The Mill Wood Tree Planting

With 4,423 specimens being planted in January 2016

These are the last photographs taken of Mill Wood whilst still an agricultural field (1950-2016).

Panoramic view of Mill Wood looking south.

Panoramic view of Mill Wood looking south.

Panoramic view of Mill Wood looking north.

Panoramic view of Mill Wood looking north.

On Monday 18th January 2016 the work commenced to re-plant the lost forest of Mill Wood with 2750 Oak, 950 Beech, 250 Sweet Chestnut, 250 Wild Cherry, 200 Hornbeam, 20 Scotts Pine and 2 Abies Alba. The Somerset Gardens Trust has also kindly gifted a Zelkova Carpinifolia.

Thousands of the new trees planted beneath one of the few surviving old trees, a horse chestnut of c.1660.

Thousands of the new trees planted beneath one of the few surviving old trees, a horse chestnut of c.1660.

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The Temple of Harmony

and Robert Adam at Halswell

“Passing to the Ionic portico, which is excellently placed, the scenery in view is truly enchanting; the lawn is gently waved, and spotted with trees and shrubs in the happiest taste. The water seems to wind naturally through a falling vale; and a swelling hill, crowned by a rotunda, forms a complete picture. The whole scene is really elegant; every part is riant, and bears the stamp of pleasure.”
– Arthur Young, 1771. 

The Temple of Harmony, photographed in January 2016.

The Temple of Harmony, photographed in January 2016.

The Temple of Harmony, photographed c.1898.

The Temple of Harmony, photographed c.1898.

The Temple of Harmony, designed by Sir Charles Kemeys-Tynte’s gentleman-architect friend Thomas Prowse (1708-1767) was based on the plans in Isaac Ware’s (1704-1766) influential The Four Books of Andrea Palladio’s Architecture published in 1738. Palladio’s designs were taken directly from the ancient Temple of Portunus which still stands in Rome. Halswell’s Temple of Harmony, though inspired by Palladio’s vision of ancient Rome, was designed and built by gentlemen architects, like so many of the monuments throughout eighteenth-century Britain. The Estate Steward for Halswell, Mr Escott, records in his eighteenth-century memorandum that the building was commissioned in 1764 at a cost of £400 and was dedicated to the memory of two of Sir Charles’ friends: Mr Peregrine Palmer of Fairfield House, Somerset, MP for the University of Oxford, who died in 1762, and Mr Thomas Prowse, the Temple’s architect, an MP for Somerset who died in 1767, the year the building was completed.

Transcription of the Halswell Steward’s diary, Escott’s Memorandum, relating to the commissioning of the Temple in 1764.

Transcription of the Halswell Steward’s diary, Escott’s Memorandum, relating to the commissioning of the Temple in 1764.

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Opening of Mill Wood and The Rotunda

Edward Strachan’s 50th Birthday

Halswell Edward Strachan

Edward Strachan and his wife Aliona

“Halswell has found its champion” proclaimed Marcus Binney of SAVE, as the walls of Halswell House filled with applause for new owner Edward Strachan. For the first time in many years, the atmosphere bore an element of a new beginning.

Halswell House Baroque

The North Face of Halswell House

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