Danny Park 6953

West Sussex, England, West Sussex, Mid Sussex

Brief Description

The house, which is of Elizabethan origin, is set in its landscape park and gardens. It is a significant and well-recorded park, with the majority of its features still extant. Features include a dovecote, lake, rose garden, kitchen garden, stables and a tulip tree which is around 150 years old. The apparent high points of the site's developments date from the early-18th century and again from the mid-19th century until World War 1. Although now in divided ownership, it has changed little since the map evidence dated 1666.

History

The Park of Danny was enclosed by the last Sir Simon de Pierpoint in 1343. The current building was erected in 1593-5 by George Goring, Esq, replacing a hunting lodge and subsequently a house built in 1582. An estate map of 1666 shows the house, gates houses, gardens and usage in some detail, already disparked. At this time the owner was Peter Courthope who purchased the estate in 1652. His son in law, Henry Campion, altered the south front in the classical manner in 1728 and much extended the gardens. The Campions remained owners until the mid-20th century, again improving and developing the gardens.

Detailed Description

SITE DESCRIPTION

Danny is situated in its own park at the foot of Wolstonbury Hill, about one mile south of the small market town of Hurstpierpoint. Wolstonbury Hill is owned by the National Trust and the most impressive way to approach the hill is from across Danny Park to the north, still with its old parkland trees. Danny Park is easily reached from Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint and is traversed by many well-maintained and signposted footpaths. The approach to Danny winds gently through the park and across the substantial fishpond, which is shown on the 1666 Robert Whitpaine estate map. In close proximity to the house, the drive splits into three, to serve the outbuildings and stables, the house and Little Danny, the farmhouse.

The present house has Elizabethan origins and still has its Elizabethan frontage to the east. Its size is similar to other Elizabethan houses in Sussex, such as Wakehurst Place. The south face was an addition in the early part of the 18th century. Outside, a rose garden is planted within yew hedges on the south side of the house. A ha-ha divides the formal gardens to the south from the fields beyond. This is not shown on the 1874 1st Edition 25" OS map so is perhaps later in origin. The eastern aspect is open with lawns. The west side has a walled garden with areas of lawn and herbaceous plantings in borders. The walls show evidence of changes of height and rebuilding.

There was an Edwardian rock garden (1906) still extant but now not managed as a rock garden, merely as part of the planting beds in this area. The garden land rises up to the south at a distance to the house, running alongside the lane linking Danny and Little Danny and towards Wolstonbury Hill.

Where the present boundary between Danny and Little Danny now runs is a feature previously identified as a brick icehouse. This feature has recently been recognised as a plunge pool or bath of late-18th or early-19th-century origin, fed from the pond to the south, now in the grounds of Little Danny. It is a level site in restored condition, now flooded. To the front is a 20th century pond presumably fed by the original spring and pond to the south mentioned in earlier documents. The slope here has evidence of more modern tree plantings of conifers and cherry trees. The rill to the south of the property is fed from the pond. It was built by residents of Danny and is named the Burma Road. Herbaceous and rose planting borders the path and rill.

Nearby is a dovecote shown on both the 1835 Figg map and the 1874 OS map, and is part of the adjacent property. Presumably it is a replacement for the pigeon house shown on the 1666 map and absent from later maps. There are views from the house to Wolstonbury Hill and the Downs.

THE PARK AND GARDENS

Over the years the four main families, the Dacres, the Gorings, the Courthopes and the Campions, have arranged their own property. The 17th century map gives details of formal gardens around the house; the 18th century maps show a more open landscape. Robert Miller is named as the gardener in records from the early part of the 18th century together with some work by "Mr Bowen, the gardener" and "Mr Wm Lever, gardener". Later, in the late 19th century and early 20th century William Bunney followed by his son James Bunney were the gardeners.

