Yew Tree Hall 6791

Ashdown Forest, England, East Sussex, Wealden

Brief Description

The gardens were laid out by Gertrude Jekyll in 1920, but no plans of the layout have been found. Features include a drive, level lawn (possibly an old tennis court), specimen trees and two small rustic houses. However, there is very little evidence today of Gertrude Jekyll's work in these gardens although the choice of shrub planting appears to be in her style.

History

The present house was built in 1901, on the site of an earlier structure. The gardens were laid out by Gertrude Jekyll in 1920.

Detailed Description

Yew Tree Hall is set centrally in an eight and a half acre plot in the middle of Ashdown Forest amid the local golf course. Positioned on a north-west to south-east axis, the house has fine views over the fairway and is stone-built in a style which shows Tudor influences.

The house is encircled by gardens with small pastures to the south and east. From the north-eastern corner of the plot, a curving drive sweeps up to meet the house at its north-west side.

Further over to the west, there are the remains of a level lawn which could possibly be an old tennis court. To the south-east of the house there are lawns with a few specimen trees, including a Wellingtonia, and a variety of shrubs such as deciduous azaleas and rhododendrons. To the south of the house, gravel paths wind between bamboos, camellias, acers (of some considerable age), rhododendrons and azaleas with two old yew trees.

In the grounds near the southern boundary are two very small rustic houses with decorative thatched roofs and split timber walls. These are of childlike proportions but curiously they do appear to be marked on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map.

There is very little evidence today of Gertrude Jekyll's work in these gardens although the choice of shrub planting appears to be in her style. Specific areas of the garden mentioned in Jekyll's notes no longer exist, for example, a kitchen garden planted with a considerable range of perennials and a 'wild area' that included Scotch briars and amelanchier.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Positioned on a north-west to south-east axis, the house has fine views over the fairway and is stone-built in a style which shows Tudor influences.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Drive
  • Description: From the north-eastern corner of the plot, a curving drive sweeps up to meet the house at its north-west side.
  • Lawn
  • Description: There are the remains of a level lawn which could possibly be an old tennis court.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: To the south-east of the house there are lawns with a few specimen trees, including a Wellingtonia.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: There are two old yew trees.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: In the grounds near the southern boundary are two very small rustic houses with decorative thatched roofs and split timber walls. These are of childlike proportions but curiously they do appear to be marked on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map.
  • Latest Date:
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Forest Row
History

Detailed History

The present Yew Tree Hall was built in 1901, but the 1889 Ordnance Survey map shows there was an earlier smaller house and outbuildings towards the south of the site. In 1920, Yew Tree Hall's gardens are listed as a Gertrude Jekyll commission for a Mrs. Rumbold. While planting lists, dating from 1921, exist in the Godalming Museum, Surrey, no planting plans or an overall garden design for the Hall can be found.

Period

  • Early 20th Century
Associated People

Just one person associated to Yew Tree Hall

References

Contributors

  • Hilary May

    1

  • Sussex Gardens Trust