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Barcroft Hall

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South Petherton Achieves Gardens Accolade  


Barcroft Hall of South Petherton has been included in the ‘Historic Gardens of England Series’ by Timothy Mowl and Marion Mako  (www.timothymowl.co.uk/books.htm). The publication was launched at Montacute House on May 11th. 2010.
 
Owners Brian and Denise Herrick are delighted to have their garden included in this publication which is one of forty seven specifically chosen.Both are avid gardeners and thrilled to have Barcroft Hall placed alongside the many famous gardens of significant historic importance in Somerset.
 
The author states that the garden at ’Barcroft is educational in intent and ecologically underpinned and may prove in time to be one of the most significant and influential gardens in the county’.
 
Timothy Mowl is Professor of History of Architecture and Design Landscapes at the Universtity of Bristol. Marion Mako is an author and photographer specialising in historic gardens and landscapes and has a masters degree in Garden History, and they describe the garden as follows:
 
The house and gardens at Barcroft Hall, South Petherton, could not be more different. Brian and Denise Herrick inherited a relatively new classical house with embryonic gardens and have completely transformed the 8-acre grounds with a chain of lakes, formal avenues of trees, and a geometrically planted orchard. To connect these areas they have laid down 5 kilometres of footpaths, re-laid hedges and planted 2300 trees. What is remarkable about the grounds is that they already appear well established, even though they are recent and still being developed. One of the Herricks’ design strategies was to provide a wildfowl release site for the RSPCA; on our visit a recovering swan patrolled the lake nearest the house.
 
In the Orchard to the rear of the house nine different local varieties of cider apple are grown making the grounds productive as well as ornamental. Some of the new trees are soft fruit varieties of medlars, quince and plums, while the sweeping lawns are studded with weeping pear and silver birches;there is also a separate area of acers . A formal terraced garden to the front of the house has steps which descend to the first lake; this is flanked by a formal enclosure of pleached limes. But the most atmospheric sector of the landscape is further down the lakes, where there are living willow sculptures, a cherry avenue under-planted with veronica ‘Pink Perfection’ and lines of poplars which evoked to me at least, descriptions from ‘Le Grand Meaulnes’. Together with the local populace the Herricks are embarking upon a programme of ‘Vegetation Education’, in which the older generation will instruct the young on how to grow food on the land. Barcroft is, therefore, both well-meaning and intelligently conceived; it may prove, in time, to be one of the most significant and influential gardens in the county.