Bee Boles & Steps

This recess, and the one you have just passed, are single recesses at different heights. They may have been for small bee hives or boles, or possibly even lamp niches. Bee boles usually appear in groups, rarely just one. So these recesses are something of a mystery. The gateway in the wall here has been largely rebuilt in the recent restoration. Now move round the square to the base of the stone steps.

The 1990 excavation of the area below the gazebo revealed a series of short flights of dressed stone steps and landings. It may have been planned to have more terraces coming off these landings – see the stepped garden walls at either end of the slope – but these were probably never executed. Most of the steps were taken for reuse after the gardens were abandoned but the lowest flights, by then covered by the collapsing slope, were hidden and so survived in place. The whole flight has now been restored, retaining the original steps. There were planting pits found beside the steps, now planted in yew hedging. Move on past the southern square to the south wall where you will find the next point of this tour.

How the garden may have appeared circa 1730