This week being National Gardening Week, I thought it would be nice to consider how the school’s gardens have changed over the years.
Sadly, we hold very little specifically connected to the planning of the gardens, except this detailed scheme drawn by Margaret Green, in 1987. It shows the planting of the Great Hall Bed, and reveals how much it has altered in the past 29 years:
We do, however, hold many photographs and postcards depicting the school grounds, and during my search for relevant images, I came across an undated postcard depicting the front of the school, which is pictured above. With its iron railings and large trees, it is rather reminiscent of the recent changes made to the front. Eager to compare, I got in touch with our estates team, who kindly forwarded my enquiry to the designers behind the new landscaping. Below, are some of their beautiful illustrations, which have now been safely added to the archives collection of digital records:
We know that the original iron railings were removed during the Second World War, but I’m not sure when the trees went. Next Friday, I’m going to work with pupils in the Junior Skidelsky Society to compare and contrast a range of photographs, so we can work out a possible timeline – this will also help us to date the postcard.
Do any of you remember the old trees? Or can you remember Margaret Green, and her green fingers!?