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The Plot Thickens

Hi, I’m Karen Meadows. Thank you for visiting The Plot Thickens.

I’m lucky enough to be the tenant of one of fifty large allotment gardens in the middle of the small and beautiful stone town of Stamford in England’s East Midlands. The gardens were first created by Brownlow Cecil, 4th Marquess of Exeter in the mid 1800s and their layout has remained virtually unchanged. Between the plots we have some 200 old apple trees, many of them rare varieties, and in 2017 Natural England awarded the gardens heritage orchard status.

Over the centuries at least 500 people have worked these plots. Follow our quest to discover who they were, what they grew, and what shenanigans they got up to. Be prepared for numerous diversions and musings along the way about gardening life here in our quiet (and occasionally not so quiet) little corner of Stamford.

If you haven’t discovered our website yet, do head over to Waterfurlong Orchard Gardens, where you will find a wealth of information about our gardens and gardeners, past and present.

And now for the small print...

The Plot Thickens is a non-commercial blog. All recommendations are based on personal preference and my own or our other gardeners’ own experience. Payments or free goods are not accepted in return for reviews of products and services. If an exception is made this will be clearly stated.

All words and images, unless otherwise credited, are my own. If you would like to copy text or images, I’d kindly ask that The Plot Thickens gets a positive mention and a link back to this blog.

Recent Posts

This Day In ... 1856


Policeman John Harrison was one of the earliest and most long-standing of our Victorian Waterfurlong gardeners and was seemingly always on hand when trouble broke out. The following bizarre incident occurred just before he was promoted to sergeant.

'Fred King was convicted of violently assaulting police-constable Harrison in his endeavour to quell a disturbance created by his mother, Susan Plowright: he was fined 10s and costs, which he paid. Susan Plowright was charged with gross assault upon PC Harrison, whose face was extremely disfigured by the defendant's nail. The woman's conduct was so violent that the force of three policemen was requisite to take her to the stationhouse, and she appeared before the Magistrates with the blood which had profusely fallen from Harrison in her attack on him on Saturday night still upon her face, as she declined to wash herself or allow anyone to wash her when in custody. The offence being fully proved, she was fined 31s and costs, and committed for 21 days' imprisonment with hard labour in default of payment. This virago was only released from gaol after imprisonment for several days on the 11th inst for a similar attack on PC Sanders.'(1)


(1) The Stamford Mercury 26 September 1856: British Newspaper Archive © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018

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