Brooklands, Castle Douglas (also known as Brycemawhirn)575

Crocketford, Scotland

Brief Description

The designed landscape at Brooklands comprises 19th-century parkland, a woodland garden and a walled garden. The woodland garden was developed from the mid-20th century and is well stocked with rhododendrons and a variety of ornamental shrubs and trees. The walled garden retains its original layout of six compartments divided by paths, but the planting has been redesigned in the late-20th century. It contains a collection of species roses.

History

The designed landscape dates from the early- and mid-19th century and has been rejuvenated since the mid-20th century.

Detailed Description

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/hes/web/f?p=PORTAL:DESIGNATIONS:0

Type of Site

The early 19th century designed landscape of parkland and ha-has, tree specimens and woodlands, which were embellished in the 20th century, orchestrate panoramic views and provide the setting for Brooklands while a woodland garden, established in the late 1940s to the 1960s, and the walled garden host a varied and interesting collection of plants.

Location and Setting

Brooklands is situated in the lee of Brooklands Hill 797' (243m), approximately 2km west of the village of Crocketford and 7.5 miles (12km) north-east of the town of Castle Douglas. The A712 forms the southern boundary of the site. The house stands overlooking the park and affords magnificent panoramic views to the surrounding upland farmland and, on a clear day, as far as the Isle of Man. To the west, beyond Brooklands Glen, Rough Hill is open moorland. The garden itself stands on the 560' contour and its exposed situation renders it susceptible to strong prevailing north-westerly winds and also spring frosts.

The designed landscape is of some scenic significance from the A712 due to its position on the south-facing slope. The lodge and folly which stand at the entrance to the east drive are of particular scenic significance.

The house at Brooklands stands within some 128 acres (52ha) of designed landscape which extends north to the woodland on Brooklands Hill, south the A712, west to the minor road through Brooklands Glen and east to the Lodge. Eastlands Farm which stands on the southern edge of the policies is now separately owned.

Documentary evidence of the development of the designed landscape is provided by a plan of the estate in 1839, the 1st edition OS map of 1854, the 2nd edition OS map of c.1900, the modern edition of the OS map, and a survey commissioned by the owner in 1983. Comparison of these maps shows that whilst the northern and western boundaries have receded slightly, the extent of the policies has remained constant since the mid-19th century. The view to the south across the parkland appears to have been a major factor in the situation of the house and remains so today.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Brooklands is a stone house, built c.1820. The identity of the Architect is unknown. The house was doubled in size symmetrically in c.1900 with a Doric Portico forming the entrance feature. The 19th century Lodge and Folly are jointly listed C. The Lodge consists of a separate square Neo-gothic tower with an additional two-storey wing on the north side. The Folly, which stands opposite the Lodge on the south side of the A712, is a battlemented wall with a projecting centre portion and arched doorway. A sundial, the origin of which is unknown, stands in the centre of the walled garden.

Parkland

The main park extends from the house to the A712 and forms the setting for the panoramic views to the south. It is separated from the main east drive along its northern boundary by a ha-ha. The 1st edition OS map of 1854 indicates the presence of several small tree clumps in the park. Many of these have since been lost since there appears to have been no replanting programme; the remaining beech and lime trees all date from c.1830.

A smaller area of parkland lies to the north of the east drive between the woodland garden and the pond. The single tree clump indicated on the 1st edition OS map has now gone. The pond, which also appears on this map, has recently been improved.

Woodland

The structure of the woodlands was, like the park, established as part of the 1830's layout. Beech was the main component of these early plantings, with some lime. Additional planting appears to have been carried out around 1900.

The woodland in Brooklands Glen is now outwith the policies as is that to the north of Fairy Hill. The remaining policy woodlands are relatively young, dating from 1968, although established trees have been left at the edges. Beech remains as a large component of the species mix but Nothofagus and Acer spp. are being introduced, as well as some conifers.

