The long garden had a substantial slope from top to
bottom and Bill set about terracing it with a series of terraces giving
level ground. The top level was laid out as a lawn with herbaceous
As this was the start of the Second World War the
opportunity was taken to include an air raid shelter under the lawn.
Many years later this was the place chosen to prospect for water, taking
scaffold poles and a derrick to raise and lower the pole to drill
downwards. He went down a substantial distance but never struck the
water he wanted, though there were other springs in the allotments at the
bottom of the garden, no doubt fed from the water coming from the hill on
which Wollescote is built.
The entrance to the shelter can be
seen on the right. One year there was the possibility of a
petrol shortage and he stashed away some jerrycans in the shelter.
Sensible to keep them away from the house but Darroll expected to be
woken some night by a great explosion!
On the next level were fruit trees and roses and the
lowest level was used to grow vegetables, though later had ornamental
trees and bushes. Darroll grew a sycamore tree from seed and this
was planted here. 30 years later it was a large tree.
The next level was ornamental and went though many
phases. Bill was keen on water features and had a system that
fed water from a store in the basement (built much later than the
original) down an open channel from stones in a cement base to feed a
fountain. The other half of this level eventually had an
ornamental pool with surrounding slabs.