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the history of Leyton and Leytonstone
from . dot to … dots – with plenty of spaces
landscaped grounds and gardens
In 1720 the Rev John Strype praised the extensive gardens of the ‘Great House’ "the magnificent and beautiful seat of Sir Fisher Tench, Bart., adorned with large and most delightful gardens, plantations, walks, groves, mounts, summerhouses, and pleasant canals, stored with fish and fowl, and curious vistoes for prospect" 1 . The house may have been built after Sir Fisher’s father Nathaniel Tench died in 1710.
A map drawn of the area by John Roque 1741-45 shows the ‘Great House facing what became Leyton High Road and quite close to it, but with a long vista to the rear, facing south-east, forming a T with another length of grass at right-angles (extended by an avenue of trees to the north-east and a shorter avenue to the south-west). Behind the cross-avenue was a straight canal of water, and as another T shape an arm of water extended the vista from the house to a circular pond (beyond which there was another avenue of trees). To the left of the view from the house was a parterre of planted beds divided by paths in a geometric pattern. There is no sign of the softer, curvilinear semi-natural style of landscape design developed by William Kent and others.