We are celebrating because the partnership between our Trust and Hounslow Council’s Hogarth’s House Trust has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £1.35million. The Mulberry Garden Project at Hogarth’s House now moves close to becoming a reality.The project will create an elegant new studio space to be used for learning and events and an ‘exhibition garden’ which not only provides an appropriate setting for the historic building and but will also present the whole story of the site. Visitors will be able to discover horticultural history, art history and local history in this garden setting.
With the 17th century mulberry tree at its heart, the garden design will incorporate elements from the past history of the site. The magnificent 1680s wall of local brick, built to enclose a mixed orchard, will be carefully repaired and restored and within the garden more orchard trees will be planted to echo its origins. Beds displaying varieties of floral and edible plants popular in the 18th and 19th centuries will be created.The footings of Hogarth’s stable with his studio above will be marked out and a small greenhouse will echo the one that was there in the late Victorian period. Since Hogarth played nine-pins with his friends in his nut walk, the new design will have a skittle ground and a nut walk! Hogarth’s theories of art included a scrolling Line of Beauty and this shape has been built into the plans, from the edge of paved areas to the planting of lilies.
The handsome new studio space will be host community events, seasonal activities and a learning programme for schools, families and adults. Building work should begin in the autumn with the garden being laid out in 2018 new team of volunteers will be trained to care for the garden, to welcome visitors to the house and to help them discover the rich history of the site. The work should be ready for an official re-opening towards the end of 2018.
Councillor Corinna Smart, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Leisure, Hounslow Council, said: ‘Hogarth’s House was home to the great painter, engraver and satirist, William Hogarth, and is one of the many places that promotes our wonderful heritage here in the borough, for residents and visitors alike. Both the house and garden will provide a creative learning environment for all ages, from adults to school children and is one of the jewels in the crown of historic houses and visitor attractions. We’re delighted to take this project forward and continue working with the Trust and our stakeholders to deliver an exciting vision for the future.
Hounslow Council has committed considerable funding to the project and a number of other grants are in the pipeline.Sponsors and supporters are still needed and donations are welcome.