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By Haddenham Webteam - 13th July 2016 10:30am
On Sunday 10th July the great and the good plus friends and supporters, gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of Turn End in Haddenham — the unique group of three houses and beautiful gardens designed and crafted by the award winning local architect Peter Aldington, with considerable and help and support by his wife, Margaret.
Peter Aldington's three village houses (The Turn, Middle Turn, Turn End) off Townside in Haddenham, were designed and built in the 1960s, with Peter and Margaret doing much of the building work themselves. They received a Royal Institute of British Architects Award for Architecture in 1970.
On 15th July 1998, the three buildings were added to the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. This was upgraded to II* in 2006, one of only a handful of post war houses at this grade. Peter currently has nine listed buildings to his credit.
In 1998 the Aldington family and a group of trustees formed Turn End Charitable Trust to ensure the continuing maintenance and use of the garden and buildings for the benefit of the community as a local asset.
Turn End's garden, designed and made by Peter as a natural extension to the house, grew with the buildings, maturing into an internationally renowned garden, gaining publicity through television programmes, and the many articles that have been written about it.
The Aldingtons still live at Turn End, Middle Turn is lived in by Virginia (with partner Martin), daughter of its original owners John & Betty Landon, while The Turn is currently let.
At the 50th anniversary celebrations, all three houses and the gardens were open to invited guests and the occasion was marked by short presentations from VIP guests:
John Creaser, friend of Peter's from the 1950s when they met while doing their military service, part-time member of the original building team at Turn End, and with his wife Hazel the first owner of The Turn;
Jane Brown, writer and specialist in landscape design, author of the book A Garden and Three Houses about the Turn End cluster. Jan is currently working on a book on Capability Brown;
Steve Sharp, long-standing resident of Haddenham, Parish Councillor, coordinator of the local Library and editor of Haddenham Museum's series The Haddenham Chronicles, and former Bucks Education Officer;
Elain Harwood of Historic England and formerly of English Heritage, author of Space, Hope and Brutalism (2015), one place among others where she writes appreciatively of Peter's work;
Virginia Samuda, on behalf of Richard Murphy, award winning British architect and broadcaster, consistent admirer and advocate of Peter's, a past Trustee and a current Patron of the Trust.
Fittingly, the formalities were concluded when Peter and Margaret were presented with a 50th Anniversary cake!