Inventory Garden & Designed Landscape

GREENBANK GARDENGDL00203

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

Summary

Date Added
01/07/1987
Local Authority
East Renfrewshire
Parish
Mearns
NGR
NS 56131 56622
Coordinates
256131, 656622

Famous for its daffodil collection, this garden also forms an impressive setting for the category A listed Greenbank House.

Artistic Interest

Level of interest
Some

The parkland and Gardens provide some value as a Work of Art.

Historical

Level of interest
Some

There is a survey plan of 1772, but little subsequent information, and this gives Greenbank some Historical value.

Horticultural

Level of interest
Some

The plant material at Greenbank is largely composed of species which are generally available in order that the public may learn from or even copy the displays; it thus has some Horticultural value.

Architectural

Level of interest
Outstanding

The landscape provides the setting for a Grade A listed building and therefore has outstanding Architectural value.

Archaeological

Level of interest
Not Assessed

Scenic

Level of interest
Some

The designed landscape has some value within the surrounding area.

Nature Conservation

Level of interest
Little

The site has a little Nature Conservation value due to the habitat it provides for wildlife in the suburban landscape.

Location and Setting

Greenbank House is situated approximately 6 miles (9.5 km) south of Glasgow City Centre. Suburban private housing developments surround the site on all sides except the south, where the remaining farmland is interspersed with housing development along the B767 road to Eaglesham, some 3 miles (5km) away. The climate within the garden is sheltered by surrounding woodland. Average annual rainfall is around 43" and the temperature ranges from 17.5ºC max to - 0.7ºC min. The surrounding housing developments are significant from the boundaries of the site and from the main drives. The tree canopy of the designed landscape is significant from the minor roads to the south and views into the park can be gained from Flenders Road which forms the northern boundary of the site.

The policies of Greenbank House extend north to Flenders Road, east to the Lodge, south to the burn beyond the walled garden and west along the drive to its junction with the main road. Reference to a survey plan of 1772 shows that the estate extended over some 220 acres, most of which consisted of fields. The designed landscape extended north beyond what is now Flenders Road in the form of an avenue which culminated in a wooded square on the opposite hill. Reference to the 2nd edition OS shows that this feature remained in 1910, standing within the surrounding fields. The remaining trees from this feature were incorporated into Beechwood Avenue which has been built up since then.

The designed landscape today includes some 7 acres (2.8ha) of parkland, 5 acres (2ha) of woodland garden and 2.5 acres (1ha) of walled garden and extends in total to 19 acres (8ha).

Site History

The designed landscape was laid out between 1763 and 1772. Some alterations had been made to the structure by c.1850 as comparison of the survey plan of 1772 and the 1st edition OS map shows. The present form dates from around this period although much of the actual plant material is younger.

The estate belonged to the Hamiltons of Renfrewshire from 1600-1650 who were Covenanters who escaped after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679. Their property was confiscated and they were not to return to Greenbank until 1797. The estate was purchased in 1763 by Robert Allason who built the present house and laid out the landscape. Between then and 1797, the estate knew five different owners before it was purchased by John Hamilton of Rodgerton in whose family it remained until 1961 when Miss Margaret Young, niece of the last Hamilton owners, died. Mr William Blyth then purchased the estate and in 1976 gifted the house, East Lodge, Walled Garden and 15 acres of ground to the National Trust for Scotland with the intention of it being developed as a Garden Advice Centre similar to that at 'Suntrap', Edinburgh.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Greenbank House, listed grade A, was built in the Adam style in 1763 for Robert Allason. It is a two-storey mansion with basement; the architect is unknown. The stable-block, barn and tack room lie to the east of the house and have been converted to form a lecture hall, demonstration area, shop, office and toilet accommodation.

The stone bridge crosses over the burn at the south-west corner of the walled garden. Two stone ornaments, now in the disabled garden, have recently been moved from 'The Dell'. The Sundial stands in the centre of the walled garden; it has been dated at c.1600 and would support the idea that the walled garden predates the present house and was put in at the time of the first Hamiltons.

The Statue of 'Foam' stands amid a shrub bed in the south-west corner of the walled garden; it was rescued after the end of the Empire Exhibition at Bellahouston Park where it was set in an ornamental pond surrounded by dolphins. The stone Garden Furniture is reproduction.

Parkland

Reference to the 1772 survey plan shows the clear demarcation between the north, south, east and west parks. The west and south parks remain, although most of the original enclosure formed by a double hedge or tree belt has disappeared. By the mid 1850s, the avenue which extended between the north and east parks had gone and a new woodland enclosure along the edge of what is now Flenders Road had been planted. Some of the original beech remain in the park, with some younger oak and a redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) planted c.1900.

Walled Gardens

The Walled Garden possibly predates the 1763 house. Reference to the plan of 1772 shows a large formal layout with a central feature and an additional formal area at the end of the garden. The 1st edition OS of c.1850 shows an arrangement of similar layout to this, although in less detail. By then, the wall which now divides the third of the garden nearest the house from the area beyond appears to have been built across its width. The area nearest the house is thought to have been retained as a formal garden whilst the area beyond was developed as an orchard. In the garden adjacent to the house, two herbaceous borders line the footpath. The remainder of the area is largely lawn with some ornamental trees and shrubs. Remnants of a former parterre can be traced during the summer when it is dry.

It is in the larger two thirds of the garden that the Garden Advice Centre has been established since 1976; up to the last war it was mainly ornamental planting, and the herbaceous borders were removed by Mrs Blyth in the 1960s- 70s. The area is divided into four compartments by the yew hedges, understood to have been planted c.1930. Borders between the yew hedges and footpaths are planted for summer and autumn display. Demonstration plots are located in the two northern compartments. The south-west compartment was a fruit garden and has recently been redesigned as an ornamental garden; it includes a herbaceous border and rock garden. The south- east quarter of the garden was a tennis court but has recently been developed as a garden for the disabled. Stone for the walls of the raised beds came from a demolished Glasgow tenement. Mr Blyth was a keen gardener and kept a planting book and also labelled his plants; there are some survivors today of his paeony collection.

References

Bibliography

Sources

Printed Sources

J.G. Smith, Old Country Houses of the Glasgow

Gentry 1898

Woodland Trail Guide

NTS Management Plan

A. Millar, Houses & Mansions in Renfrewshire & Butesshire, 1889

Groome's

Listings

NMRS, Photographs

About the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

The inventory is a list of Scotland's most important gardens and designed landscapes. We maintain the inventory under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We add sites of national importance to the inventory using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

The information in the inventory record gives an indication of the national importance of the site(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the site(s). The format of records has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

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Find out more about the inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 13/12/2019 15:18