Clumber Park is an ex-Ducal estate of 3,800 acres south east of Worksop in Nottinghamshire. The grand Palladian house, begun in 1760, has gone, leaving no sign of its passing other than that ethereal ghost that such places imprint on the mind. The substantial remains in the park include a two-and-a-half mile double avenue of limes leading down from the impressive Apleyhead Gate, the stables, a walled kitchen garden with the Long Range glasshouse and a Gothic Revival Chapel of 1889. The latter is one of the most impressive of its type. At least on the outside. I found inside deeply depressing, as dark sandstone interiors tend to be. So what captured my imagination most? Not difficult to guess, it's this pair of watering cans in a side room of the glasshouse. Unloved, unnoticed, I may have missed them altogether if a kindly sun hadn't decided to illuminate them just for a brief moment of time as I walked in. Only a few cans, I expect there were once many more. Up until the thirties there were twenty five gardeners toiling amongst the orchards and herbaceous borders or here in the glasshouse. And then it was all considered uneconomic. Pulling the house down in 1938 couldn't have helped.
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