Wolf's Cove

Work is currently underway to restore the imaginary fishing village of Wolf’s Cove which previously stood around the large pool at Snowshill Manor.

National Trust SW reports in May 2013:

Snowshill has a lost village called Wolf’s Cove which will be excavated this year. It will then be completely reconstructed based on documents and archaeological evidence.

Quirky and true to Snowshill’s spirit of place. Wolf’s Cove was a model village with canals, harbour and railway created and developed into the 1930s and then removed in the 1970s.

The World of Wolf’s Cove:

Whilst living in Hampstead, Charles Wade built one of the first model villages designed for use outdoors, based on a Cotswold village, which he called ‘Fladbury’. Later, when laying out the gardens at Snowshill, he incorporated the village but changed it’s name to ‘Wolf’s Cove’ and added a port. The name was taken from a hulk he had seen  and sketched in Ipswich harbour.

An article in Our homes and Gardens in 1920 describes it in detail; ‘The river meanders through a pleasant meadow…. Here a punt is moored to the landing stage…. A watchman stands all day to prevent fishing in these preserves.’ In English Journey (1934) J. B. Priestley recorded his pleasure at seeing the village; ‘The miniature seaport…. has a proper harbour in one of the ponds of the garden. It has its quay, its fleet of ships, its lighthouse, its railway system with station, sidings and all, its inn, main street and side streets, thatched cottages and actual living woods.’

John Betjeman endowed the village with real characters to such good effect that his article about it in The Architectural Review (1931) persuaded at least one reader that the village really did exist!*

The building you can see in the last photograph is the roof-space of the Sancta Maria Byre. Wade converted this into a small room which he called ‘The Jolly Roger’.  Jolly Roger was intended to be part of the seaport of Wolf’s Cove, with the pond in front containing the ocean. In summer Wade used this cabin as a bedroom and would plunge into the pool every morning for a bracing wash.

Wolf's Cove

The Jolly Roger

*From the Snowshill Manor guidebook 2010 edition.

10 Comments CherryPie on Jul 23rd 2014

10 Responses to “Wolf’s Cove”

  1. ubermouth says:

    I love miniature villages.

  2. Jane says:

    I love Snowshill, especially the setting. You have some nice pictures Cheri.

    • CherryPie says:

      Thank you :-) Snowshill is a fascinating place. I have to confess it is the garden and the garden features and buildings that draw me back…

  3. Amfortas says:

    What a pleasant spot. I am not sure about the bracing plunge but a gentle splash about would be nice in that garden.

    • CherryPie says:

      It is a beautiful spot and a beautiful garden. I am quite sure that I would not like that bracing morning plunge!!

      I would much prefer to sit on one of the nearby benches ;-)

  4. james higham says:

    Cherie, how do you fit all this knowledge in? Surely some of it falls out the other side?

  5. He he.. This is like the Legoland. :)