Recent research (2009) by Dr Colin Brent has uncovered the probable outlines of Danny Great Park, Danny New Park and the Great Wood of Danny. Using parish boundaries, copyholds and demesne lands to define the boundaries, these have now been established. Danny Great Park was enclosed in 1343 and was 400 acres (166.88ha) in size. It was disparked around 1580. Danny New Park was 133 acres (53.8ha) in size and probable dates for this period of the parkland at Danny was 1580 to 1645. The Great Wood of Danny still exists today and stands adjacent to the west of the domestic gardens.

Henry Campion made many changes to the gardens from the 1720s. Robert Miller was employed as gardener during this period. The foundations for a greenhouse were laid in 1730. Notes are made of adding tench, stonefish and carp to the ponds and the canal but do not specify where exactly these are. In 1731 and 1732 work is done on raising the wall by the canal, although the whereabouts of the canal is not clear. In 1734 fir trees were planted by the road leading to the farm house. (DAN 2199 front flyleaf). Henry Campion also bought hundreds of fir trees to be planted in walks, east to west and north to south in the park during 1737. He also planted dozens of fruit trees in orchards and espaliered on walls. Two gardeners, Mr Bowen and Mr Wm Lever were mentioned in the account book (DAN 2199 pages 226 and 236).

The estate map of 1783 (DAN 2103) shows that the garden had been extensively altered from that seen in 1666 with fewer flowerbeds and only to the south. The east front of the house is parkland with sweeping curved paths.

The estate map of 1835 (the Figg map, ESRO, ADA 228/1) shows little change from the 1783 map in the gardens. There is a new garden area near the plantation and pond to the north east of the house. The 1840 Tithe map is of little help and is in poor condition. However, it has been digitised, as has the apportionment book, and both can therefore be obtained from West Sussex Record Office if required. The Sussex Gardens Trust has already transposed the field names on to the Tithe map for research purposes.

The Figg map shows extensive walks in Danny Great Wood, adjacent to the gardens. At the south west corner of the wood was a summerhouse, shown on the 1874 1st edition 25" Ordnance Survey map, the brick base of which has been located.

There was intensive activity at Danny when William Bunney and James Bunney worked at Danny. It appears to be a high point in the history of the gardens. William Bunney arrived some time after 1865. He had been working nearby at Newick Place and, prior to this, at Itchen Abbas, where he won the Horticultural Society of London's Medal for the best exhibition during 1839 when he was about 30 years old. He stayed at Danny until he died in 1881 when his son James took over. The gardener's cottage in 1881 was Danny Lodge and in 1891 was Danny New Gardens. Photographs of Danny New Gardens show the kitchen garden, the fig and vine glasshouses and the propagating house. Many flowers were grown, judging by the bill from the nurseryman in Piltdown.

In 1885 the park of Danny was described as follows: "The Park of Danny contains some noble oaks, of many ages growth, and an eminence on the south commands rich and extensive views. Near the fountain is one of the finest horsechesnuts (sic) . . . . its beauty in the spring season, when in full blossom, must be ravishing indeed." The Park was also open to the public. In Matthew Sturgis's biography of Aubrey Beardsley he writes of Beardsley's time in Sussex in the 1880s when he was at school: "Outings were frequent and imaginative: to the circus, to Hurstpierpoint Exhibition (a glorified bazaar), to Danny Park, the local Elizabethan manor house, to Wolstonbury Hill, to the nearby Chinese Gardens and to Brighton.".

In 1908 an article appeared in Garden Life of 3 October giving an interview with the head gardener and a full description of the gardens at Danny. This article is of particular importance as it contains detailed descriptions of the gardens and plant lists. The head gardener by this time was James Bunney, the son of William Bunney. Father and son had both been head gardeners at Danny for 40 years between them, which gives a helpful level of continuity. There were many trees, mainly elms, oaks and planes, but the most important was the Carolina poplar (Populus deltoides Carolin but noted in 1918 as P. angulata titon, Country Life, March 22, 1918, page 424) on the south lawn, to the south east of the house. In 1908 it was said to be about 400 years old. It was never cut and five of six of the branches had rooted and photographs taken at the time are spectacular. It was still in evidence in the 1950s but has now disappeared.

