Friday, 19 August 2016

Ryecroft House, Lancashire, North West UK

A garden design challenge with a difference.

Topographic survey Ryecroft House, Lancashire

Steeped in the history of the industrial revolution and originally built in the mid-1800s for the owner of a nearby steelworks, this project perfectly examples the connection between a house and it grounds. Ryecroft House had lain derelict for many years until its recent purchase by my clients. It is an imposing Victorian Gothic wonder, which in its original configuration must have presented quite an imposing sight, sitting atop a hill on its own plateau as it does, with commanding views to the surrounding countryside landscape on 3 sides. 

Unfortunately the house has suffered some pretty awful intrusion into its architectural fabric in the intervening years and in the process ruing a lot of what would have been its most striking detail. The good news, with time, patience and investment my clients are intent on restoring this grand house, as sympathetically as is feasible, to its original state. Historical information on the house and its architecture was pretty limited, but for DK Garden Design this stirred our keen interest in research and spurred us into an investigation that not only threw up some fascinating information on the original landscape and grounds, but also its somewhat macabre history when we discovered one owner of the house had been murder in his bed in the early 1900s by the gardener and an accomplice. Further to that some of the remaining architectural detail would inform how I approached certain elements of the designs for the grounds, with these incorporated into newly designed elements of the landscape designs for the project, and in the process helping to restore some of the cohesion and context between house and grounds. We envisage this project taking a couple of years to completion.

First visit to Ryecroft house was on a freezing cold day, but with a clear blue sky in April 2016.

Some of the original architectural details that littered parts of the grounds. This ended up being incorporated into my final designs for the gardens.

Part of the original wrought iron ware remains on this small side balcony and again provided me with details this i used to inform my designs for the gardens.

Landscape designs for this project are now in their final stages and we expect work on the landscaping to begin in the spring of 2017.

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