The Walled Kitchen Garden
The Walled Garden Baumber is a nineteenth-century walled garden, that once belonged to the former Stourton Hall. It is a rare example of a double walled garden, and covers just under four acres.
We have next to no surviving descriptions of the grounds, gardens or the walled kitchen garden. We do know however, that the walls were built between 1817 and 1826. The evidence for this is two carved bricks in the outer wall which forms part of the boundary wall of the old formal gardens.
However, the British Census for the village of Baumber in 1881, shows that six men were employed as gardeners. Working on the assumption that they were all employed at Stourton Hall and that two to three gardeners were required per acre, at just under four acres, the Walled Garden appears to have been adequately staffed at that time.
Information from the estate sales catalogue for 1952 gives us a tantalising glimpse of what survived in the Walled Garden, but the information is limited: “On the west of the residence and screened in the woodland is the Double-Walled Kitchen Garden and Cottage … the Greenhouses comprise a single-span house, a one and three-quarter span Cucumber House in three divisions and two other single-span houses, whilst the buildings include Tool, Seed and Fertiliser Sheds, Two-bay Barrow Shed, Potting Shed, Pot Store, Three-bay Barrow Shed and Store and two Boiler Houses. The Garden contains an abundance of wall-trained, espalier, standard and bush hard fruit trees and a soft fruit garden”.
There has been a house on or near the site of Stourton Hall since the 16th century, but in 1768, the then landowner, the second Duke of Newcastle, sold the estate to one Thomas Livesey of Blackburn and Burwell. His ancestor Joseph, built the original Stourton Hall in 1810 in the Classic style. The house stood in a wooded park of 50 acres.
By 1948, although Algernon Livesey was in residence, he lived alone. The main gates were locked and wired to give the impression that the estate was unoccupied. Algernon died in 1951, and the Hall and estate were sold to a firm of timber importers for £15,000. The Hall was demolished in 1953.