The Summerhouse at Sarsden Glebe

Our clients were developing a walled garden within an eighteenth century Repton landscape. They wanted a shelter by the tennis court, somewhere for light refreshments, somewhere for an entire day’s entertainment. The shelter had to be of a unique design, an eye-catcher to fit within this historic estate. A rustic thatched summerhouse would keep within the traditions of the “picturesque” using natural materials. The conical shape of the roof against the skyline would draw the eye without offence. An octagonal shape was chosen, five closed sides to give protection from the elements, three open to allow easy access to the lawns and tennis courts. The floor was made from larch and yew roundels making a traditional rustic floor softer than brick or stone. A small sink was fitted in the oak work tops. The walls were made from eleven inch oak boards showing strength. This was softened with willow wand work cloaking joints, forming arches and willow cabling decorating the front pillars. Some willow work looked intricate but an overall simplicity was achieved. An arched alcove displayed china, while the cupboards concealed the fridge, waste bin and other essentials.