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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone
from . dot to … dots – with plenty of spaces
landscaped grounds and gardens (continued)
By 1741-45 when John Roque was mapping the area its grounds were unimpressive. From front and back of the house stretched an avenue composed of double lines of trees. Slightly to the north of the front approach there was a roughly parallel avenue with single lines of trees. The straight-sided ornamental lake with an island has lost any visual connection with the House.
A map of 1728 by Richard Cushee seems to shows Ruckholt House surrounded by some ambitious landscaping of a kind carried out around Wanstead House about this time, but rather awkwardly done at Ruckholt. At the rear an avenue points towards the River Lea. Either there was an octagonal water basin and two rectangular pieces of water at rightangles to each other, or grass or planted beds equivalent to such features. An avenue to the right of the house links it to a straight-sided lake (a ‘canal’) with an island. The equivalent avenue to the left of the house is more open and was probably of immature trees. Only the front avenue of trees to the High Road was shown in Archer’s map of 1721. Benjamin Collyer seems to have carried out the landscaping including the lake with an island where Coronation Gardens is now. Collyer was MP for Grimsby 1722-1727, a merchant and brother-in-law of Robert Knight, the Cashier of the South Sea Company 1 . Knight’s son of the same name gained title to the manor of Ruckholt and sold it to the Tylney family.