Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Menagerie, Part III

This is the third of a series of posts of The Devoted Classicist on the 18th century folly known as the Menagerie;  the first can be seen here and the second, here.  This essay reveals the garden and the auxiliary buildings as they appeared in the sales brochure by Estate Agents Jackson-Stops & Staff.
Arial view of the Menagerie and gardens.
Gervase Jackson-Stops bought the decepit folly in 1973 and planted the three allees in 1984.  Vernon Russell-Smith designed the rose garden in 1989.  With his partner Ian Kirby, Gervase further developed the gardens in 1992 and the implementation of the master plan continued with subsequent owners.
The east garden at the Menagerie.
A walled Kitchen Garden was added 2004-5, designed by one of Britain's most highly regarded landscape designers Jinny Blom.  Espaliered fruit trees line the walls that surround the garden filled with boxwood-edged parterres.  A central fountain in a fish basin is ringed by arched hoops covered in wisteria.
The fountain in the Kitchen Garden.
Two of the original ponds were re-dug at the ends of the side allees and each was given an arbour that was later developed into a thatched cottage designed by Charles Morris.  One pond is a water garden filled with native plants and the other, exotic.
The Gothick Arbour and water garden.
The Classical Arbour has Doric columns on one elevation and log columns on another.  The interior of the main space has a dome and was used as a chapel at the time of the photograph.  Also, there are two alcoves, one with a sink.
The interior of the Classical Arbour, used as a chapel.
The Gothick Arbour is more formal on one facade and more rustic on the other.  There is a built-in bed decorated with fir cones.  Used as a guest house, there is a lavatory, w.c., shower, and dressing room.
The Gothick Arbour guest house, interior.
The Gothick Arbour at the Menagerie.
Two timber buildings flank the gates to the Nursery Garden;  one was used as a Tea Room with serving counter and sink and the other was a Garden Store.  There is an aluminum green house and a Garden Office consisting of one large room with a central woodburning stove;  one of the two porches has been enclosed to provide a kitchen as well as a w.c and shower.
The Garden Office at the Menagerie.
A Garage has a Workshop and a Utility Room with a central heating boiler, deep Belfast sink, and plumbing for a washer and dryer.
All the photos are from the Jackson-Stops & Staff sales brochure that was thoughtfully provided by devoted reader Tom Barton of Dixie Graphics architectural signage.  Today some feel inclined to put a minimum size on properties to qualify as an "estate".  This is a good example of planning on only four acres.


  1. John,

    Wow! Those gardens are superb! Thank you for sharing this exquisite property.


  2. This series has been a very good read, John, so thank you. I have enjoyed it thoroughly - as indeed I enjoy all you write.

  3. sigh, the thatched folly with the Gothick porch...swoon (although the interior could stand a firm editing hand)

    Are you just trying to make me hate my old New England house with these spreads?

  4. DF, the whole idea of sharing through blogs is a great one, isn't it?

    B, thanks. This is a house that I have appreciated for some time. I was glad to learn more, myself.

    DED, I think surely that you, if anyone, could pull off a bit of the exotic in Maine. Maybe a shell grotto?

  5. JJT --

    I confess I'm mystified by the relatively low sales price. Surely the last two owners put more into the property than that!

    In any event, a spectacular series of posts. Thank you.

  6. TA, as with real estate everywhere, location plays a huge part in pricing.

  7. I am enchanted by the Gothick Arbour. How lovely.

  8. TPoC, I agree. I would like to see the exterior of Classical Arbour; if an image comes available, I will add it to the post.

  9. You know how a pond just takes me right over the waterfall into total bliss!

    I will be riffling through the printed pages of this post.......when I am 99!

    (actaully, I hope I will go when my mind goes.....but this post might just kep my mind going for an entire decade!)!

    Bravo! Brilliant! And thank you!!!!!

    Being a third-generation- Southern Californian (we are like dinosaurs) could I adapt to the weather???
    totally tempting.....but becoming less keen on selling our house in Montecito!

    All three houses I really thought would be so fun to change......are sold.....two are completely ruined........(no can help......not even me and on the market for over double)


    Down to our only day of West week tomorrow.........what a thrill!





  11. I am such a fan of Gervase Jackson-Stops, and have always wondered how the place developed after he died - it is sheer heaven, the whole thing. Well done you for finding (& showing)

  12. It would be nice to call it home.

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  14. I'm not happy to have discovered this. Until now I thought choosing my accommodation when (if) I arrive in Heaven would be simple--John Fowler's Hunting Lodge. Now I am not so sure.

  15. Hello John, I bought the Menagerie 4 years ago. Getting rid of all the "improvements" of the previous owner...if you want to have an update and a visit let me know. Hugues

    1. Thank you for this glorious news, Hugues. I look forward to the opportunity to take advantage of your offer to visit, perhaps before too long. Your comment is greatly appreciated.


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