Our Heritage

Our Heritage of gardening tools and associated equipment comprises over 90 items. Here are two examples, but do also explore the rest on our touchscreens in the Bleasdale Room of the Visitor Centre.


There is every possibility that this trough was cast at one of the many foundries in Warwickshire.  Look closely and you will see that it was sold by A B Wylie of Warwick. They had a large shop in Market Place, Warwick, and sold a vast range of hardware.

Donated by John Pickering, a farmer from Leyend Farm, Beausale, near Warwick.  John visited the gardens a number of times and supported the conservation we were doing.  He died a number of years ago but his family have donated a number of items to Hill Close Gardens.


A very rare tool produced in Warwick at the Eagle Engineering Works, now Dennis Eagle. It is a multi-purpose tool, capable of hoeing, weeding, cultivating, levelling, tilth production etc. For some reason, it does not seem to have been a success but it works well on the light soil at Hill Close Gardens.

Our Heritage of garden machinery comprises over 40 items, some very rare. We are particularly proud of our lawnmowers. These played an important part in our Gardens story, because once our Victorian owners had a mown lawn the families could play tennis, clock golf, or croquet.

Here is one lawmower to whet your appetite.

Do explore all the other fascinating and evocative machines in detail on our touchscreens in the Bleasdale Room of the Visitor Centre.

JP Minor Lawnmower

This 9″ cylinder mower was the smallest in the range made by Jerram and Pearson in Leicester. This example is believed to date from the 1950s and remained in the ownership of one family from new.

Kindly donated by J. Caunt from Braunston,  in August 2017.

Rosemary Mitchell recently acquired this superb collection of the memorabilia of Mr George Oldroyd, who was a Victorian Chemist and Druggist in Halifax. She has kindly made it available to the Trust. The main components are labels advertising products for sale, notebooks full of recipes, and individual labels for ingredients and how to use them. We plan to create a new herbal border in Plot 12, featuring many of Mr Oldroyd’s plants. This plot is beautifully appropriate. It was from 1878 to 1974 owned by a prominent Warwick druggist, Henry Pratt and later his family. Find out more on our touchscreens in the Bleasdale Room of the Visitor Centre.

Left to right:
Mr George Oldroyd, and a calling card of his.
Two recipes, typical of what his notebooks reveal. Would his recipe proved efficacious against Cholera?
Equally, Sarsaparilla was believed to be a good treatment for syphilis. Other options for the naughty young men of Halifax might have been lethal.

We have a comprehensive horticultural library of over 120 volumes, accumulated over years by donations, covering the period 1773 to 1970, but most 1850 to 1940. Some of them are very rare.

Where possible we might be able to make books from our library available for researchers to examine in the Visitor Centre. This would be subject to the availability of a volunteer to deal with requests. So please contact the Centre Manager in advance. Unfortunately books cannot be loaned out.

The complete library list is available here.