Blooming borders

In 1914 a semi-circular garden enclosed by an English yew hedge (Taxus baccata) was installed on the southern side of the higher garden opposite the glasshouse in front of the tithe barn. James Hawken, the head gardener to Mary and Thomas Charles Agar-Robartes, probably carried out this work. The low hedging allowed views across the garden to the terracing to the south

Anna Maria Hunt improved and embellished much of the higher garden in the 1820s including the kitchen garden here, which became an ornamental flower garden. By 1822 work had begun on a ‘Ha-Ha’ (a sunken ditch hiding a boundary wall or fence) to separate the higher garden from the formal gardens nearer the house.
 
We have no record of the layout of the flower garden but indirect evidence from Anna Marie Hunt’s accounts in 1827 suggest that a glasshouse had been built here to house plants supplied by John Pond (possibly Pontey). The tithe barn to the north was given an ornamental ‘gothic’ façade becoming an eye-catcher from other parts of the garden. The blank window in the gable end was added when the chancel of the church was extended in 1886. The origin of the small stone cross at the peak is unknown.
 
The barn was built using stone left from the demolition of the East Range in the 1780s while the doorways with the pointed arches may date back to the monk’s house that was here before the 16th century. The National Trust has planted Wisteria sinensis which clothes the gable end with purple flowers in late spring.