One tree of particular note at Danny is the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). This stands on the south lawn, to the south-west of the house. In 1908 it was mentioned in the article in Garden Life and can be seen in a photograph in the article as a mature tree. We can perhaps judge its age now to be in the region of 150 years old. The northern part of the park beyond Sandfield Pond contains an oak noted by Owen Johnson in The Sussex Tree Book, 1998, as Quercus robur, an ancient oak of which two fragments remain, diverging from the base.

Details of the ornamental gardens as described in the article and confirmed by the 1874 1st Edition 25" OS map for Danny are as follows:

• Walled Garden adjacent to the west of the house (still extant)

• The Yew Hedge Garden containing a rose garden and against the north wall, were two peach and nectarine houses. Also grown in the houses were tomatoes and strawberries. These glasshouses were noted as being of considerable age, and the mode of ventilation, though ancient, is admirable.

• Rose pergola, a little further to the south west.

• Wild garden

• Circular ‘Wheel' bed in front of the tulip tree, planted with geraniums, other bedding plants and shrubs

• Rock garden, constructed in 1906 to the south east of the house

• Terrace, with planted beds

KITCHEN GARDENS

The first map evidence of a kitchen garden is on the 1783 map by Richard Budgen. Bordering Sandfield Pond and to the north is shown an area of orchard and a walled or hedged area. We can assume that this was the kitchen garden of the time as it is again shown more clearly as a kitchen garden on the Figg map of 1835. However by 1875 it had moved to its new location to the south, beyond Little Danny (now in separate ownership), and where it still stands today.

The Victorian walled kitchen garden (2.75 acres, 1ha) contained vineries, a fig house and a propagating house. In 1908, the vines were noted as being nearly 50 years old, which dates the glasshouses to around 1860. Plums and pears were grown on the walls and apples as espaliers and standards. The orchard, of a similar size, was accessed from the east wall of the kitchen garden. The walls are still extant although in poor condition. Here also was the head gardener's house which has been converted and extended to include some of the glasshouses and is a private residence. Remains of glasshouses on the north wall of the kitchen garden can still be seen.

RECREATION

Danny Park provides important recreational facilities for those living in the area. The fishpond is managed and used extensively for fishing. The footpaths provide access for walkers across the park and to Wolstonbury Hill. The stables at Danny are used by riders who are competing at national standard in the UK.

REFERENCE MATERIAL

Copies of maps, estate maps and illustrative material

Facsimile copies of both the 1666 and 1783 estate maps of Danny can be seen at Danny with the permission of Mr Richard Burrows.

Interpretative Historic Building Survey (Interim Report): Danny House and Gardens from 1666 estate map.

Two prints of Danny, British Library, 1780s

Map surveyed by William Figg dated 1835, held in East Sussex Records Office, Ref: ESRO ADA 228/1 - this map gives a detailed list of the various areas of the estate

Tithe map of 1842 (ref TDE 29), held in West Sussex Records Office.

Ordnance Survey map, 1st edition 25", 1874

Ordnance Survey map 6", 1912

Postcard of Danny house and gardens 20th century

Garden Life 1908. A notable Sussex Garden: Comprehensive description of the gardens at Danny.

Kitchen Gardens at Danny showing Head Gardener's house and glasshouses, dated to 1917

Kitchen Gardens at Danny showing a different view of the layout

Histories/Literary Description

"Country Homes and Gardens Old and New: Danny, Sussex, the Seat of Mr William Henry Campion," Country Life, 22nd March 1913.

Danny Archives, East Sussex Records Office, referenced DAN. All unpublished.

Danny, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, guide. publ. Country Houses Association, undated.

