between The Old Medicine House and Toad Hall

The Labyrinth


Donations will help us to
  • maintain The Old Medicine House
  • promote research
  • create educational opportunities
  • support young scholars and craftsmen

If you would like to support us with a donation, you can do so through PayPal on this page or fill in the donation form.

Your donation will be acknowledged in the list of benefactors, unless you would prefer to remain anonymous.

Bequests to The Blackden Trust are free from Inheritance Tax.

We are grateful for the support of our benefactors:

Bertram Rota Ltd
Charles Brindley
Mary H. Burns
Phillip Day
Roger and Sally Dyke
Adam Garner
Alan Garner
Joseph Garner
Gerd Gerhard
Rachel Giles
Derek Hardacre
Roger Hill
Andrew Jones
Chris Lynch
Tom McCartney
Colin Mann
Duncan and Catherine McCubbin
The Mid-Cheshire Gooseberry Societies
Eric and Shirley Morten
Newsdesk Media
Michael Peach
Peter Plummer
Janet E. Rawstrone
Patsy Roynon
Harold and Margaret Smith

and those that wish to remain anonymous


More about some of our benefactors

Phillip Day sent us a set of vinyl long-playing records of The Stone Book Quartet to be used to further the work of the Trust in whatever way the Trustees think fit.  This was a most encouraging donation as it was the first gift from someone who did not have a previous link with any of the Trustees.

The record of Granny Reardun

The record of Granny Reardun, one of the complete set of recordings of all four books of The Stone Book Quartet, donated by Phillip Day


The Garner family photograph that precipitated the writing of The Stone Book Quartet

The Garner family photograph that precipitated the writing of
The Stone Book Quartet

Adam Garner has donated his grandfather's
gooseberry scales.


Alan Garner has bequeathed his home to the Trust.


Joseph Garner donated and installed a wireless router. Students and volunteers can now add their findings to the resources of the Trust with greater efficiency.


Gerd Gerhard donated one of his paintings to be raffled after Alan Garner's talk at Goosfest 2009 to raise funds for The Blackden Trust. He has also very kindly given us permission to reproduce three paintings he made of Toad Hall and The Old Medicine House, when he brought his Art Group here in the summer of 2009.


Gooseberry scales

Gooseberry scales



Toad Hall

Gerd Gerhard's paintings

The Old Medicine House


Boys demolishing a television set!

Children playing while Salford is demolished.  The church in the background is one of the ways
to the land of Elidor.
Photograph Roger Hill 1962

In 1962, Roger Hill and Alan Garner worked on an article together about the culture of the north and were taken round Salford by the painter, Harold Riley. Roger took photographs of children playing in the streets as their back-to-back homes were being demolished around them. Thirty-six of these photographs were shown in an exhibition.

Alan used the desolation of the slum clearance in his novel Elidor. Roger and Alan also collaborated on two photographic picture books Holly From The Bongs and The Old Man of Mow. In 2006, Roger gave the photographs to Alan and asked him to find an appropriate permanent home for them. Alan approached his friend, Eric Morten the antiquarian bookseller, who offered the photographs to Manchester Metropolitan University, where they now form part of the archive of the history of Salford.

Chris Lynch has donated three items of the owl service pottery.  They are an exquisite gilded sepia version of the design, which is much more delicate than the gilded green version that provoked the writing of The Owl Service in 1960.  Alan Garner has been trying to discover who created the design for over forty years, but it took Chris Lynch's determined sleuthing to tie it down to Christopher Dresser.  Between 1862 and 1904, Dresser worked for Minton, Wedgwood, Watcombe, Linthorpe, Old Hall and Ault potteries.

We are particularly delighted with this gift, as it was the serialisation of The Owl Service by Granada TV that gave Alan Garner the chance to take on the Old Medicine House, and that eventually led to the formation of The Blackden Trust.  This gift is a most delicious grace note.

The owl service plate, serving dish and sauceboat, with its lid and saucer

The owl service plate, serving dish and sauceboat,
with its lid and saucer donated by Chris Lynch

The owls are flying

The owls are flying

Tom McCartney and Derek Hardacre, both members of the Goostrey Gooseberry Society, have donated and planted cuttings of Blackden Gem, Millennium, Montrose and Just Betty. These four cultivars are now growing in soil that was once tended by Frank Carter.

Blackden Gem Just Betty Millennium Montrose

From these twigs, great gooseberries grow

Duncan and Catherine McCubbin donated an electric cooker for the kitchen in The Old Medicine House.

Eric and Shirley Morten donated the fee they received from The Manchester Metropolitan University for the collection of 36 mounted black and white photographs.

Newdesk Media donated the design and printing of our leaflet.

Michael Peach, the architect responsible for the dismantling, repair and re-erection of The Old Medicine House made many drawings of both Toad Hall and The Old Medicine House, during the course of the three years he spend on the project. He has donated the original drawings and all the instructions, reports and correspondence he had with everybody connected to the endeavour .

Peter Plummer left a bequest to Alan and Griselda Garner, which they used to create the labyrinth in the space that physically separates, but visually unites the two buildings. Peter was a much-loved friend and the director of The Owl Service for Granada Television.  In April 2008, forty years after the series was made, a DVD of The Owl Service was released.

Visitors dancing the labyrinth

Visitors dancing the labyrinth


DVD of The Owl Service

DVD of The Owl Service

(Image reproduced by permission
of Network DVD)

Mrs Janet E Rawstrone kindly sent a donation after reading about the founding of the Trust in a national newspaper.

Patsy Roynon, whose friendship with Griselda Garner stretches back to their school days, has most generously donated The Old Medicine House to The Blackden Trust. This gift secures the future of the building by protecting it from insensitive development and transfers a valuable asset to the Trust.

Printed on: 30 Sep 2020

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