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10 – Barnsley Chronicle, Friday, April 12, 2013

To advertise telephone (01226) 734666

Homes & Gardens

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Gardening: good things come in small packages...

I Images of Middlewood Hall, Darfield.

WHETHER you have a balcony or a handkerchief size backyard, the tiniest outdoor space can be transformed into a great garden. As long as your patch gets some daylight, you can find plants that will grow and give you pleasure all year round. I Scaled-down trees: Holly, bay, First of all decide what you want from Portuguese laurel, Japanese your garden – do you want to grow food maples. or colourful flowers that are aestheticalI Scaled-down shrubs: Lavender, ly pleasing? rosemary, genista, hebe, You might have room for a single fruit epacris varieties. tree, a small vegetable area, or at the I Shade specials: Iris, all ferns, very least a few fresh herbs on a winhostas, lily of the valley, dowsill which you can use in the primroses. kitchen. Natural soil helps but is not I Other: Repeating perennials for essential. Pots filled with potting compost can be just as good. long season. Dahlias, some An interesting variety of plants can be salvias, some hardy geraniums, grown in pots, even shrubs and trees. and phygelius. Trees can add height, helping to make a small garden look bigger. This is an important aim and clever designs can create the impression of more space than there really is. If you only have a balcony to work in, try to produce a tiered effect. Make sure there are taller plants at the back, and pots graduated in size to the smallest at the front, making sure the plants you grow in them correspond in size. Talk to your garden centre about how big individual plants will grow if you are not sure. If you have a tiny plot outside you can use screens, fences and archways to give the illusion of different areas in the garden. The smaller the garden, the more careful you have to I Even a tiny be with your plant selection. garden can Small trees and clipped or grow lovely shapely shrubs give a good flowers, vegetastructure, plenty of in-fill bles or fruit. plants give a base to the garden and a small selection of specimen plants can give you a dramatic display at FENCE STAINING & DECKING RESTORATION different times of the year. Using professional spraying machines

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Play your part in this striking hall’s history idden away down a private lane in Darfield stands Middlewood Hall, an impressive mansion house dating back to 1390. Over the years the grand property has been home to many wealthy families, perhaps the most well-known being the Taylors, a family of linen manufacturers. In the 1880s the family’s factory ‘Taylors Mill’ in Peel Street employed more than 800 people and was the largest mill in Barnsley at the time. Thomas Taylor bought the Middlewood Hall estate

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in 1845 following the death of George Skilbeck Maude who inherited the property from his father, but died from tuberculosis aged just 26. Middlewood Hall remained in the Taylor family until 1970, being passed on from one generation to the next. During their time at the estate the Taylors became well known for their love of cricket and polo. Records show the hall was later bought by professional photographers, the Wainwrights, before being converted into private dwellings in 1980 when the property was bought by developers. The main house was split into three dwellings with two taking up the owner’s living quarters and a third developed in what would have been the servants’ quarters and kitchens. Michael Harlow, 39, and his family currently live in one of the properties that would have formed part of the main living quarters. “We bought the house in 2001 – we were attracted by the uniqueness of the property,” said Michael. “You’ve got to be in it to really appreciate it. “When we came to view it we loved how individual it was and all the history that came with it.” Since moving in, the FREE QUOTES Harlows have continued Block paving, Drives,

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to maintain and care for the ageing property, modernising fixtures and fittings and decorating throughout whilst remaining sympathetic to the hall’s past. Original features remain throughout including ornate coving, decorative windows and wooden shutters. The reception hall provides a fascinating introduction to the four-bedroomed property with fancy plaster work and an original sweeping staircase rising to first and second floors. On the ground floor the lounge is perhaps the most impressive room with high ceiling, grand arches and a large bay window with French doors to the rear garden, beyond which is green belt open countryside providing stunning panoramic views. The master en suite bedroom, with an equally impressive bay window, and guest en suite bedroom are located on the first floor, while a further two bedrooms and bathroom are found on the second floor, featuring original wooden beams and trusses. Old framed photographs of the hall hang around the house offering clues to its past. Michael points out one which is believed to show injured soldiers from the First World War recovering at the hall. It’s also thought prisoners of war were once held at the Middlewood estate. After enjoying 12 years at Middlewood Hall the Harlows are moving on, giving another family the opportunity to play a part in the hall’s history. Michael said: “We have loved living here, it’s been a really great experience and a fantastic place for our boys to grow up.” Middlewood Hall is on the market with Fine and Country for £558,000 I With thanks to Darfield History Society.

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Homes & Gardens Feature - 12th April 2013 (Week 15)