Wallace at The Dell
A National Campaign to preserve Wallace's house and gardens in Grays
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The latest edition of Panorama - the Journal of the Thurrock Local History Society - was published on 10th December 2015. It contains an article by Alan Leyin, Wallace's "Welsh Valley" ... and a Private Victorian Pleasure Garden. When Wallace bought his Grays property and built The Dell, his neighbours were Alfred and Thomas Sturgeon. On their property (The Elms) they had built their own pleasure gardens in a worked out chalk quarry that may have been a partial inspiration for Wallace.
In 1871, William Palin (Rector of
the nearby parish of Stifford) published his local history work -
Stifford and its Neighbours. In it, he described the
garden at The Elms as "a fairy land with its deep and picturesque ravine
and pleasure ground". Wallace's "Welsh Valley" included what was later
described as "a curious cave with water laid on to form a dripping
well". When the Friends of Wallace at The Dell and the Thurrock Local
History Society were able to look at what remains of the "fairy land" at
The Elms, they discovered it too had a "curious cave" and what appeared
to be a water cascade.
We would like to involve as many Thurrock people as possible in our Wallace
project. If you would like to volunteer to be part of this project,
please contact the Thurrock Local History Society.
You can e-mail: JohnMatthews@thurrock-history.org.uk.