Hamper, William "Monumental Inscriptions at Hurstperpoint", letter in Gentleman's Magazine, October 1806, p. 896-900.

Horsfield, Thomas Walker, FSA "The History, Antiquities and Topography of the Country of Sussex, Vol. I". 1855. Sussex Press, Lewes.

"The Topographical Notices of Hurstperpoint in Sussex", Letter in Gentleman's Magazine, December 1805, p. 1112.

Mid Sussex Times, 14 September 1881. "Danny Park Cottagers Show".

Mutual Households Association Limited, "An Experiment in Co-operation", guide book, undated.

Pike, W T (Ed), Sussex in the 20th Century, Contemporary Biographies, W T Pike, Brighton, 1910.

Sturgis, Matthew, "Aubrey Beardsley, a biography", The Overlook Press, 1998.

Sussex Archaeological Collection, vols X1, LXII and LXXVI.

Village Voice, journal of the Hurstpierpoint Historical Society, fragment undated.

Wilcox, Alfred, "A Notable Sussex Garden", Garden Life, October 3, 1908, p. 9-11.

Wolseley, Viscountess, "Historic Houses of Sussex, No 1, DANNY", The Sussex County Magazine, vol 1, no.11, October 1927.

Views/Illustrations

Country Life, 22 March 1913, p. 418-424.

Garden Life, 3 October 1908, p. 9-11.

The Sussex County Magazine, Vol. 1, no. 11, October 1927, p.456-461.

Danny, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, guide by the Country Houses Association, undated.

An experiment in co-operation, guide by the Mutual Households Association Limited, undated.

Features
  • Retirement Apartments And A Private Residence (featured building)
  • Description: The current building was erected in 1593-5 by George Goring, Esq, replacing a hunting lodge and subsequently a house built in 1582. The plan of the house (in the form of an H) is visible in a map of 1666 because of the slightly elevated point-of-view. The centre of the house is 5 bays wide, gabled and with a projecting porch. Rising up on the west side (back) of the house, visible just to the left of the porch, is what appears to be an outlook tower, typical of many of the finest Tudor palaces and houses. Closer observation of this feature in the inset map suggests that, like many others, it was polygonal (either hexagonal or octagonal). Also visible in the inset view is the unusual sculpted ornament (faces in roundels) in the gables of the facade, the columnated porch and the fenestration. Along the north front, there seem to be projecting towers, possible garderobes from the earlier house, similar to those at Gainsborough Old Hall (Lincolnshire) and Beckley (Oxfordshire).
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Approach
  • Description: The approach to Danny winds gently through the park.
  • Fishpond
  • Latest Date:
  • Drive
  • Description: In close proximity to the house, the drive splits into three, to serve the outbuildings and stables, the house and Little Danny, the farmhouse.
  • Rose Garden
  • Description: A rose garden is planted within yew hedges on the south side of the house.
  • Ha-ha
  • Description: A ha-ha divides the formal gardens to the south from the fields.
  • Planting
  • Description: There was an Edwardian rock garden (1906) still extant but now not managed as a rock garden, merely as part of the planting beds in this area.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Pool
  • Description: The previously identified icehouse has recently been recognised as a plunge pool or bath of late-18th or early-19th-century origin.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Rill
  • Description: The rill to the south of the property is fed from the pond.
  • Dovecote
  • Latest Date:
  • Summerhouse
  • Description: At the south west corner of the wood was a summerhouse, the brick base of which has been located.
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: A tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) stands on the south lawn, to the south-west of the house.
  • Latest Date:
  • Pergola
  • Description: Rose pergola.
  • Planting
  • Description: Wild garden.
  • Flower Bed
  • Description: Circular `Wheel' bed in front of the tulip tree, planted with geraniums, other bedding plants and shrubs.
  • Terrace
  • Description: Terrace, with planted beds.
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: The kitchen garden was in its present location by 1875, replacing an earlier kitchen garden (before 1783) on a different site. The Victorian walled kitchen garden (1 hectare) contained vineries, a fig house and a propagating house.
  • Latest Date:
  • Orchard
  • Description: The orchard was accessed from the east wall of the kitchen garden. The walls are still extant although in poor condition.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: The head gardener's house is a private residence.
  • Glasshouse
  • Description: Remains of glasshouses on the north wall of the kitchen garden can still be seen.
Lawn, Herbaceous Border, Rose Border, Stable
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Hurstpierpoint
History

