These listed structures were installed by the new Lord of the Manor, Coles-Child, as part of his restoration and modernisation of the old Bishop’s Palace. The English Heritage listing is It is a good and little-altered example of the artificial rock work (Pulhamite) produced in the mid-C19 by James Pulham’s firm, and it sits within a little-altered mid-C19 landscape setting, at the end of a lake and amidst trees..
Pulhams had invented an early form of concrete, which looks quite convincingly like rocks – but was much easier to install the shapes and forms that customer’s wanted.
The basic structure was constructed from brickwork, and then the artisan would put a rendering of ‘pulhamite’ over the top, putting in rock-like layers and shapes as he plastered the render on. Top of the range installations had fossils incorporated.
The Palace Park boasts the Rockery – a cascade structure out of the moat – and a fernery, which had little scoops in, for planting. The fernery is situated on the spring line behind the little brick pool marking St Blaise’s well.