Hyde Hall

Hyde Hall Garden Notes

George Clarke was well versed in gardening and landscape architecture and held an extensive library of literary and trade sources on the topics.  The gardens at Hyde Hall were re-developed several times, beginning with items for practical use and then turning to a mix that included more ornamental plants and flowers.  Clarke also invested in apple orchards on the estate and experimented with other types of fruit trees as well.

The Hyde Hall gardens were located on the grounds on what is currently the parking pavilion for Glimmerglass State Park, just below the location of the family vault.  There was a garden house in this area and a fountain in the center.   The archived receipts show that the Clarkes  purchased decorative plants and flowers, fruit trees, and a number of items presumably used as supply for household meals.

A few drawings of the Garden Plans are below:

Plan of Garden CLR 37sm Revised Garden Plan CLR p 40sm


Below are receipts from orders made in the early 1800’s, many of which are from the G. Thorburn Seed Company in New York City.  Grant Thorburn  became a seedsman in 1805. He struggled through discouragements, failures, and even (in 1808) bankruptcy, and ultimately made his seed business one of the greatest in the world.  You can read his ‘Life and Writings of Grant Thorburn’ work from the New York Public Library here.

For more about the gardens at Hyde Hall, see Executive Director, Jonathan Maney’s article in the Fall 2014 Newsletter “New York’s Oldest English Landscape Garden”.

Doc 4 A Garden seedsm


Doc 5 A 20 Apple_6 Plum_15 Pecan treessm

Document 1 A Bill for Garden Seeds-1sm

Document 2 A Garden Seeds_Thorburn NYsm

Source: Hyde Hall Cultural Landscape Report, 2011, William Neil Marzella.

A View of Hyde Hall from Tin Top Bridge

 A View of Hyde Hall From Tin Top
A View of Hyde Hall From Tin Top

A View of Hyde Hall from Tin-Top Bridge

Hyde Hall, East Springfield, New York

The original drive created by George Clarke (1768-1835) approached the house from the southeast, and the stable yard and the outbuildings were hidden from view.  By the 1860s his son, George Clarke, Jr. (1822-1889) altered the approach to the “back road” that connected Hyde Hall to the Home Farm. This remains the current approach to the house.

2012 Photograph by Michael Reynolds

Stone Arched Bridge

 Hyde Hall Arched Bridge on Mill Road
Hyde Hall Arched Bridge on Mill Road

Stone Arched Bridge

Mill Road, Springfield, New York

Built by Lorenzo Bates

Springfield, New York


In 1832 mason Lorenzo Bates (1786-1859) constructed a substantial stone bridge across Shadow Brook to serve the heavy loads of grain and lumber to and from the Clarke water powered mills which were located on either side of the bridge. George Clarke (1768-1835) planned a village at the mills similar to the Village of Hyde near the English Hyde Hall, but his heirs did not continue the development and all the buildings had disappeared by the 20th century.

2012 Photograph by Michael Reynolds

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