- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Ascog Hall Victorian Fernery
A fernery hidden by neglect is uncovered, and an ancient specimen along with it.
What the owners had discovered was a completely forgotten ruinous Victorian fernery of 1879. It was totally derelict, the roof having all but collapsed and the interior choked with trees and brambles. Miraculously, one large fern had survived - a huge specimen of Todea Barbara, with a rhizome about a metre in diameter and 3 metres high. It is still visible today and is said to be a thousand years old.
The basic structure is an L-shaped canyon excavated in a natural bank, and with a span roof of iron girders and glass at ground level. Thus, one enters the structure by going down steps as if into a grotto. This semi-burial in the ground allows the fernery to be unheated and yet be suitable for a wide range of sub-tropical vegetation.