Nicholas Duke-Cox has undertaken extensive research over the past three years in preparation for a publication on the definitive history of the gardens at Petwood House, now the Petwood Hotel.
In a recent article written for The Kew Guild, Nicholas calls for primary evidence of landscape architect and naturalist William Goldring’s involvement at Petwood House, originally built for the furniture heiress, Grace Maple, then Baroness Eckhardstein, between 1905 and 1906.
Nicholas explains: “The fame of the gardens arose later c.1912 with the alterations and expansion to the original design, by Harold Peto. The literature knew of a first garden but not of its appearance. Thanks to the commissions of the Baroness to local professional photographer, John Wield, we have photographic evidence of the construction and maturation of that garden from 1906 to 1909.These images are unique. No one else ever had access to these gardens.”
The article includes reproductions of some of John Wield’s photographs taken on dry collodion glass plates, now in the care of the Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum.