Quarry Bank Mill’s upper garden was severely damaged through neglect before acquisition by the National Trust. As part of a major £9.4 million project to transform Quarry Bank Mill, plans were made to restore the Upper Kitchen Garden to its earlier condition, aiding the Trust’s ability to tell the story of the Greg family and their lives at Quarry Bank Mill.
Armitage were appointed as the lead contractors to carry out the restoration works to the Historic 1820’s curvilinear Glasshouse, Upper Kitchen Garden and Back Sheds, reinstating them back to their original footprint, size and symmetry as existed on the 1872 Ordnance survey mapping.
The glasshouse was restored to its full length, re-glazed with 12,500 panes of hand made glass and planted with an array of exotic seasonal plants and fruit to the two vinery wings.
The works also included the reinstatement of the wall to the walled garden on its original line and to its original height. The modern garage that serves the existing Gardeners Cottage was demolished to accommodate this.
The upper garden previously had no public access and therefore no facilities for visitors. The café was originally intended to be housed within the Gardeners Cottage, however the practicality of converting the Grade II listed building proved challenging and the decision was made to site a temporary building outside of the walled gardens. Located within an area of open land, adjacent to the recently reinstated garden wall, the lightweight form, scale and position of the temporary structure was chosen to minimise its visual impact and limit harm to its setting within a Conservation Area and the significance of the surrounding listed buildings.
Due to the garden being extensively increased, a new mess and garden compound was constructed near to the back sheds, behind the glasshouse. The building was constructed from a steel frame structure with block work in-between and external timber cladding. This has provided facilities to store plant and machinery close to the garden and a base of operations to work from.