Detailed History

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

The site has been in use at least since Roman times when a road ran through the land from east to west. The Domesday Survey stated that there were 41 hides of land in the manor of Herste. At 100 acres to the hide this will nearly correspond with the present number of acres in the Parish. The Park of Danny was enclosed by the last Sir Simon de Pierpoint in 1343. John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, granted to "his bachelor Sir Simon de Perpount and his heirs licence to enclose the wood of Danye [Danny] and the demesne lands bounding the woods", saying "they may have beasts savage and others at will." The Manor of Hurstpierpoint was held by the de Pierpoints from Domesday until 1582, having passed through the female line to Sir William Bowett (1412) and to the Dacre and Fiennes families. In 1582, having converted a hunting seat on the Danny Estate into a considerable manor house, Gregory Fiennes, Lord Dacre, and Lady Anne, his wife, conveyed the manor to George Goring of Lewes. In the 12th year of Elizabeth I's reign (1570) a survey of the manor was made. After giving details of the original house (a fair mansion house of timber moated in part only) there is a description of the land. ". . . . . on the south side, half a furlong from the house, is a spring of water, always continuing but slow, but with little charge may be carried to the house . The park is pales there have been impaled of the lords demesnes within 5 years, 100 acres called Broomfields, Danny Lands, and Bablands wherein burrows for conies are now made. The park is 2 ½ miles in circuit, well covered with oak timber. The park held deer and rabbits. There was also a pond of 2 acres containing 200 carp and tench fit for the lord's house" . The current building was erected in 1593-5 by George Goring, Esq slightly to the east of the old house. The original site is discernible in a dry season by the difference in the colour of the verdure.

George Goring's son, also George was another person of historical importance, born at Danny in 1608. He was a Caroline Courtier and Royalist general of repute, some of it dubious, including drinking, gambling and fighting. He commanded men for the Royalist cause in the Civil War but was forced into exile in the Commonwealth period. Unfortunately, his excesses caused great financial problems for his father. A recent biography by Florene S Memegalos gives a reassessment of his life.

In 1652 the property was sold to Peter Courthope along with the manors of Hurstpierpoint and Horndeane. At that time, Danny New Park was 133 acres, with arable and meadow amounting to about 420 acres . Danny was then inherited in 1657 by a second Peter Courthope, grandson of the Peter Courthope who had bought the property. He was 18 years old and studying at Trinity College Cambridge where he became a friend and correspondent of the botanist John Ray, who visited Danny from time to time. Correspondence in the East Sussex Record Office shows that John Ray wrote to Peter Courthope and knew Peter Courthope's cousin, Francis Willughby from Middleton Hall in Staffordshire, with whom he visited Europe.

One of John Ray's books - "A Collection of English Words not Generally Used: With Their Significations and Original, in two alphabetical catalogues", dated 1674 was dedicated to Peter Courthope. He writes that "Courthope was the first that contributed to it and indeed the person that put me upon it."

In 1666 a map of the Danny estate was drawn by Robert Whitpaine. An analysis of this estate map by Paula Henderson gives a detailed description in the 'history' section.

Peter Courthope's sons died in his lifetime and his daughter Barbara who married Henry Campion (grandson of Sir William Campion an eminent Royalist during the Civil War) inherited Danny in 1725. It was Henry Campion who built the garden front on the south in the classic manner in the 1728.

