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Thicket Priory Park and Gardens

hicket Priory park and garden was formerly the site of a Benedictine nunnery founded in about 1190 located alongside the River Derwent. After the Dissolution, a house was built adjacent to the old nunnery complex. An axial walk and tree avenues, typical of late 17th and early 18th century gardens, were laid out in a small parkland. With the building of a new hall, designed by Edward Blore in the 1840s for Rev. Joseph Dunnington-Jefferson, the designed landscape took on a more naturalistic style. It was extended by the 1890s to about 220 acres (89 ha) and incorporated parkland studded with tree clumps, a large sinuous lake surrounded by pleasure gardens and ‘coniferium’ with walks. Earlier enclosed gardens were remodelled into a walled kitchen garden. Although much of the parkland has been returned to farmland, the main features of the late 19th century landscape can still be discerned with remnants of earlier periods too. Archaeological survey and excavation have revealed monastic features and phases of the post-medieval garden development within the walled garden. Ecclesiastical links remain as Carmelite nuns occupy a modern monastery within the old walled garden. The long occupation of the site provides historic significance.
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