figure 12).53 It is in fact hard to find any changes at all. As if to make the point, this plan was titled 'Pond Garden', denying the architects' conception of the

    area as a 'Dutch'

    orangery. From C.1905 to 1938, the central path of the Pond Garden continued as crazy paving.

    In August 1937, the First Commissioner of Works ordained that it should be laid in

    'irregular quadrilaterals' of Portland stone. A Mr Mee suggested regular quadrilaterals, but was overridden, and the new path was laid in June/July 1938.54 Later it was recalled that Sir Philip Sassoon, presumably as Minister for Works, had had the path relaid.55 In

    1944, a bequest of a bronze fountain, 5Vi feet high, then at Eton College, near Windsor, was made to the Department under the will of Mr Humphrey Talbot.56 The historic

    buildings architect felt that a 'fine example of bronze work is a very suitable ornament

    for the Dutch garden and will help to relieve its rather flat appearance as viewed by the

    public'. He was keen that it should replace the grassy bubble fountain at the centre, but this was countermanded by a senior officer, Sir James West. He felt that 'interest would tend to centre on it instead of ranging over the general layout of flowers, terraces, turf,

    pavings and water jet which now make so satisfying a place'.57


    For Law, and indeed most garden writers of the time, it was the combination of, not any conflict between, historical and gardening interests that excited attention to the Pond

    Garden. Its fame and reputation at this time may be judged by its imitators. An American

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    Figure 12. Scaled plan of the alterations (1919); The National Archive: PRO, WORK 34/1598

    garden designer and writer, Rose Standish Nichols, repeated Law's information and included a line drawing of the Pond Garden, traced from one of the standard postcards of the time, in her English Pleasure Gardens (New York, 1902).58 A garden design competition in The Studio gave second prize to Charles Wade's entry, which incorporated a replica of the Pond Garden at a smaller scale.59 In 1908, the Pond Garden was reproduced at a

    larger scale as the 'sunk garden' at Kensington Palace. The Deutsche Gesellschaft f?r Gartenkunst (German Society for Garden Art) visited

    England in 1909, and it was reported that 'the most beautiful experience, we had in

    Hampton Court and perhaps of the whole excursion, was the Pond or Dutch Garden'.60 The design was copied at a garden exhibition in Breslau (now in Poland) in 1913, and the sunken garden idea was in turn tried out elsewhere in Germany in subsequent years.

    Another instance of imitation was when, in the 1930s, Agecroft Hall, an early Tudor timbered mansion near Manchester, was disassembled to be re-erected in the outskirts of

    Richmond, Virginia, USA. The owners' landscape architect, Charles Gillette, was asked to design an appropriate garden; he chose to reproduce the Pond Garden at a slightly smaller scale.61 Law's Hampton Court Gardens: Old and New included a sketch plan of the garden, which was recycled in other publications.62 An article in The Garden the next

    year encouraged readers to copy the Hampton Court 'Dutch Garden'.63 Its author advised that the 'famous Dutch garden is not only to be admired, but [also] can be possessed, on a

    modified scale, even by a dweller in the suburbs'. After taking measurements, the reader could 'decide whether it would be advisable to lay out an exact replica of the garden at

    Hampton Court, or whether to use only a portion of the plan'. Detailed instructions on the making of the garden and its planting with 'old-fashioned flowers' then followed:

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  • 102 GARDEN HISTORY 33:1

    'Lemons, pinks, mauves, blues, purples and crimsons, with an occasional vivid orange interspersed with foliage plants of a silvery grey, would be ideal tones for a garden of this

    type'. Richard Sudell, a leading figure in the new Institute of Landscape Architects, and

    Editor of its journal, Garden & Landscape, noted in the 1930s that the sunk garden had become 'a popular type of formal garden', and a passage on 'examples' commenced:

    One of the best-known examples of a Sunk Garden is the one at Hampton Court. To

    peep through the gates on a summer day and see the tiny jet fountain in the centre gives some idea of the dignity and distinction that the Sunk Garden can add to the garden scheme ...,64

    Sudell, too, reproduced Law's plan of the garden (Figure 13). Examples of imitations proliferated, and not just in the small suburban plot. Several country houses, such as Tredegar House, Monmouthshire, and Clandon, Surrey, acquired sunken gardens adapted to their circumstances and owners' tastes. Although sunk gardens continued to be made after the Second World War, writers' advocacy of sunk gardens dissipated with the rise of

    Modernism, and mentions of the Pond Garden grew fewer.


