Monthly Archives: March 2015

Cutting back an out-of-control hedge in the garden

Over the last 18 months the garden has really responded to the hard work, talent and dedication of our head gardener, Hamish Bett, and our amazing team of volunteers. There is still lots to do (in fact there will always be lots to do!), but progress is definitely being made.

One job that we have made a start on is removing the overgrown yew hedge around the knot garden. It had grown so big that it was pushing over the stone wall that surrounds the knot garden. We want to restore the stone wall, so we had to get rid of the yew.

The yew hedge started life as four small yew bushes evenly spaced along the knot garden wall, as you can see in this picture from the 19th Century:

View of the south facade of Court Lodge from what is now the golf course. You can clearly see the wall around the knot garden and, if you zoom in, four evenly spaced yew balls within it.

View of the south facade of Court Lodge from what is now the golf course. You can clearly see the wall around the knot garden and, if you zoom in, four evenly spaced yew balls within it.

Over time those four yew bushes had grown so huge, and merged into one another that the result, looking out from the south terrace, looked like this:

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Although the knot garden looks beautiful, you can’t see the wall at all for the surrounding yew hedge. You can see the four original yew balls, and how they have merged to make one enormous yew hedge that was at least 3 metres deep.

The effect of the hedge on the stone wall can be seen here:

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The wall is Grade II listed, as is Court Lodge, and all the structures in the garden, so we have to restore and maintain it. Back in February, Ian and Hamish decided to take drastic action and take down the yew. Here are some pictures of that process:

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There was a massive amount of yew hedge to get rid of, so we had several nights of bonfires, but you can see the wall being revealed from under the hedge. The final result shows how much the view has opened up for us now:

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The cherry tree in the middle is also going to have to come down, as its roots are also interfering with the wall, but we will let it blossom one last time. Once it’s gone though, and the wall is restored, the view across the golf course from Court Lodge will be magnificent.

 

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More photos from India in the 1880s

Following on from yesterday’s post about photographs taken by my great grandfather Henry Courtenay Morland on his travels in the 1880s, here are some more of the remarkable contents of that big old photo album. I’m not sure where most of these places are, as he stopped labelling them about half way through the book, so if you recognise anywhere, let me know in the comments. Enjoy!

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Sadly, as well as pictures of working, living elephants, there are pictures like this of elephants as trophies of big game hunters.

Sadly, as well as pictures of working, living elephants, there are pictures like this of elephants as trophies of big game hunters.

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Henry in a horse and buggy

Henry in a horse and buggy

Henry showing off the 'new fangled' game of golf to his contemporaries. In 1890 he laid out the Morland family's own private golf course on the parkland at Court Lodge. Today it forms the first nine holes of Lamberhurst Golf Club.

Henry showing off the ‘new fangled’ game of golf to his contemporaries. In 1890 he laid out the Morland family’s own private golf course on the parkland at Court Lodge. Today it forms the first nine holes of Lamberhurst Golf Club.

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I’ve been watching Indian Summers on Channel 4 for the last few weeks, and although it is set quite a bit later than these photos (1930s), there are many common themes. These photos provide a fascinating window into the world of Colonial India at the end of the 19th Century.

There will be many more photos from the late 19th and early 20th centuries coming this way over the next few months, so keep watching.

Images of India from another era

Apologies for my lack of activity on this blog for a while. We have been extremely busy with lots of different projects here at Court Lodge, which I will hopefully be able to write all about very soon.

A while ago I wrote about my great grandfather’s travels to India and various other places throughout what was then the British Empire in the late 1880s. You can read that entry here. In that post I wrote about discovering a new side to Henry, my great grandfather. We all knew that he was massively into his big game hunting, and also that he had a violent temper. But reading his diaries I found out that he also had a genuine appreciation for the art and architecture that he discovered on his travels, as well as a deep fondness for his wife, at least at that early stage in his marriage.

Henry also, evidently, was a huge fan and a big early adopter of photography. As I mentioned in another post, we have many boxes of old glass slides, and we have recently found a way of converting them into digital images. That process is ongoing, and I’ll report back with more of these images as we sift through them. However, many of these glass slides were developed by Henry, and we have several old photograph albums containing these images. There is one old photograph album in particular that is quite an impressive object:

Henry Courtenay Morland's photograph album

Henry Courtenay Morland’s photograph album

Henry developed many of his glass slides, and the images are here inside this album. There are photos of Court Lodge, the family and the garden, as well as photos he took on his travels round the world. I’ve already shown some of the photos from inside this album on earlier blog posts. See, for example, here, here and here.

Here are some of those photos from India, Africa, and Europe. I’ve also included modern photos of the same places alongside some of Henry’s photos.

The Taj Mahal in the 1880s

The Taj Mahal in the 1880s

The Taj Mahal today

The Taj Mahal today

 

The Kashmir gate in the 1880s

The Kashmir gate in the 1880s

 

The Kashmir gate today

The Kashmir gate today

The Qutub Minar - Delhi in the 1880s

The Qutub Minar – Delhi in the 1880s

The Qutub Minar today

The Qutub Minar today

Gwalior fortress in the 1880s

Gwalior fortress in the 1880s

Gwalior fortress today

Gwalior fortress today

Gwalior fortress in the 1880s

Gwalior fortress in the 1880s

Gwalior fortress today

Gwalior fortress today

Humayun's tomb in the 1880s

Humayun’s tomb in the 1880s

Humayun's tomb today

Humayun’s tomb today

Hindu temple at Gwalior

Hindu temple at Gwalior

Gwalior temple today

Gwalior temple today

 

Palace at Gwalior in the 1880s

Palace at Gwalior in the 1880s

Palace at Gwalior today

Palace at Gwalior today

Cape Town in the 1880s

Cape Town in the 1880s

Nice, France, in the 1880s

Nice, France, in the 1880s

Nice today

Nice today

Henry is second from the left standing. I'm not sure who the others are, but this picture is so evocative of Colonial India.

Henry is second from the left standing. I’m not sure who the others are, but this picture is so evocative of Colonial India.

I don’t know who the people in the next two pictures are either, but they are stunning photographs.

 

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Casino at Monte Carlo

Casino at Monte Carlo

Lastly, here are a few more images of India taken from the glass slides that we have been digitising lately.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these images of India and other places in the 19th century. Keep watching this blog for more old photographs.