The estate was used extensively in the 19th century by the Campion family. The historical records of Hurstpierpoint mention the name of Campion in connection with many subjects, from law to cricket. As the largest landowners in the area they employed numerous staff and William Campion kept extensive records. The gardens were expanded and plants, mainly trees, bought, including some newly imported from abroad.

The house was rented out by the Campions in 1918 to Sir George (later Lord) Riddell and the house was used for meetings of the War Cabinet and also for meetings between Lloyd George and foreign leaders.

In 1956 Danny was acquired by the Mutual Households Association Ltd, later the Country Houses Association, first on lease, then in September 1984 the freehold was purchased. It was at this time that the estate was divided and sold into separate lots. The Country Houses Association existed "to preserve for the benefit of the public buildings of historic or architectural interest or importance together with their gardens and grounds". Danny was divided into apartments for use by the elderly . Following the demise of the Country Houses Association, the house is now in private hands but is still run in much the same way.

An analysis of the estate map of 1666 (Paula Henderson)

An estate map of Danny by the surveyor Robert Whitpaine, dated 1666, provides evidence of what the park and gardens looked like in the middle of the 17th century. The original map is at the East Sussex Record Office; a copy has been made for Danny House. In addition to showing the house in the park and estate, there is an inset view of the house that is more detailed.

The Elizabethan house was built from 1582 by George Goring, probably incorporating an earlier medieval hunting lodge. Further changes to the estate may also have been made during the ownership of his grandson, George Lord Goring. Both of these men were courtiers and knew the most innovative garden-makers of the period: Lord Burghley for the first George; Henry Prince of Wales (and later his brother, Charles I) for the third. To all these men, creating a high-status garden and park would have been essential complement to their houses.

The plan of the house (in the form of an H) is visible in the map because of the slightly elevated point-of-view. The centre of the house is 5 bays wide, gabled and with a projecting porch. Rising up on the west side (back) of the house, visible just to the left of the porch, is what appears to be an outlook tower, typical of many of the finest Tudor palaces and houses. Closer observation of this feature in the inset map suggests that, like many others, it was polygonal (either hexagonal or octagonal). Also visible in the inset view is the unusual sculpted ornament (faces in roundels) in the gables of the façade, the columnated porch and the fenestration. Along the north front, there seem to be projecting towers, possible garderobes from the earlier house, similar to those at Gainsborough Old Hall (Lincolnshire) and Beckley (Oxfordshire).

The approach

The house was preceded by walled forecourts, typical of late Elizabethan and Jacobean houses. Excellent illustrations of this include Ralph Treswell's 1587 map of Holdenby and John Thorpe's survey of Cheshunt Park with a detail showing Theobalds. Sir Francis Bacon's essay, ‘Of Building', on the ideal princely house (1625) describes a similar series of forecourts:

And thus much for the model of the palace; save that you must have, before you come to the front, three courts. A green court plain, with a wall about it; a second court of the same, but more garnished, with little turrets, or rather embellishments, upon the wall; and a third court, to make a square with the front...

It appears by the colouring of the map that some of the walls were built of brick (red), while others might have been hedged (dark green); it would have been very unusual, however, to put hedges along the façade of the house itself, which is suggested by the continuation of the green line around the inside of the forecourt. It is possible that this was meant to show that the forecourt was grassed. This may be borne out by the strokes of green wash in the inset view. There were gates into the outer forecourt to the north and to the south. The area is given as 1 rod, 16 perches.

At the centre of the entrance to the main court was a large, gabled and turreted gatehouse, apparently three bays wide and of at least two storeys. The inset view shows this as lower and squatter than in the main view. This type of gatehouse was typical of the Tudor period; examples include Tixall (Staffordshire), Charlecote (Warwickshire) and, more locally, Cuckfield (Sussex). The passageway through the gatehouse was aligned on the entrance porch of the house and linked by what looks like a stone path. Gateshouses of this medieval, turreted type were quite old-fashioned by the late 16th century; more innovative houses had small, ornamental porter's lodges.

