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Thoresby Estate Walled Garden Project

North Notts College and Thoresby Estate have entered into an exciting long-term partnership to help restore Thoresby Estate’s 5-acre Victorian walled garden to its’ former glory.

The partnership is intended to provide North Notts College students access to the once-prestigious walled garden and the opportunity to help regenerate the site.

With the help of North Notts College Construction and other North Notts College students, Thoresby Estate aims to restore the fountain, walls and walkways. The main gateway will also be fitted with an ironwork design inspired by Thoresby and the local area’s heritage.

The scope of the project is to last between 10 – 15 years, providing a unique hands-on learning experience for all full-time learners from North Notts College.

Construction apprentices will have the opportunity to gain and apply valuable industry-relevant knowledge and skills in restoring the site to its’ former glory.

Modern building techniques will be blended with more traditional heritage skills by the Construction students to produce an effective and holistic approach to work onsite.

The Walled Garden Project at Thoresby banner

North Notts College and Thoresby Estate have entered into an exciting long-term partnership to help restore Thoresby Estate’s 5-acre Victorian walled garden to its’ former glory. The partnership is intended to provide North Notts College students access to the once-prestigious walled garden and the opportunity to help regenerate the site.

With the help of North Notts College Construction and other North Notts College students, Thoresby Estate aims to restore the fountain, walls and walkways. The main gateway will also be fitted with an ironwork design inspired by Thoresby and the local area’s heritage.

The scope of the project is to last between 10 – 15 years, providing a unique hands-on learning experience for all full-time learners from North Notts College. Construction apprentices will have the opportunity to gain and apply valuable industry-relevant knowledge and skills in restoring the site to its’ former glory.

Modern building techniques will be blended with more traditional heritage skills by the Construction students to produce an effective and holistic approach to work onsite.

Who’s involved

This long-term project will be operated by a partnership between North Notts College and Thoresby Estate.

Several curriculums across North Notts College will have the opportunity to help restore different sections of the 5-acre garden site over the project’s full timeline.

North Notts Curriculum Leader for Construction Martin Lane is the Project Coordinator for the partnership.

His responsibilities include facilitating continual student involvement with the regeneration project and ensuring that the work done is to a high standard of quality.

Thoresby Estate Logo
Cont. survey of walled garden and features like access gateway with one brick sentimental arch.
David and Cole demonstration positioning a TBM (Temporary Bench Mark) and showing methods to protect the timber peg.
A view of the estates courtyard area during the Site Induction with the Level 1 & 2 Full time Bricklaying Learners. Feb 2019.

Who’s involved

This long-term project will be operated by a partnership between North Notts College and Thoresby Estate. Several curriculums across North Notts College will have the opportunity to help restore different sections of the 5-acre garden site over the project’s full timeline.

North Notts Curriculum Leader for Construction Martin Lane is the Project Coordinator for the partnership. His responsibilities include facilitating continual student involvement with the regeneration project and ensuring that the work done is to a high standard of quality.

A view of the estates courtyard area during the Site Induction with the Level 1 & 2 Full time Bricklaying Learners. Feb 2019.
Cont. survey of walled garden and features like access gateway with one brick sentimental arch.
David and Cole demonstration positioning a TBM (Temporary Bench Mark) and showing methods to protect the timber peg.
Thoresby Estate Logo

Plans for the next twelve months

The central avenue leading from the main gate to the back wall shall be turned into a corridor of work. Curbs will be built on the path by North Notts College learners.

Full-time learners will dig out the fountain and Level 3 Brickwork students shall construct a solid circular wall round the fountain using existing stone copings found in the excavation back-fill materials.

Toward the back of the central avenue there is a gentle slope that sits two thirds of the way toward the North wall. Steps will be rebuilt in to facilitate access to the back of the garden.

History of Thoresby Estate

Owned by the Pierrepont family since 1633, Thoresby Park is steeped in a rich history. The estate has over 4,000 acres of listed parkland including the Grade II Thoresby courtyard, the Roundhouse, Thoresby Hall Hotel and the 5-acre walled garden.

Created in Victorian times, the garden grew exotic fruit housed in vineries and a conservatory. This area was accessed by carefully-constructed small sets of steps lining a gentle slope toward the back of the garden.

The geometrically-symmetrical garden was entered through the existing large gateways in the imposing brick wall perimeter. The garden also previously included four green spaces, divided by walkways and centred by an elegant fountain.

The old plans - Plan of Fruit Kitchen Gardens at Thoresby
Old plans of the Thoresby Estate – Plan of Fruit and Kitchen Gardens at Thoresby

“I have enjoyed everything about being part of this project. Working on digging out the Victorian fountain was exciting; you don’t know what treasures you may find. Its good work experience for me and good on my CV.”

Steve Cole – North Notts Student, Level 1 Diploma in Bricklaying
The 2nd year Trowel Occ Apprentices used their skills in surveying the wall so new drawings could be produced.
Site clearance and Site Induction on a very cold January 2019 afternoon with Harvey (Estates Director) & Scott (Works Department Manager) with Level 2 Trowel Occ 2nd year Apprentices.
Setting datum points on a slope, very difficult, a lot of calculations and ratios needed.
Demonstrating the use of the 3.4.5 method to establish a 90 degree corner, one of the practical methods used.
The 2nd year Trowel Occ Apprentices used their skills in surveying the wall so new drawings could be produced.
Site clearance and Site Induction on a very cold January 2019 afternoon with Harvey (Estates Director) & Scott (Works Department Manager) with Level 2 Trowel Occ 2nd year Apprentices.
Setting datum points on a slope, very difficult, a lot of calculations and ratios needed.
Demonstrating the use of the 3.4.5 method to establish a 90 degree corner, one of the practical methods used.

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