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.
ARREST FOR KICKING FIRE-BALL ON GUNPOWDER PLOT ANNIVERSARY
Cantankerous Austin Barnett was the archetypal neighbour from hell. Bigamist, pugilist and landlord of Church Street's Sun and Railway Inn, he gardened in Waterfurlong on and off for ten years during the late 19th century and had first come to the attention of the courts as a teenager in 1865:
'Two disturbances of the peace on the anniversary of the "Gunpowder Plot" - a man named Stokes, ostler at the Crown Inn, and Austin Barnett, a boy of 14 - appeared before the borough magistrates on Saturday. Stokes brought some burning straw into Red Lion-square, and Barnett was seen kicking a fire-ball in Crown-lane. The offenders were admonished and discharged.' Lincolnshire Chronicle 23 November (1)