Pre-Endorsements

The following Pre-Endorsements were received by Claude at the commencement of his research into the lives and work of James Pulham and Son:

 

‘The place of the Pulham firm at the forefront of rockwork construction – an element of gardening as popular now as in the later 19th to early 20th century, when the firm was most active – surely makes this an ideal subject for a very saleable volume with an appeal including (but far beyond the confines of) the interests of the ‘garden history’ world.   From the conservation side, too, such a work would find a very valuable niche, since there has been little coverage, to date, of the subject.   An authoritative publication would thus be warmly welcome.’

Dr Harriet Jordan, ex-Head of Designed Landscapes, English Heritage

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‘The story of the real self-made Victorian entrepreneurs in the Pulham firm – who won a medal at the Great Exhibition, followed by Royal Commissions – will be of great interest to social historians, as well as architectural and garden historians.   The expertise and craftsmanship of their modelling led on to the creation of simulated natural materials which would add a new dimension to gardening – the Pulham structural rockwork, with geological effects, was much more spectacular for garden design than the rockeries which were mere backgrounds for Alpine plants, since it could be used for dramatic effect in the fashionable ferneries, conservatories and aquaria.   The use of artificial stone must also have been a great conservation boon, in that it provided an alternative to gardeners to pilfering limestone pavements and cliffs for their rockeries.   A book bringing together the techniques and skills of the Pulham firm, with good illustrations of the important examples of their work still to be seen today would be of great interest.’

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

(Note:   A short extract from Mavis Batey’s Foreword to this book can be found under the ‘Draft Reviews‘ tag.)

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‘I sincerely hope that the leads with which I have provided you will prove productive, and that they will contribute to what will hopefully be a milestone in our understanding of the history of the Pulham company and its techniques.   May I confirm that The National Trust is certainly very interested in seeing a book published on the work of Pulham, particularly as we have a number of sites where the rockwork is still to be seen.   Hopefully your proposed book will provide us with a greater understanding of how the rockwork was constructed and how it might be conserved, so that the Trust can meet its long-term conservation objectives where this rockwork is found.’

Mike Calnan, Head of Gardens, National Trust

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