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Brockham End

Introduction

Brockham End is an early 20th-century woodland garden.

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

Most of the site is fairly open woodland, mainly of beech, with few very mature trees.

The whole site lies on the south-west facing slope of a hill, overlooking Pipley Wood. The grounds are entered through a gate on the north-east side, via a long track which leaves Lansdowne Hill and crosses the golf course. The driveway leads downhill to a forecourt bounded on three sides by the L-shaped house and a steep wooded bank.

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

The only cultivated parts of the grounds are the lawns on the other side of the house, which form three narrow terraces with flower beds along the edges. There is also a rectangular lawn in front of the 'woodman's cottages' in the south-east corner of the grounds. These cottages are now let, as is the 'power house' which has been converted into a small bungalow. The remains of a fairly large vegetable garden can be seen opposite this

The rest of the site is open woodland. The oldest planting appears to be two yew hedges, one running behind the outbuildings on the south-east end of the house and the other at the north-west end of the lawn. There is little undergrowth, although the Roman ruins are almost completely overgrown.

At the top of the bank opposite the front of the house is a flattened area in front of a small rocky cliff, about 12 feet high at its highest point. At the north-west end of this platform there is a small cliff on the opposite side as well, forming a little gully. At the end of this, there is a curve of rough stone tiers, joining the two cliffs and providing steps by which to reach the upper slopes. In each cliff, a small tunnel-like summerhouse or storeroom has been built. At the other end of the platform is a rectangular pool.

To the south-east of the house there is a building which looks rather like a chapel, although it has only two small windows at the sides. This is in fact a squash court built by the original owner of the site.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Owners

The Lawrence family

Brockham End, BA1 9BZ
History

20th Century

The house was built from 1907 by the father of the present (1988) owner, Mr. George Lawrence. The upper floors have now been divided into separate flats and let, but the ground floor and the garden are occupied by the Lawrence family. The woods to the north-east of Brockham End are owned by Mr. Lawrence's brother, Sir John Lawrence, and they are both members of a Trust which manages Pipley Wood.

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Features & Designations

Plant Environment

  • Woodland Garden
  • Environment

Features

  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house is built of coursed rubble with ashlar window surrounds and gabled roofs. It is generally rather Tudor in style, apart from a large verandah overlooking the lawn to the south-west. The house looks much older than it actually is, largely because it is not in very good repair. The outbuildings have been re-roofed in corrugated iron.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Garden Building
  • Description: This is the squash court. It is a large rectangular building with a partially glazed roof and a large window filling most of the north-west wall. It appears to be mainly used for storage, but had been recently repaired at the time of the last survey (1988).
  • Pool
  • Description: This is a rectangular brick-edged pool, measuring some 8 feet by 12 feet. At the time of the last survey (1988) it was very weedy. It is probably fed from a small spring, of which there are several in various parts of the garden.
  • Structure
  • Description: Cliffs and stone tiers. The roughly-built stone tiers seem to have been planted as a rock garden, as well as giving access to the bank above.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: There are two small open-fronted buildings with arched ceilings, built partly into the cliffs. These are now rather dilapidated.
  • Artefact
  • Description: This is the Roman remains, consisting of some almost flat stonework and a stone coffin. They are nearly covered in undergrowth.
Key Information

Type

Woodland Garden

Purpose

Ornamental Garden

Plant Environment

Woodland Garden

Principal Building

Domestic / Residential

Period

Early 20th Century (1901-1932)

Survival

Extant

Civil Parish

North Stoke

References

Contributors

  • Hilary Larg

  • Avon Gardens Trust