Garden blogs

Curator’s Blog – 5 March 2013


Slowly but surely the heritage and history of the great Middleton Hall Estate is being revealed and interpreted. Summer archaeological digs having unearthed the site of the original Middleton Hall we are now making great strides in the understanding of how this amazing estate evolved.

Turning our attention to the time of Paxton and latterly the Adams many features of the estate are all but ruined, yet we are piecing together that which is left. With the assistance of grant aid from the Carmarthenshire Landscape and Heritage Grant Scheme we have started to reclaim the carriage drive that runs to the north of the walled garden. With considerable care we wish to ensure that the remains of the Peach House are secured and that the Carriage Drive has its low walled edges reinstated.The long raked border that runs beside the Carriage Drive was presumably an ornamental border; drawing from examples found in other great estates it is likely that the border was filled with flowering shrubs and possibly extensive plantings of material for cut-flower for the house. Sadly we do not have a record of what was planted here and undoubtedly the emphasis of this particular part of the garden would have changed through the decades. Early work to clear and clean up is underway and once we have made safe the Peach House we hope to make access available to the public along the carriage drive. Interpretation of the site will further enhance the visitor experience.

Stepping further back in time, again with the aid of a grant from the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy, we are reinvigorating our display of “Rock of Ages” our exploration of the geological timeline of Wales. A walk along the Broadwalk will now take you on a journey from the Pre-Cambrian to the Carboniferous rocks of Wales.  New interpretation will highlight the extent to which Wales’ geology has impacted our everyday lives in industry, farming and the built environment; also the close relationship that rocks and lichens have, will be explored.

Simon Goodenough