Cresswell Pele Tower Walled Garden

The bothy during restoration. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
One of the rows of holes within the walled garden north-facing wall. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
The view from the top of the pele tower looking northwards along Druridge Bay. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020

Recently we visited the site of Cresswell Pele Tower to see how the restoration of the tower, bothy and walled garden is progressing. Barry Mead, who is leading the project on behalf of the local community, gave us a tour and told us about an interesting discovery that he made in the walled garden after a huge amount of the vegetation had been cleared. The high walls of the garden would not only have provided protection from the cold North Sea winds, but would have absorbed the sun’s heat during the day and released it at night to allow a greater range of plants to be grown. In order to assist with this further, a number of small openings had been inserted into the high, north-facing stone wall, as the photo above shows, and would have had small fires lit within them to increase the temperature of the air within the garden. These small square holes, which have long since been blocked up, appear in vertical rows of three along the entire length of the wall. This would have allowed the residents of Cresswell Hall, which was built around 1821, to enjoy warm-weather-loving fruits and vegetables such as figs, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and some species of apple and pear.

Archaeological Research Services Ltd