14th May 15

Yew can Sea Shells

Our gardeners all do a magnificent job throughout the gardening calendar and we are privileged to enjoy their horticultural expertise everywhere we go around the Adlington Hall grounds. Jonathan Barton, a member of our gardening team also has another very special talent. He spectacularly ‘chainsaw carves’ and hand finishes hardwood pieces into imaginative, creative sculptures.

One of his eye-catching works of art is now on display that will further enhance your visit. An ancient Yew tree unfortunately succumbed to powerful gales in January 2007, not far from the Shell cottage in the Wilderness, but luckily far enough! Jonathan has skilfully carved part of this tree into a pair of outstanding organic Yew Shells, inspired by our Shell Cottage, in which they are now on display for you to come see.

The Shell Cottage, one of the many follies at Adlington Hall, was meticulously restored inside by Blott Kerr-Wilson in 2013, who possess a wonderful eye for detail and precision. It is an absolute must see on your walk around the Wilderness! Generations of the Legh Family had covered the interior with a multitude of interesting shells they had collected on their travels and thus became our famous Shell Cottage.

The beautiful grain of Yew tree wood is perfect for sculpture and the results are simply stunning. So in honour of the great tree and the enjoyment it has given to generations over the centuries, the wood was collected, seasoned and stored ready for its new use. When ready, the timber was then beautifully carved into these wonderful organic shells. The tree is sadly gone, but will live on in another form, (delete ‘as art’) for future generations to enjoy and wonder at. But please don’t rely on the photographs, the Shell Cottage and carvings have to be seen to be appreciated.


Written by Lisa Jones, Caretaker


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