Reginald Farrer’s Rock Garden, Clapham, North Yorkshire: Analytical Survey and Assessment

Author(s): Rebecca Pullen

Within the village of Clapham, below the limestone fells of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, are the remains of an important private rock garden that was developed and experimented in by ‘the father of modern rock gardening’, Reginald John Farrer (1880-1920). In Farrer’s day the rock garden formed part of the designed gardens belonging to his family home, Ingleborough Hall. Farrer created the garden in 1894 at the age of fourteen and continued to adapt and improve the site until his death in 1920. Farrer was a significant figure in early 20th-century gardening, garden-writing and plant collecting; he influenced and advised on a number of important gardens during his life, and his work with alpine plants remained influential long afterwards. The garden is notable as the place where he formulated and trialled his prominent ideas about creating successful rock gardens, such as use of below-ground irrigation systems, ponds and naturalistic ‘moraine-gardens’ (planted scree). To inform the future repair and management of the garden and pond, in 2015 Historic England undertook an accurate measured survey and analytical assessment of the fabric, layout and history of the garden; this report presents the results of that work.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Gardens, Parks and Urban Spaces Landscape Park Landscape Analytical Landscape Survey


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