An ornate and disproportionately large sun dial is shown just to the north of the path in the inset view, suggesting that this was a much-valued ornament to the entrance.

The long, tree-lined approach to the courts may have been added in the early 17th century. Lord Burghley built tree-lined avenues, but only from his garden into the park.

Services

Service buildings were behind the house, built to the north and east of an enclosure, shown divided into compartments. This may have been a kitchen garden or yard. What appear to be other (service?) buildings were placed to the south of the orchards; these may also have been pleasure buildings, distilling houses, etc., associated with the gardens.

The Gardens stood to the west of the house. The land to the north, separated from the house by what looks like the remains of an earlier moat (although coloured green, not blue) appear to be pastures and fields.

Typical of 16th and 17th century landscapes, there are a number of enclosed gardens and orchards. The most sophisticated had tripartite gardens as shown here: the ‘new orchard' at the top (3? acres, 0 rods, 16? perches), planted with rows of trees; a walled garden (not named, but measuring 1 rod and 36 perches), also planted with trees; and another enclosure below it (1 rod, 21 perches) with trees and what appears to be a long pond of water, quite possibly another side of the moat.

The walled garden is enclosed by brick walls (coloured red with the individual bricks suggested by patterning) that are aligned with the length of the south façade of the house, so the garden itself would probably have had symmetrical walks leading from the house. There are large gates in the centres of the flanking walls, which would have provided access into the two orchards to the east and west.

Although these three enclosures are shown planted with trees, it is far more likely that in earlier periods the main garden, at least, would have been laid out in knots, labyrinths and other typical Tudor-early Stuart designs.

The three enclosures are bordered by the house on the north and by what may have been a long terrace to the south. It is also possible that this long, narrow open space (dimensions given) was originally part of the moat. The bulge at the lower (eastern) extremity also suggests a corner of the moat, as it seems to link up with what appears to be the rectangular pool and also with the lower end of what appears to be the moat running alongside the north front of the house. There is more to say about this in the section on colours of the map, below. In any case, if this long, narrow piece of land was raised, it might well have been a terrace, a typical feature of Tudor and early Stuart gardens. The bulge on the east might have been the base for a mount and banqueting house. No map makers used contour lines at this period, so it isn't always possible to determine if a feature was raised or excavated. Knowing that would obviously answer a lot of questions about what this was.

More orchards were planted to the south of the tripartite garden. One is referred to as the ‘Old Orchard' and the other as ‘Ash Croft'. Again, each of these appears to have had a pond or pool along the eastern boundaries.

To the east of the orchards is a field (‘pigone house feild') and a dovecote (or pigeon house). It appears to have been built on a rise in the land or on a mount and is near the ponds in the orchards, something that is recommended in books on husbandry.

Interpreting the colours of the map based on the images sent by Richard Burrows

Blue: Most of the buildings are shown as colourless in the main part of the map, with the exception of the building directly behind the house (a stable?), which is given a blue wash colour. The same blue colour is applied to the ogee-cap of the turret at the back of the house and to the edges of the roofs of the projecting ranges. It is very likely this is meant to show that those roofs were of lead (common for turret caps and for roof-top walks).

Very unusually, blue does not appear to have been used for ponds, streams or any other source of water. This is remarkable.

Red: Typically, red is used for brick walls (including the walls of the house in the inset view) and for some roofs. It is also used for chimney stacks.

Green: Typically, green is used for trees, hedges and fields.

In this map green has also been used for the main roofs of the house, which is unusual, and suggests an attempt to distinguish materials used on the roofs. Although the areas coloured blue were most likely of lead, it is difficult to understand why some of the roofs were painted green (copper is a possibility, but seems unlikely).

As mentioned before, green also appears to have been used for water. Is it possible that the colours have faded or changed?

