. . The Book

A brief Survey of the main Features and Contents of

Rock Landscapes – The Pulham Legacy


James Pulham and Son are mostly remembered today as the eminent firm of Victorian and Edwardian landscape artists who constructed picturesque rock gardens from both natural and artificial stone.    But that is only part of the story told in this easily accessible book by Claude Hitching – five of whose ancestors worked for them as ‘rock builders’.

This highly-acclaimed book contains:

  • A Foreword by Mavis Batey, Vice President and Past President of the Garden History Society, and extract from which is given below
  • A brief background history of James Pulham and Son
  • An overview of Pulhams’ Manufactory, and examples of some of the wonderful terracotta garden ornaments produced there.
  • Reviews of more than 40 of the most prestigious Pulham gardens and Parks that still exist today, including those at Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Waddesdon Manor, Madresfield Court, Dewstow, Friar Park etc.
  • Stunning photographs taken by Jenny Lilly, the professional garden photograoher.
  • A Chronological Gazetteer of all known Pulham sites.
  • A superb production by The Antique Collectors’ Club.

Click on the Cover Image to go to the ‘Buy the Book’ Page

Read what other people say by clicking on the buttons below:


The following is an extract from the Foreword contributed by

Mavis Batey,  Vice-President and Former President of the Garden History Society
Mavis Batey, Vice-President and Former President of the Garden History Society

‘Claude Hitching must be congratulated for a book that gives the Pulhams a place in garden history.   He takes us on a journey through a remarkable number of gardens they created in Victorian and Edwardian England, beautifully illustrated every step of the way.   The story involves four generations of the Pulham family – all of them named James – who adapted their special inherited art of stone modelling to the many gardening fashions through which they lived, from picturesque rock gardens to formal, Italianate, Japanese and Edwardian ‘gardencraft’.

‘Where natural stone was not readily available, they coated heaps of rubble with cement, and modelled the surface to simulate the texture and colour of natural stone – this proprietary material becoming known as Pulhamite.   The craftsmen who did this work were known as ‘rock builders’, and Claude’s dedication to this story springs from the fact that no fewer than five of his ancestors worked for the Pulham firm in that capacity.

‘The second James Pulham also set up his own Manufactory in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, in which he produced an extensive range of ornamental garden ware including urns, vases, balustrades, sundials and fountains in terra cotta – and sometimes also in Pulhamite.   He exhibited selections of his wares at the Great Exhibition of 1851 – Prince Albert’s rallying point for the Victorian age, uniting ‘industry and art.’


2 thoughts on “. . The Book

  1. I would definately interested in buying this book at the pre-publication special price. Please let me know ASAP what the special price will be and when I can order. Cheers. Ian.

    1. Great to hear from you, Ian. The RRP of the book will be £35, but you will be able to order it via my website when it becomes available. All orders will go through automatically to the publishers website for fulfilment, and they normally offer 20% discount. Keep an eye on the site for further details.
      Claude H

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