Biddulph Grange Tunnels

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    OpheliaChong, Sathish Kumar.R, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. richardr 90 months ago | reply

      Biddulph Grange is a National Trust house and landscaped gardens, situated in Biddulph near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. It was developed by James Bateman, an accomplished horticulturist and landowner. He moved to Biddulph Grange around 1840, from nearby Knypersley Hall. He created the gardens with the aid of his friend and painter of seascapes John Cooke. The gardens were meant to display specimens from Bateman's extensive and wide-ranging collection of plants.

      Biddulph Grange Pyramid

      Bateman was a collector and scholar on orchids, President of the North Staffordshire Field Society, and served on the Royal Horticultural Society's Plant Exploration Committee. Orchidelirium is the name the Victorians gave to the flower madness that is for botanical collectors the equivalent of gold fever. Wealthy orchid fanatics of that era sent explorers (heavily armed, more to protect themselves against other orchid seekers than against hostile natives or wild animals) to unmapped territories in search of new varieties. His gardens are a rare survival of the interim period between the Capability Brown landscape garden and the High Victorian style. The gardens are themed with follies in the style of China and India, as well as upended tree stumps planted in the grounds, dahlias, redwood avenues and a koi carp pond. This fake cave is actually a tunnel that leads into the Chinese and Indian sections of the garden. The ferns and rhododendrons shown here both have a specific history within Victorian society.

      Biddulph Grange Pagoda

      The Victorians had a great passion for ferns beginning in the late 1830s when the British countryside attracted increasing numbers of amateur and professional botanists (male and female). New discoveries were published in periodicals, particularly 'The Phytologist' which first appeared in 1841. Ferns proved to be a particularly fruitful group of plants for new records because they had been relatively little studied compared with flowering plants. Also, they were most diverse and abundant in the wilder, wetter, western and northern parts of Britain which were becoming more accessible through the development of better roads and, subsequently, in the late 1840s and 1850s through the development of a railway network. People of many different social backgrounds sought out the species and varieties described in the fern identification books to press the fronds in albums or to collect fern plants to grow in their gardens or homes. Although there are only about seventy native British species and natural hybrids of ferns, the Victorians selected hundreds of varieties. By 1855, Charles Kingsley had recognised the prevalent passion for ferns as a phenomenon and in the course of encouraging the study of natural history in his book Glaucus, coined the term 'Pteridomania', meaning 'Fern Madness' or 'Fern Craze':

      Holy Cow

      "Your daughters, perhaps, have been seized with the prevailing 'Pteridomania', and are collecting and buying ferns, with Ward's cases wherein to keep them (for which you have to pay), and wrangling over unpronounceable names of species (which seem different in each new Fern-book that they buy), till the Pteridomania seems to be somewhat of a bore: and yet you cannot deny that they find enjoyment in it, and are more active, more cheerful, more self-forgetful over it, than they would have been over novels and gossip, crochet and Berlin-wool. At least you will confess that the abomination of "Fancy-work" - that standing cloak for dreamy idleness (not to mention the injury which it does to poor starving needlewomen) - has all but vanished from your drawing-room since the "Lady-ferns" and "Venus's hair" appeared; and that you could not help yourself looking now and then at the said "Venus's hair", and agreeing that Nature's real beauties were somewhat superior to the ghastly woollen caricatures which they had superseded."

      In 1847 Joseph Hooker, the son of Kew Garden's Director, left England for a 3 year long Himalayan expedition; he would be the first European to collect plants in the Himalaya. Hooker wrote to Darwin relaying to him the habits of animals in India, and collected plants in Bengal. Hooker was imprisoned by by the Dewan of Sikkim when they were travelling towards the Chola Pass in Tibet. A British team was sent to negotiate with the king of Sikkim. However, they were released without any bloodshed and Hooker returned to Darjeeling. Returning to England, he started the series Flora Indica in 1855, together with Thomas Thompson. Their botanical observations and the publication of the Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya, formed the basis of elaborate works on the rhododendrons of the Sikkim Himalaya and on the flora of India. Hooker brought numerous rhododendron specimins back to Kew in Wardian cases, where they were naturalised for the English climate.

    2. Victor Radziun 90 months ago | reply

      Beautiful photo and the garden as well! Really nice shot! The halftones of green are very attractive.

    3. Alexandra Kingsley 90 months ago | reply

      This is terrific.

    4. richardr 90 months ago | reply

      Thanks all.

    5. Baron von Beerfest 90 months ago | reply

      I remember those well. You've got some great photos of the place!

    6. FrodoPrime [deleted] 90 months ago | reply

      lovely capture and colors

    7. Maneesh Foto 86 months ago | reply

      All that behind a seemingly ordinary black hole! lol!
      :-) Amazing text and history. I've travelled extensively (and still do) in the Himalayas and Sikkim as well as spent a couple of years in England. Never knew there was a botanical connection.

      **** I found this photo following a set link in the Explore My Sets - Add 1, Comment/Fave 3 Group ****

    8. sandina 86 months ago | reply

      Nice one. Nice tones of green, and the composition works really well. Good job!

      **** I found this photo following a set link in the Explore My Sets - Add 1, Comment/Fave 3 Group ****

    9. fernald10 76 months ago | reply

      Fantastic. I've just seen Biddulph Grange on the National Trust: Garden Treasures program on the ABC (Australia). What an amazing place! I hope to visit it one day.

    10. richardr 76 months ago | reply

      Yes, definitely worth a visit.

    11. rendauphine 37 months ago | reply

      I don't remember it my self, but I was told by my parents that I stayed here back in 1945 when I was three months old. I suffered from Bi-lateral Talipes and was operated on by Sir Harry Platt from Manchester General. I will one day go back to revisit my past. I won't need to leave it too long as time marches on.

    12. richardr 37 months ago | reply

      I think it's private flats now.

    13. Crownpoint 36 months ago | reply

      I was also in the hospital in 1945 and had my leg amputated by Sir Parry Platt. I have visited there a few times. Lots of memories.
      Wonderful place.

    14. richardr 36 months ago | reply

      Sir Harry was obviously a rather busy fellow...

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