Euridge Manor Farm
Euridge means ‘ridge with yews’, and it is a farm high on the hills to the north and east of Bath. It was ‘a two overcoat farm’, always a few degrees colder than anywhere around, a farmstead high above a distant church, besieged by swallows in summer; it looks like the cover of a 1940s Batsford book about the English countryside. Architecturally it was quite humble and the architect Nigel Coates - who designed the Jigsaw shop in Knightsbridge which should have been listed rather than sadly demolished - once told me, not knowing with whom he spoke, that it was quite a nice little old farm before those maniacs got hold of John and ruined it. Well we certainly had fun ruining it. We enjoyed ourselves imagining and building with a direct labour force an amalgam between a Tuscan hilltop garden and Northanger Abbey. Together with John we indulged all our fantasies, shell grotto work, stone from the very ground at Euridge was turned into columns doors and windows and floors. Walled gardens, terraces, steps, water tanks, a mound called ‘The Tump’ made from the excavations. Romantic, scented, productive, it is connected yet enclosed in its stunning situation. This garden is playful, a party place - which was what John asked for and which he now shares with great delight, hiring it out most lucratively for weddings and parties.