The Gibberd Rooms at The Gibberd Garden
Sir Frederick Gibberd bought the house at Marsh Lane, Harlow, in 1957, and being denied planning permission to demolish and rebuild it (located as it still is, in the green belt) he embarked on a radical transformation of the original building. The landscape character of the site, then largely a wilderness, consciously influenced the design of the remodelled house.
“When the house was rebuilt I extended it along the contours and replaced the hard red tiles by brown ones which have gathered moss. Now it sits more easily into the slope of the ground and from the top path only the roof is seen and this, with a stretch of the imagination, might be an earth mound.” (Sir Frederick, 1978)
This extension - housing a large and stylish living room, with full height picture windows overlooking his sublime garden - is now the home of the Gibberd Rooms, open to the public on timed entry on Sunday afternoons, from April to September each year.
The rooms are conserved as they looked in the 1960’s, with original furniture and fittings, including ephemera, objets d’art , models of some of Gibberd’s projects and his own library and archive. Expert volunteer guides are on hand to explain the rooms, and to give visitors an idea of Sir Frederick and Lady Gibberd’s life.
“Theories on garden design abound but it all rests on the imagination. Ben Weaver, a retired mason, used to help me and he would say “Come vision it, mister.” “Visioning” is what it all comes down to in the end.” (Sir Frederick, 1978)
By pass only (obtainable at the shop) £1 (no concession) all children free
TL 483125 51.79169 0.14987
From M11, jct 7 take the A414 to Harlow. Go through 3 roundabouts and turn right at 4th onto B183 (brown signposted Gibberd Garden). Go through 2 more roundabouts and at end of long straight road turn left onto single lane.
- Baby changing facilities
- Disabled toilets
- Education/study area
- Facilities for groups
- Facilities for educational visits
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Wheelchairs available
- Accepts groups
- Facilities for conferencing
- Children welcome
- Dogs accepted