Tyne and Wear HER(5257): Sunderland, Ashburne House Garden - Details
Sunderland, Ashburne House Garden
Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces
The house (listed grade 2 now a college building) was built for Edward Backhouse (Quaker in a family of bankers and great nurserymen in York). A description of the house was written in The Journal of Horticulture in 1878. Typical villa garden of the time. The drive approached the house from the north and was ornamented by rhododendrons in tubs. There were good specimens of beech, elm, sycamore and Turkey oak. A terraced border in front of the house was divided by diamond shaped beds. Borders at the west end of the house were planted with perennials and the centre bed was a star set in a circle with a central Echeveria retusa (succulent from America). The conservatory was a significant feature, laid with Minton tiles. A walk to the pleasure garden led past an elaborate octagonal summerhouse overlooking trees and shrubs, chestnuts, purple beeches, rhododendrons, oaks etc. The kitchen garden was a revelation with a series of glasshouses containing vines. Azaleas in another glasshouse were protected from strong sunlight by a canvas shade. Much of the land was absorbed into Backhouse Park where little remains of the original garden apart from the fountain filled with plants. William Backhouse (1807-69) bred narcissi at St. John's Hall, Wolsingham in Weardale and made important developments in the breeding of daffodils.
<< HER 5257 >> F. Green, 1995, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, p 48-49