The Chalk Pit Garden
The Chalk Pit was used in former days to obtain chalk to provide lime to agricultural areas further afield in the county.
It was high on the chalk cliff that Sir Frederick Stern had his summer house with a great view of the Gardens, the steps still remain but the summer house fell in a winter storm and was never replaced.
In 1909 an experiment was begun to find out which plants would grow on the chalk downland soil. At first Lilacs, Junipers and other shrubs were planted in the chalk rubble and, as these succeeded, further planting was carried out with the formation of the rock garden and ponds.
A fine Himalayan Musk Rose (Rose Rosa brunonii) can be found cascading down the cliff face close to the Bamboo Pond. The Bamboo Arundinaria nitida was planted in 1910 when the Bamboo Pond was created.
The Cave Pond was also built in 1910 on the site of a pig sty. When the sty was cleared an old lime kiln was discovered.
See also: The Ponds
Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) in the Chalk Pit Garden:
Views across the Chalk Pit Garden and (above) the chalk cliff face: