The gardens of High House are a great cultural reference, giving us several markers in social history. As tastes and fashions changed, and as the affluence of the house’s owners increased, the gardens evolved with the times, leaving a great history and heritage for Thurrock and England itself.
Historic maps and inventories tell us the gardens at High House were well stocked with manicured lawns and fruit trees. The manorial status shown by having such a large working and pleasure garden is a great indicator of social history, where size really did matter. Yet it is easy to look at the recent photographs of the garden and assume that it’s always been like this. But before work started on the property the gardens were overgrown after simply being left to nature for around forty years after the house was no longer used as flats.
Bringing the Garden Back in Bloom
Before work began, the gardens were over grown and almost lost in the undergrowth. Yet, for those lucky enough to see the garden before, it was a magical place. It left you with the feeling that time itself forgot this very tragic, lost fairy-tale of a place. But with the distant echoes of grandeur, the garden has been brought back to the high status it once held.
Yet it is so important to remember what the garden looked like before, and just how much work has been done. It’s quite haunting to think of what these paths might have witnessed during the rise and fall of the Manor of West Thurrock and of High House itself.