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It’s not often that a revered architect – one of few living architects whose work has been given Grade II status – rocks up in your garden for a gander around the premises.
But I know Peter Aldington and his gardener Jackie a little bit, and Peter was curious to see the property – he’s last visited 30 years when the previous aristocratic owners were alive.
What’s interesting about the Muddy house, I hear you ask? You mean, apart from the fact it’s held up by matchsticks and glue and built entirely from plyboard? Well, it’s a single-storey property (otherwise known as ‘bungalow’ but let’s not go there) with an interesting history, having been designed by a female architect in 1957 – incredibly unusual for the time and quite poignant too in the sense that this was the only building she ever completed.
The garden is large and lovely and one of the big reasons we bought this place, and I managed to stump Jackie and Peter on several trees they’d never seen before, though I have to admit Jackie did email me last night with the answers which is VERY ANNOYING.
It was a thrill to show them around, but the favour is being more than reciprocated this weekend when Peter’s Grade II listed Turn End house and gardens, which he designed in the Sixties, are opened to the public this Sunday 30 June between 2-5.30pm.
The gardens are just incredible – I’ve written about them before here, and if you’ve ever had your photos taken by the brilliant Paul Wilkinson in the gardens at the back of his studios, you’re actually standing in part of Turn End gardens.
If you’re a keen gardener, or someone who enjoys an amble outdoors in pretty surroundings, or a parent who wants to enchant thier children with a real experiential garden, with water features here, formal planting there, nooks, crannies, unexpected vistas, I’d really recommend you go. It’s that special. The garden is about an acre but somehow feels much bigger. You can meander for ages in the separate areas, it’s really magical.
The house is not usually open to the public – the last time was many years ago – but it’s a wonderful space filled with original Sixties furniture (see photos below). The house and gardens were designed together, rather than the garden as a lawned afterthought so there’s a real flow and synchronicity between the two.
The house and gardens are open on Sunday afternoon, from 2-5.30pm. Please note there is a cost to enter, it’s £10 per person – not an insignificant amount but worth it in my opinion.
If you manage to go, please let us know what you think – write in the comment box below. Go on, I won’t bite!
Sunday 30 June 2 -5.30pm, Turn End, Townside, Haddenham, Aylesbury, HP17 8BG. Tickets £10.00 per person. Home-made teas sold in support of Christian Aid; Plant and book sales; open studio of artist in residence Heather Hunter; open gallery of Paul Wilkinson Photography
Access: On street parking on Townside or adjoining roads with consideration for neighbours; 10 minute walk from Haddenham & Thame railway station.