The Old Vicarage, Firle 5618

Firle, East Sussex, Lewes, East Sussex, England

Brief Description

The site is known to have existed since at least 1843. The current layout of the gardens is mainly that designed by Lanning Roper from 1957. Features include pleached limes, a terrace, a fruit and vegetable garden and a swimming pool garden.

Detailed Description

There are five sorbus trees at the entrance. The pleached limes are still in front of the house. The blue, yellow and white border has hemerocallis, white roses, valerian, philadelphus, campanulas and pinks. The terrace has potentillas, climbing roses and honeysuckle. The border along the side of lawn has dracuncular vulgaris, which was planted around 1900 by a vicar who was a keen botanist. From the terrace to the small walled garden with the statue of a boy there are hostas, hellebores and tubs of agapanthus.

There is a gate into an area paved with bricks and cobbles. This leads to a vista with yew bays on the left with planting of lilies, verbascum, alliums, astrantia, crambe and rosa mundi. There are fruit trees and a vegetable garden with a laburnum screen. There is also a herbaceous border at the back. The vista leads to steps up to swimming pool garden with a paulownia tree, old apple trees and lilac. There is herbaceous planting of geranium Johnson's Blue, euphorbia and delphiniums.

The hurricane took out the ancient cupressus so a new pool area was developed with low flint walls, brick edging to the pool and a waterfall and arbour. Planting consists of ligularia, gunnera, euphorbia and iris sibirica. There is also a rose allee to the tennis court with shrub planting.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: There are five sorbus trees at the entrance.
  • Pleached Trees
  • Description: Limes.
  • Mixed Border
  • Description: The blue, yellow and white border has hemerocallis, white roses, valerian, philadelphus, campanulas and pinks.
  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: The terrace has potentillas, climbing roses and honeysuckle.
  • Border
  • Description: The border along the side of lawn has dracuncular vulgaris, which was planted around 1900 by a vicar who was a keen botanist.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Statue
  • Description: Boy.
  • Potager
  • Description: Fruit trees and a vegetable garden.
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Description: The hurricane took out the ancient cupressus so a new pool area was developed with low flint walls, brick edging to the pool and a waterfall and arbour.
  • Allee
  • Description: There is a rose allee to the tennis court with shrub planting.
Herbaceous Border, Waterfall, Arbour
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Firle
History

Detailed History

On map of 1843 is shown the house, garden and lawn of the Reverend Charles Hutchinson. A 1911 Ordnance Survey map marks it just as a vicarage.

From 1957 Lanning Roper designed the garden for Mr and Mrs Christopher Bridge. A shelter belt was planted, as were some pleached limes in front of house. There was a blue, yellow and white border around the garage. The lawn sloped to the east with magnolia, philadelphus and other shrubs. There was a small paved terrace using old kitchen flags to the side of the sitting room using scented plants.

A long mixed border extended from the terrace to the lawn for all-year colour. A pool in the corner was formed by garden walls with a statue of a boy. There was a gate from the terrace to the walled garden with some agapanthus in tubs, and a gateway to a paved terrace with a long grass vista to the pool enclosure. The paved terrace had brick and cobbles and a statue of a Victorian mother and child. The border on the left of the vista was divided into bays by clipped yew, each bay planted differently. To the right, espalied laburnums screened the vegetable garden. There was a pool garden with paulownia, white iceberg roses, pink and white rock roses, silver foliage, clematis and lavender. The tennis court was backed by shrubs.

Associated People

Just one person associated to The Old Vicarage, Firle

References

References

Contributors

  • Gillian Pinder

    1

  • Sussex Gardens Trust