Redwood Lodge Farm, Cambridgeshire
Bidwells was instructed to collate and examine manuscripts and secondary source information, including historic maps to determine the development, evolution and significance of Redwood Lodge Farm, as well as its possible role as an incidental element in an 18th century landscape scheme, associated with Kimbolton Castle and the Dukes of Manchester.
What we did
- Comprehensive research into location and extent of documentary evidence, and review of the appropriate sources.
- Researched the historical implication of the site, with particular reference to the association with the Dukes of Manchester at Kimbolton Castle, who sold Redwood Lodge Farm in 1918 as a result of gambling debts accrued by the 9th Duke.
- Tasked to determine the aesthetic, architectural and historic significance of the unlisted farm buildings, distorted by later additions, which are 18th century in origin, but which have been beset by misfortune: a fire in the main house in the 1930s rendered it uninhabitable.
- Considered the possibility that the site was incorporated into a landscape scheme as an ‘eye-catcher’ devised by Joseph Spence when he was working at the Kimbolton Castle Estate in the 1740s, particularly because Spence is known for his development of the ferme ornée in the 18th century, and because there is precedent for the contrivance: the 17th century Grade II* listed Warren House, re-built possibly to designs by Vanbrugh, was utilised as a folly in a devised composition associated with the Castle.
- Production of initial heritage report comprising an overview of the site.
- Archival research has uncovered estate maps in the collection of Lady Sparrow which demonstrate the extent of the farmstead in the 19th century.
- The development of the site has been described in an initial heritage report.
- The project is ongoing.