Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Pulhamite

James Pulham & Son. Photo Credit: Alan Bishop & Associates
Pulhamite is one of those great Victorian and Edwardian garden obsessions that  I mentioned earlier in the yearThere has now appeared a new book dedicated to the subject: Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy by Claude Hitching (with photography by Jenny Lilly) and and a review by the esteemed garden historian Dr Brent Elliott is printed in the Winter 2012 issue of Garden History (the Journal of the Garden History Society).
Rock Garden at Madresfield Court.  Photo Credit: The Pulham Legacy
The review is available to read on the fascinating website entitled The Pulham Legacy which is run by the author and dedicated to the product and its inventors.

Rock Garden & Boathouse at Sandringham.  Photo Credit: The Pulham Legacy
But in briefPulhamite was a patented anthropic rock 'material' invented by James Pulham (1820-98).  James was a skilled stone-modeller but also developed a new material, a cement concoction which looks like a gritty sandstone. 

He also developed the technique of using his concoction - which became know as Pulhamite - to created very natural-looking, but artificial rocks from heaps of old bricks and rubble covered in Pulhamite, and ‘sculpted’ to imitate the colour and texture of natural stone. 

The Waterfall, Madeira Road in Ramsgate.  Photo Credit: Michael's Bookshop 
















The biggest use of these artificial rocks was in the construction of ornamental rockeries and rock gardens, which became a huge fashion in the last quarter of the 19th century and up until the First World War.  
The Western Chine in Ramsgate.  Photo Credit: RamsgateHistory.com
Other features constructed from Pulhamite included ferneries, caves and grottoes as well as fountains and other garden ornaments.

And if you have Pulhamite in need of repair, Alan Bishop & Associates is one of the UK's leading experts on the repair and renovation of Pulham rockwork.

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