Schematic devices: There are two different schemes for fields: dots and dashes. It must be assumed that these were meant to represent different agricultural uses or crops. I don't believe there is a key on the map that defines these (as is found on some, but not all, other contemporary maps).

Purpose of map

There were many reasons a patron would commission a map: to demonstrate his ownership of land; to demonstrate improvements made to the estate; to show the boundaries of a hunting park; to show the leaseholders of the land; and sometimes just for a display of status (maps were often hung in important rooms of the house). In the latter case, the gardens are usually shown in exceptional detail, which is not the case here. Maps were not so common or inexpensive that they were made for no reason at all.

This map was made in 1666 for Peter Courthope, who owned Danny from about 1652. It must be assumed that the gardens would not have been in prime condition at that time because the Gorings had had serious financial problems from the 1630s. The estate would surely have deteriorated, particularly any high-maintenance gardens (and clipped topiary, labyrinths and mazes and other typical ornamental features were all very high-maintenance). It may have been for this reason that the gardens and orchards were all so densely planted with trees, which required less care and could also be profitable. I believe that Courthope was a puritan and it is possible, too, that he eschewed fiddly ornamental gardens in favour of something more productive, like trees.

There is one particular feature of this map that suggests one of its original purposes: the inscription - written three times - along the road that passes by the house that says: This is not a hygh way. Clearly, Courthope wanted a legal document (the map) to show that the road past his house was not a public thoroughfare. I believe it was at this time that New Way Lane was created to give Courthope the privacy he so clearly desired.

Finally, Courthope's interest in nature - he was a friend of the great naturalist John Ray - is reflected in the floral decoration in the corners of the map. There is also a figure of a hunter with his gun and a large rabbit warren, demonstrating the function and abundance of the park itself. The 1587 map of Holdenby shows similar aspects of Sir Christopher Hatton's park.

What happened to the landscape shown in this map?

It is clear by looking at later maps, particularly the 18th century map (Ref: ESRO ref Dan 2103), that the land to the south of Danny (previously divided up into gardens and orchards) was laid to ‘Lawn', in the fashion of the day. The tree-lined avenue that was originally aligned with the east façade was also shifted to the north. As far as I can tell, none of the later maps (even with contours) give any clues about the puzzling terrace/moat.

NOTES IN ACCOUNTS DAN 2199 regarding works to the gardens

September 1729 Stone cutters - 2 great steps designed for garden

September 1729 Clements (?sawed) the steps for going into the garden

June 1730 Thos Valence - foundation of south aspect wall and greenhouse

August 1730 Mr Bowen the gardener £10-0s

August 1730 Thos Valence for 3450 foot of brickwork which includes all the work done in the garden to this day and coping the same £13-16-0

September 1730 Mr Wm. Lever gardener £8

December 1730 Mr Wm. Lever for 150 gooseberry and currant tress bought of Mr Greening (?at) Brentford £1-17-6

May 1731 Thos Valence for a wall at the side of the canal

June 1731 Valence and George work about the piers for the court gate

September 1731 Valance for work about the court walls and raising the wall by the canal

February 1732 Put 6 brace of carps, taken out the Stubs Pond into the mote

April 1732 7.5 brace of carps into the canal

April 1732 3.5 brace of carps into the new pond

November 1732 4.5 brace of carps into the Fountain stew (Sandfield pond, Hovel pond, stew next garden also mentioned)

ACCOUNT BOOK REF DAN 2198

Receipt book: Front flyleaf

The firr trees by the road leading to the farm house were planted in spring 1734/5 about 4ft high. In the same spring the abeals (?Abies) were removed into the Park from the place where the first were planted. Among them is one that has grown remarkably and is in sight on west side of the garden. Most of the young trees in the Park were planted that year and the year before. In the Spring 1737/8 the walks from east to west and from north to south in the park were planted with firrs.

Period

  • 18th Century
References

References

Contributors

  • Christine Bevan

    1