Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy
Rock Gardens, Grottoes, Ferneries, Follies, Fountains and Garden Ornaments.
Garden Art Press 9781870673761
300 x 237 mm
Publishing June 2012
The first authoritative book on the lives and work of James Pulham and Son, the eminent firm of Victorian and Edwardian landscape artists who specialised in the construction of picturesque rock gardens, ferneries, follies and grottoes.
Based in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, they were one of the most important firms of landscape designers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. If natural rocks were not economically available, they built their own artificial rocks out of heaps of rubble coated with their own proprietary brand of cement that soon became known as ‘Pulhamite', and the craftsmen who sculpted them were called ‘Rock Builders'. As garden fashions evolved during the Edwardian years, the Pulhams extended their portfolio to include grand, balustraded terraces and Dutch and Japanese-styled gardens. They also manufactured a wide range of very high quality terracotta fountains and garden ornaments.
The Pulhams' landscaping work attracted many royal, aristocratic and industrialist patrons at sites all around the country, including Sandringham, Buckingham Palace, RHS Garden Wisley, Madresfield Court, Waddesdon Manor, Dewstow, Battersea Park and Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells. Thankfully, several wonderful examples of thier work still survive today, and more than 40 of the firm's most prestigious sites are described in this book, illustrated with some stunning photographs taken by Jenny Lilly, a professional garden photographer.
Highly accessible and easy to read, Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy provides a comprehensive account of a fascinating and important part of our garden heritage. Following a Foreword especially written by Mavis Batey - Vice President and a Former President of the Garden History Society - it begins with a brief history of the early years of this remarkable family and a description of some of the classically designed ornaments produced in their Manufactory. From that point on, it is gardens all the way.
About the author
Claude Hitching is a retired Management Accountant and started to research his family tree in 1999. He discovered that no fewer than five of his ancestors, including his grandfather and great-grandfather, all worked for James Pulham and Son as Rock Builders and he spent the next 10 years researching the lives and work of this remarkable family. He received endorsements and encouragement for his research from several national organisations, including English Heritage, the Garden History Society and the National Trust, and he set up a website devoted to the Pulhams at www.pulham.org.uk in 2003. Traffic increased steadily to thousands of visitors per month, and his reputation as 'The Pulham Expert' spread to the point where he has been able to assist a number of local authorities and organisations to validate the provenance of their parks and gardens, and thus qualify for Heritage Lottery restoration grants.
To view some sample pages from the book, please click here.