    The 'Tudor Garden' was once more selected for restoration after the Second World War. This time the proposal was for a re-creation of Queen Mary's Flower Garden depicted by Knyff and Kip in 1702 (Figure 4)

    ? not very Tudor at all!65 The Knyff view, however, did not provide enough detail, and the arrangement of beds shown by him was much

    simplified and interpreted as solid boxwork (Plate XXI). There was also a minute of 23 January 1950 to which a coloured aerial sketch was related. The design had been settled by early 1950, since the scheme later implemented was dated 12 January 1950.66

    A report of 24 August 1951 was produced, and the decision was made to go ahead. The Auricula Quarter fountain, 9 feet in diameter, was revealed when the garden was stripped to remake the 'Tudor Garden'.67 Photographs dated September 1951 show the garden just 'restored'. This restoration was an architectural exercise in pattern using just box and

    gravel; its purpose as a garden has been obscured by restoration and visitors find it difficult to understand or appreciate it as a garden. Accordingly, it feels 'dead', and it is largely overlooked as visitors progress from the Pond Yard towards the vine. The Pond Garden, on the other hand, remains a major attraction and is one of the most photographed scenes at Hampton Court. It has achieved this by retaining its early twentieth-century form, with the substitution ?.I960 of bedding for the herbaceous planting, providing the

    vivid colour scheme seen every summer. One might say that in the contest between the

    gardeners and the restorers, the former have succeeded over the latter at several levels. On the other hand, by 1994-95, when the Privy Garden was reconstructed,

    restoration was in the ascendant. By that time restorers had gained more subtlety in their

    arguments and much greater historical knowledge and technical skill, so that this garden functions as a living garden, not just as geometry. The Estate Manager has been building up a new collection of evergreens in tubs, and these are displayed on the Privy Garden terrace. The next change may well be the restoration of the Greenhouse Quarter, the garden in front of the Lower Orangery. Historical and archaeological research has begun to reveal the layout of this space when it was used for setting out many of the orange

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    Figure 13. Scaled plan of the Pond Garden by Richard Sudell (1933);

    ? from Richard Sudell, Landscape tnJHH?-rt, T T ti f ' f

    : Gardening (London, 1933), pp. 148,

    ?cAi*?rr?*r < 154

    trees kept in the Lower Orangery. It would thus return to its early eighteenth-century form, displacing the now much degraded nineteenth-century, post-orange-tree collection, informal arrangement of beds and flower studs. Decisions on the other areas await, but

    will be within the theme of a diverse collection of horticulturally driven gardens. One

    possibility would be to reconstitute, as far as possible, Queen Mary's collection of florist flowers. As proposals now push forward on the Pond Yard, it seems likely that there will be true cooperation, and, just as Ernest Law felt, the charm of the place will continue to be in how architectural and gardening interests can be melded.

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  • 104 GARDEN HISTORY 33 : 1


    Thanks are due to the Curator (Dr Lucy Worsley), Grounds Manager (Terry Gough), Photographic Curator (Claire Murphy) and other officers at Hampton Court for their encouragement to undertake the research, for comments and for permission to publish the research. Dr Jan Woudstra provided the information on the visit of the Deutsche

    Gesellschaft f?r Gartenkunst.


    The list is copied from The National Archive at the Public Records Office, Kew: WORK 16/895. No attempt has been made to correct or update the plant names.

    Acquilegia Vulgaris Althaea Vasea

    Alyssum sexatile

    Anchusa It?lica

    Anemone blanda

    Anemone Jap?nica Arabis Albida Armeria Maritima

    Aubretia deltoidea Auricula Bellis perennis Boraco officinalis

    Calendula officinalis Campanula garganica

    Campanula persicifolia

    Campanula pusilla Cerastium tomentosum

    Cheiranthus Alpinus Cheiranthus cheiri Dianthus barbatus

    Dianthus Caesius Dianthus caryophyllus Dianthus gloriosa Erica carnea

    Geum Montana Helianthemum

    glutinosum Hemorocallis glava Heuchera sanguinea

    Iberis sempervirens Iris germ?nica Iris reticulata Iris xiphioides

    Lavendula spica

    Lupinus arb?rea

    Lupinus polyphyllus Lychnis biscaria

    Matthiola incana

    Muscari botryoides

    Myosotis alpestris

    Nepeta mussina

    Paenia Emodi Papaver orientale

    Phlox decussata Phlox subulata Potentilla alpestris Potentilla hybrida Primula officinalis


