The Summer House

An archaeological survey undertaken in 2001/2 identified the existence of what was indicated on a map as a ‘Summer House’. It wasn’t until the Fishpool Valley Project got underway and specific walk routes stared to be cleared that the Summer House site was uncovered. Closer archaeological investigation in the summer of 2018 uncovered the base structure and revealed a stone in the centre of the site with a faded inscription that provided some indication of when the site might have been constructed.

There was a period where moss houses were a common feature of parkland landscaping and it was decided to construct something similar but more lasting on the site of the summer House. Having made Cleft Chestnut Gates as part of the stock fencing 2018 it was decided to do something similar when constructing an Arbour. There is limited space for construction on the Summer House site and so our working area ended up being well below the Sumer House. A decision was made for us to attempt making the Arbour using basic hand tools. The photos below give some idea of how we went about the task.

Eventually with a little persuasion the tree came down.

The next phase is to construct a seat to fit inside the Arbour and plant shrubs around it. During the excavation of the site, there was still some evidence of the original planting regime and the shrubs to be placed around the Arbour will reflect those species that would have been on site circa mid 1830s.

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John Parsons