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Walled Garden

The walled garden was constructed between 1780 and 1782 by Charles Watson, then owner of Cammo Estate. The area of the walled garden amounts to 2½ acres, formed by a square with sides 100 metres in length. The perimeter walls are between 4 and 5 metres in height, and are constructed of rubble stone. The east wall was built 1 metre lower than the other three walls for most of its length, presumably to allow early morning sunshine into the garden, and it sweeps upwards in a curve close to either end to assume the level of the adjoining perimeter walls. This wall also shows, on its external face, a marked distinction in construction, the lower third of its height being built of flat sandstone blocks laid in rough courses, while above this level, the wall consists mainly of field

boulders and whin rubble. The inside faces of the north and east walls, and the outside faces of the south and west walls, are lined with brick to maximise the retention of solar heat for the benefit of wall grown fruit trees.

The north wall is a flued wall over most of its middle length, and the remains of two furnace houses are visible against the wall on the outside, as are several flue openings. The inside of this wall has been lime plastered over its middle length, and this was the area of hot wall against which one of the large glass houses was constructed.

The east end of the south wall contains four bee-boles - square openings with timber lintels set high in the wall - these being a form of bee hive. On the outside, in this location, are the remains of a small lean-to building, probably a gardener’s potting shed or bothy, complete with fireplace and its own doorway into the walled garden.

The main gateway into the walled garden is located at the south end of the east wall, and this is of grand construction having tall dressed-stone pillars either side, on which were hung large wooden doors, the remains of which are still visible. There are five further doorways through the perimeter walls – two in the south wall (one referred to above leading to the gardener’s bothy, with another close-by); one located in the middle of the west wall; and two in the north wall. Of the north wall doorways, the one towards the west leads directly into, and through, one of the furnace houses, while the one to the east bears the initials of Charles Watson and the date 1780, now barely visible due to erosion, cut into its stone lintel.

The original pathway system inside the walled garden formed a square, having plots between each side of the square and the garden walls. A path ran in a north / south direction dividing this square into two equal halves, and these areas were further sub-divided into several plots by small box hedges.

By 1805 an orchard was established outside the south west corner of the walled garden, but this had disappeared by 1853. By 1853 two large glass houses had been constructed within the walled garden, one in the centre of the garden area, and one against the inside of the north wall. All the fruits and vegetables necessary to supply Cammo House throughout the year were grown in the orchard, garden and glass houses, which produced exotic varieties such as peaches, plums, grapes, cherries and apricots.

In 1918 the walled garden ceased to function as a working garden, and gradually became overgrown and derelict. Between 1952 and 1956 the garden was used as an enclosure for grazing pigs, but thereafter, again became a wilderness.

In 2006 a footpath, constructed to wheelchair accessible standards, was routed through the walled garden between the main gate and the gate in the west wall. This path allows access for visitors to view the extensive spread of snowdrops during January and February, for which the garden has become notable in recent years.

In 2015, the Friends of Cammo planted 20 Apple trees, 6 Plum trees and 4 Pear trees in the north part of the garden.

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