    Rosmarinus officinalis

    Salvia Virgata Saxafraga cordifolia

    Saxafraga Mascoides

    Saxafraga Pyrimidalis Saxafraga umbrosa Sedum spectabile Sil?ne Alvestris Sil?ne p?ndula Spirea philipendula

    Taxa baccata

    Thymus citriodorus

    Thymus serpyllum Thymus Vulgaris Verbascum Olympicum Veronica prostate Vinca Major Viola odorata

    Wisteria Chinensis Yucca Gloriosa Yucca recurvifolia

    REFERENCES 1 David Ottewill, The Edwardian Garden

    (New Haven, CT, ?c London: Yale University Press, 1989), p. 81. 2

    Anon., 'Gardens old & new', Country Life, 1 (c.1905), pp. 98, 157, 220. 3 David Jacques, 'The "Private Gardens" at

    Hampton Court'. Report for the Historic Royal Palaces Trust, 2003. 4 The National Archive (TNA) at the Public Records Office (PRO), Kew, E 36/241, ff.39, 42, 85. 5

    TNA, PRO, E 36/243, f.258. 6 Ibid., f.637. 7 Ibid., ff.728, 731; E 36/244, ff.28, 36. 8

    TNA, PRO, E 36/244, f.88. 9 Ibid., f.185.

    10 TNA, PRO, E 36/239, f.613; E 36/244,

    f.179. 11

    TNA, PRO, E 36/244, f.359. 12 Antonius van den Wyngaerde, 'View of

    Hampton Court from the South' {c.1555); Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, L.IV, p. 9b. 13 William Taiman, 'Map of Hampton Court Palace and Adjacent Parks' (c.1698); RIBA Drawings Collection, B4/1. 14

    PRO, WORK 5/52, ff.259, 261, 270, 277. 15 Leonard Knyff, 'Drawing of Hampton Court from the South' (c.1702); British

    Museum, London, 1961-4-8-1. 16 Leonard Knyff delineavit and Johannes Kip sculptit, 'Hampton Court', in Leonard

    Knyff and Johannes Kip, Britannia Illustrata or

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    Views of Several of the Queens Palaces also of the Principal Seats of the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain (London: Joseph Smith, 1707), pi. 6. 17 Leonard Knyff, oil painting entitled

    Hampton Court from the East (c.1702); Royal Collection, Hampton Court Palace. 18

    Anon., 'Plan of the palace and gardens, sometime 1710-4'; Sir John Soane's Museum,

    London, Folio II, no. 39. 19 Sir John Soane's Museum, Folio II, no. 40. 20 Hampton Court Palace photographic

    collection. 21 David Jacques and Arend J. van der

    Horst (eds), The Gardens of William and Mary (London: Christopher Helm, 1988), figs 3.8,

    3.10, col. pi. 21. 22 TNA, PRO, WORK 5/51, f.513v. 23 TNA, PRO, WORK 5/52, f.343v. 24 TNA, PRO, T 1/91.151 25 Ernest Law, 'Gardenage at Hampton

    Court', Country Life (June 1900). 26 Gerald Heath, Hampton Court: 'Grace and Favour' in the Nineteenth Century, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society, Paper No. 62 (1966), p. 1. 27

    TNA, PRO, LRRO 1/2030. 28 Henry Sayer, Map entitled 'A Plan of the

    Royal Park of Hampton Court with the Palace and Gardens' (1841); TNA, PRO, WORK 34/1349.

    29 Charles MTntosh, The Book of the Garden, 2 vols (London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1853), II, p. 700. 30 The Citizen (25 June 1892). 31 Ernest Law, The History of Hampton

    Court Palace in Orange and Guelph Times (London: George Bell & Sons, 1891), p. 385. 32

    Heath, Hampton Court, p. 41. 33 Ernest Law, The History of Hampton Court Palace in Tudor Times (London: George Bell & Sons, 1885), p. vii. 34

    'Plan of the Palace' (1903), lithographed by Weller &C Graham; copy in the Hampton Court Curator's Department. 35

    Law, History of Hampton Court Palace in Orange and Guelph Times, p. 207. 36

    Inigo Triggs, Formal Gardens in England and Scotland (London: B. T. Batsford, 1902), p. 21. 37

    TNA, PRO, WORK 16/150. 38 Gardener's Chronicle, 2 (1907), pp. 177-8.

