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.

The Journal is available to members at the monthly meetings. Non-members can buy a copy on Amazon - Panorama 54.


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.