Sunken Garden Restoration

Posted on April 22nd, 2005 by Sian Jones

Derek Austin, dedicated arboriculturist with Trafford Borough Council’s Planning and Building Control Service, writes: ‘I am a member of a team established to bring about the restoration of certain heritage features at Denzell Gardens, Altrincham, Cheshire. Denzell Gardens were once the private gardens to Denzell House, an imposing Grade 2 listed mansion built in 1874. The building remains intact and is used as offices. The grounds are public open space owned by Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council.

“A variety of heritage features remain within the grounds. These are ornamental garden features that provide focal points within the garden design and provide a landscape to compliment the design of the house. They are all in need of restoration and / or enhancement. The features include a lych gate, an ornamental pond with a gravity-fed fountain, several pedestal urns and a sunken garden.”

“It is the restoration of the sunken garden which prompts my enquiry to Garden History Society Members. The footprint of the sunken garden is elliptical in shape and is approximately 25m in length along the long axis. It is accessed by stone steps sited at each end of the long axis. Early photographs show that there used to by a small, raised, circular lilly pond in the centre although no trace of this remains today. The sunken garden has been planted up with a variety of trees and shrubs over the years and is dominated by a number of large Cypress trees. The project team would like to restore the appearance of the sunken garden to that of its heyday and we have resolved to search the Council’s archives for some kind of planting plan.”

Derek would be glad to hear from anyone with advice to offer which might assist him in his search for a design


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