Cotswolds Secret Garden receives historical treasure trove

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An arboretum in Gloucestershire has received an archive of previously unseen historical documents that gives a remarkable insight into the garden buildings and practices once used at the estate.

Staff at Batsford Arboretum, which is often referred to as the Cotswolds' Secret Garden, have spoken of their surprise after receiving documents and photographs dating back 100 years, the Haverhill Echo reported.

They were provided by Frances Toovey, the granddaughter of James Gardner, who was head gardener at the arboretum from 1910 until he went to war in 1917.

Mrs Toovey, who lives in Cambridgeshire, told the newspaper that she had heard by chance about a new visitor centre being built at the arboretum and had decided to contact staff to see if the would be interested in the documents.

Batsford director of operations Stuart Priest said: "To see parts of the arboretum as it was all those years ago - the glass houses that aren't here any more and the trees that were just little young trees then and are now some of our biggest and oldest - is just amazing."

The arboretum, which is tucked away on a south-facing escarpment of the famous Cotswold Hills, has one of the largest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country.

Posted by David Webb   - 23 November 2010
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Cotswolds Secret Garden receives historical treasure trove

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