The gardener was one Robert Salisbury and Joseph Shipley had brought him from England to design his gardens and tend them on his new American retirement estate of Rockwood.
Salisbury is something of a mystery man in the Rockwood history, but we can surmise he must have
The Kitchen Garden at the top next to the Carriage House is today the Rose Garden. The larger patch shown to the left of the Carriage House has changed a lot since 1950. Much is taken up by a little cluster of trees that appear as if one giant tree. These form a canapés over much of the plot and you can walk under the branches like going through a cave. Weddings are often performed on this plot and the bride come to the ceremony from out of these trees.
To the back of the Kitchen Garden and facing the Carriage House are the Potting Sheds and Boiler
Room. The picture of the sheds on the right was taken about 1900. There are two sheds with an entry into the garden between them. Back in Shipley's time the one was a cold house for vegetables and the other contained a boiler and piping to make it a hothouse for the exotic plants that Shipley grew. In Joseph's time the garden was for growing vegetables, but starting in 1910, the Bringhurst Family converted it to a formal flower garden.
There are paths looping the gardens and the formal garden is surrounded by rose bushes. The garden is quite beautiful when in full bloom.
There is a stone wall blocking it off from the main grounds. Back in Shipley's day British custom dictate that garden's be hidden from view to the general public. Only invited guests of the family were invited to enjoy them.
On one end of the Mansion is a Conservatory, shown jutting out from the right side of the mansion. This is the rear of the mansion, by the way, taken from the rear lawn, which is protected by the ha-ha. Again, Shipley modeled the Conservatory on the one on the home he rented in England.
Both home were designed by the English architect, George Williams. The estate in England, near Liverpool, I believe, was named Wnycote.
You can see how strikingly similar the two Neo Gothic Houses were to each other. They were so much alike I mistook the old photo of Wyncote for Rockwood when I posted the pictures on Facebook, where I pointed out that the tower behind the Mansion no longer existed at Rockwood. Of course not, there was never a tower at Rockwood.
Posing in the Conservatory around 1895 are George Kennedy Smith and Edward Bringhurst III, dressed as sailors. I could not go inside to snap pictures, so the photo on the left was taken through the window that the two boys had their backs toward.
There are shelves full of plants today just as there was in the 1895 photo, which blocked my getting the same view through the windows by the side of the mansion.
Shipley didn't do the heavy lifting himself. He may have liked gardens, but he suffered from gout. As a well-to-do merchant banker in England he indulged in a lot of rich foods and thus he developed the "rich man's disease."
He still liked to indulge himself in some pleasures the common man couldn't, such as eating free fruit for Christmas when the snow was atop the grounds.
Just behind the Carriage House is a Fruit Cellar. Extending eight to ten feet below ground, it acted as a natural refrigerator for storing fruits and vegetables beyond their growing season. Remember winter temperatures in Northern Delaware will go as low as a Frigidaire or even a freezer.
I didn't have snow on the roof either, this not being the season for snow and the temperature that morning was around 60 degrees. I don't know what the white stuff is in my photo, but it isn't snow.
The old photo of the Fruit cellar was taken about 1920.
I tried to take this shot from approximately where the man was mowing. There are more trees and bushes now. It is on this lawn that the Holiday Open House festivities official open during the first weekend of December. Choir stand here to sing Christmas songs and the County Executive reads the "Night Before Christmas" beneath that tall evergreen.
They light the giant Christmas Tree on Friday evening and this is the tree that's used. The strings of lights are still hanging down it. The use to light another tree next to this one, but during one of our summer storms about two years ago it fell over.
There is also a random picture of Anna Webb Bringhurst standing between a rock formation on the
It is interesting because Joseph Shipley and Sarah Bringhurst would argue about the many rocks on the property. She felt they should be gotten rid of, but he loved their look and insisted they remain.
I did have my walking stick.
My legs weren't covered by a long gown, either.
This brings us to the cliffs and the conclusion of this journey to the past. The cliffs are to the right as you drive or walk up the driveway from the park entrances up the hill toward the mansion.
This photo is of Mary Bringhurst standing at the top of these cliffs in 1900.
She must have come up a path behind the rocks on which she poses because I doubt she scaled the cliffs in that outfit for this purpose. Now I realize she was a healthy and hardy person, who loved to be 100, but I wouldn't have attempted the climb when I was younger without ALS.
But with all the underbrush it is difficult to look at the 1900 photo and determine the exact location.
These rocks are relatively flat. Even I managed to walk onto them despite my imperfect balance and unsteady gait these days.
I bet Miss Bringhurst was not one bit hesitant to such rock standing.
A couple notes on the last post:
This is certainly more correct. Calling it The Lodge sounds like guest may have stayed there, but it was really the home of Shipley's Gatekeeper or Porter.