Woodland Garden

The woodland garden lies between the east drive and the walled garden. The 1st edition OS map indicates a woodland canopy and a number of paths through it from the house to the walled garden. Its original composition however is uncertain as, when Mrs Jebb acquired the property after World War II, the garden was in a state of neglect. She was responsible for clearing and establishing many good shrubs and old roses which remain today. Mr and Mrs Maclaren have improved the collection and are continually adding to it with the acquisition of new plants. Species Rhododendrons are of particular interest; any dwarf forms are established along with ericaceous species in beds to the east of the house. Others, including those with particular foliage interest, are dispersed through the garden, including R. bureavii and R. insigne. The late flowering species such as R. cinnabarinum, R. wardii and R. loderi are also well represented and varieties of Meconopsis have been established with them, along with lilies and other bulbs to provide further interest. Other plants of note include specimens of Cornus, Magnolia, Skimmias and Hoheria (which has proved particularly frost hardy), whilst Acer, rowan and birch have been added for colour. On the drive, specimens of Nothofagus, Euonymus and cedar have been planted amid 19th century oak and beech.

Walled Garden

The walled garden, situated to the north-east of the house, is an interesting, irregular shape, enclosed by a 10 feet high wall which is curved at the east end. Entry to the garden is by a wrought-iron gate in the south-west corner. Within the shelter of the walls, the garden is divided into six plots by intersecting paths, two of which are devoted to a collection of old-fashioned shrub roses. The other four are centred on a sundial and the plants which line the paths converging on it have been laid out with great attention to the colour combination, both backed by rose hedges; one has largely pinks, blues and greys whilst the other has golds, yellows and blues. Interesting shrubs include Staphylea incisa, Rhus potanii and Syringa x persica, while scent is provided by Daphne blagayana, amongst others. The walls are lined with interesting climbers, including Rosa una, Lonicera splendida and L. tragophylla, and Actinidia kolomikta. The overall effect is splendid.

Features
  • Folly
  • Description: A 19th-century battlemented wall opposite the Lodge.
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Rose Garden
  • Description: The walled garden now contains a collection of species roses.
Sundial
History

Detailed History

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/hes/web/f?p=PORTAL:DESIGNATIONS:0

Reason for Inclusion

An early 19th-century designed landscape, containing an attractive well-stocked woodland garden, and a beautifully laid-out walled garden featuring old-fashioned roses.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

c.1830-1854, further planting c.1900, additions to the plant collection 1919-1947, woodland garden established late 1940s-1960s, improvements and maintenance second half of the 20th century-present.

Site History

Little is known of the exact history of the development of the designed landscape of Brooklands. The house was built c.1830 for a merchant named Brown and was originally called Brycemawhirn. The policies appear to have been laid out between then and 1854 as they are shown on the 1st edition OS map surveyed in that year. Its name is thought to have been changed to Brooklands by George Charles Jones, the next owner, who left the estate to the care of Trustees for educational purposes. It was run as a school until c.1876, when a chapel and school were built into the Lodge. The estate was sold c.1900 to the Bone Family who was responsible for an addition to the house and further planting in the grounds. The Bones sold the property to the Hon Air Commodore John Boyle in 1919 and, although a serving officer in the RAF, he was responsible for the addition of the hard Tennis Court and many of the larger hybrids which are still very much in evidence. During his latter years and during World War II the house was let and it was during that time that the general dilapidation of the garden and policies took place. After the war the house was sold and bought by Brigadier and Mrs Jebb in 1947 who immediately began the restoration of the garden and policies and who also built an additional two rooms on to the Lodge. Mrs Jebb brought the former gamekeeper from his Northumberland Estate to Brooklands where he assumed the role of head gardener. Between them, they skilfully established the woodland garden and restored the management of the policies.

In 1968 Mrs Jebb died, and Brooklands was purchased by Mr & Mrs Peter Maclaren. They retained the help of Mrs Jebb's gardener and continued the development of the woodland garden. The walled garden at that time was used exclusively for vegetables and has since been transformed into a garden of particular ornamental and botanical interest.

Contact
References

References

Contributors

  • Historic Scotland