Letter: In an English country garden

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The Independent Online
I HOPE that you will publish this letter to recognise the contribution of E Guy Dawber to the garden at Burnt Norton ('On a walk in Old Possum's wood', Review, 29 May). Guy Dawber was an architect who refurbished the house and replanned the garden between 1902-04 for the Fifth Earl. The Harrowby archive contains some of his drawings, including a garden plan.

The yew walk and rose garden were his creations, the former as an evocation of the antiquity of the site. The rectangular and semi-circular pools existed in their current position in the 1760s and other documents in the archive suggest that Dawber either modified his plan to recreate the past or uncovered the remains of the pools.

The round pond in the wood is a more likely location for the 'drained pool' in Eliot's poem. It can be reached through the wood from the yew walk and is surrounded by a circle of straggly yews, possibly a hedge previously, and hence mistaken for box. The trees still cast dappled shade on the concrete that does make it look very like water.

Sue Wood

Stroud, Gloucestershire

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