Record Details

NHER Number:26487
Type of record:Monument
Name:The Wilderness

Summary

In 1748 the city granted a hundred year lease on part of the Butter Hills, forming Bruisters Rural Gardens. In 1768 public breakfasts and illuminations took place on this site, and views from the city wall towers were a feature of the grounds, which included dense planting and formal gardens. The site was closed from 1770, until 1773 when it reopened with elaborate automatons including clockwork sheep, lasting only five years until bankruptcy in 1778.

The grounds extended west of Southgate Lane until at least 1789. After this point they were subdivided, but part reopened by 1812 for fireworks, feasts etc as Richmond Hill Gardens. In the 1840s and in 1852 houses were built and the gardens became private. At the present time the area is overgrown, thought is of regional importance as being at least in part a rare survival of an 18th century pleasure grounds.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2370 0766
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

1748 City granted a hundred year lease on part of Butter Hills as Bruisters Rural Gardens. In 1768 public breakfasts and illuminations took place. Closed from 1770-3. Views from city wall towers were a feature of the grounds which included dense planting and formal gardens. 1773 reopened with elaborate automatons including clockwork sheep but bankrupt by 1778. Grounds extended west of Southgate Lane until at least 1789. Subdivided, but part reopened by 1812 for fireworks, feasts etc as Richmond Hill Gardens. A tablet dated 1817 on the Black Tower recorded conversion to public gardens. 1840s and 1852, houses built and gardens became private. 1924 Capt Sandys Winsch drew up plans for laying out as a public park, but abandoned due to lack of funds. Area at present overgrown. Norfolk Historic Gardens Survey grades as regional importance as being at least in part a rare survival of 18th century pleasure grounds. See (S1) for further details.
Compiled by E. Rose (NLA), 22 July 1998.

Monument Types

  • GARDEN (Post Medieval to Modern - 1748 AD to 2050 AD)
  • PLEASURE GARDEN (Post Medieval to Modern - 1748 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Unpublished document: Taigel, A. 1997. Norfolk Gardens Trust: Town Gardens Survey - Norwich. pp 40-41.

Related records - none

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