    39 Ernest Law, Hampton Court Gardens: Old and New. A Survey, Historical, Descriptive and

    Horticultural (London: Bell, 1926), p. 70. 40 TNA, PRO, WORK 19/1005.

    41 H. M. Office of Works, drawing 125A/522, 'The Pond Garden

    ? Alterations Etc' (1919); TNA, PRO, WORK 34/1598. 42

    TNA, PRO, WORK 16/895. 43 Law, Hampton Court Gardens Old and

    New, pp. 71-3. 44 Ibid., p. 70. 45

    Triggs, Formal Gardens in England and

    Scotland, pi. 33. 46 J. R. W., 'Plan and Sections for the Tudor

    Garden' (July 1903); Hampton Court Curator's Department. 47

    TNA, PRO, WORK 16/895. 48 Surrey Comet (15 February 1919). 49 The Times (20 February 1919). 50 Gardener's Chronicle, 1 (1 March 1919),

    p. 99. 51 Gardener's Chronicle, 1 (1919), pp. 98-9, 254; ibid., 2 (1919), pp. 120, 131-2. 52

    Quotation in Gardeners' Chronicle, I (1919), pp. 98-9, 254; II, pp. 120, 131-2. 53

    TNA, PRO, WORK 34/1598. 54 TNA, PRO, WORK 16/1550. 55 TNA, PRO, WORK 19/1059. 56 Ibid.

    57 Quotation in Gardeners' Chronicle, I

    (1919), pp. 98-9, 254; II, pp. 120, 131-2. 58 Rose S. Nichols, English Pleasure Gardens (New York, NY: Macmillan Co., 1902), p.

    93. For a biography of Nichols, see Charles Birnbaum and Robin Karson (eds), Pioneers of American Landscape Design (New York, NY:

    McGraw-Hill, 2000), pp. 262-4. 59 Ottewill, Edwardian Garden, fig. 208. 60 Uwe Schneider, 'Hermann Muthesius

    and the introduction of the English Arts 6c Crafts garden to Germany', Garden History, 28 (2000), pp. 57-72 (pp. 66-8, fig. 6), referring to Reinhold Hoemann's article in Die

    Gardenkunst, 12/3 (1910), p. 36. 61 See html; Gillette's drawings are in the Fiske Kimball Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 62

    Law, Hampton Court Gardens Old and New, p. 72. 63 M. P., 'Making a formal sunk garden', The Garden (16 July 1927), pp. 460-1. 64 Richard Sudell, Landscape Gardening: Planning, Construction, Planting (London:

    Ward, Lock & Co., 1933), pp. 148, 154. 65 TNA, PRO, WORK 16/895. 66

    Ministry of Works, Historic Buildings Department, drawing 125M/29 (1950); TNA, PRO, WORK 16/895. 67

    Hampton Court Palace photographic collection.

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    Article Contentsp. [87]p. 88p. 89p. 90p. 91p. 92p. 93p. 94p. 95p. 96p. 97p. 98p. 99p. 100p. 101p. 102p. 103p. 104p. 105

    Issue Table of ContentsGarden History, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Summer, 2005), pp. 1-154Front MatterFlintwork, Freedom and Fantasy: The Landscape at West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire [pp. 1-30]The Carriage-Drive in Humphry Repton's Landscapes [pp. 31-46]The Picturesque at Brislington House, Bristol: The Role of Landscape in Relation to the Treatment of Mental Illness in the Early Nineteenth-Century Asylum [pp. 47-60]Landscapers for the Mind: English Asylum Designers, 1845-1914 [pp. 61-86]The 'Pond Garden' at Hampton Court Palace: 'One of the Best-Known Examples of a Sunk Garden' [pp. 87-105]Notes'Garden Expressionism': Remarks on a Historical Debate [pp. 106-117]The Building of the Garden: Arts & Crafts Gardens in Australia, 1880-1914 [pp. 118-126]Nature Strips: A Forgotten Feature of Urban History [pp. 127-134]The Gardens of Jean de Cro, Count of Solre, in Madrid and the "Offering to Flora" by Juan van der Hamen [pp. 135-145]

    ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 146-147]Review: untitled [p. 147-147]Review: untitled [pp. 147-148]Review: untitled [pp. 148-149]Review: untitled [p. 149-149]Review: untitled [pp. 149-150]Review: untitled [pp. 150-151]Review: untitled [pp. 151-152]Review: untitled [pp. 152-153]Review: untitled [p. 153-153]Review: untitled [p. 154-154]

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