Our Saturday morning walk was very pleasant, a bit informative, and fostered lots of imaginative discussion.
We traced the footprint of old features, and discovered an unnoticed but interesting aspect of the garden wall.
We spent a good chunk of time speculating on the precise location of buildings and things shown on the 1884 Ordnance Survey map. As part of that exercise, we photographed the current view from almost the same spot in the rose garden as in a much older photograph before the Henburys was knocked down.
This is pretty much the same view, framed by tree and hedge on the left, and rhododendrons on the right. Whether any of the foundation plantings in front of the house are now full-grown trees is anybody’s guess.
We also took a close look at the garden wall, noting the details of brick and stonework that corresponds to a former opening. An arrow in the section of map below locates the point at which the garden path meets the wall. From inside the garden, several details suggest that the path passed through the wall.
The centre portion of brickwork looks like infill. There are stone blocks embedded at the left and right edges. Perhaps they were decorative, or held something like ironwork. The coping stones on top are different shades of gray/green, and the two rightmost slabs are concrete. So it looks as though the wall has been modified several times. There are also noteworthy differences in construction between the garden side and the ‘farm’ side. The farm side has a lot more broken, irregular bricks, as though it were constructed with less concern for appearances. So now the mystery is about when this wall was filled in.
We also poked around the site of the obelisk, speculated on the location of the Alcester Road lodge, Yew Tree path, and other map features. It was a fine way of spending a sunny spring morning, and a good example of what we hope to continue doing with the Historic Survey and related material.