This photo is one of the last ever to be taken of the beautiful Italian Gardens surrounding the Auchentibber Quoiting Green.
When J.B.H Struthers, owner of the nearby Auchentibber Inn died in January 1938, he was single and had no children. It is thought the Inn was demolished very shortly after his death, for it is not on the 1939 map. This photo dates from around that time and already you can see the effect of nature starting to take over the garden. In just the space of a couple of years without a gardener or person to maintain the area, the statues, steps and balustrades started to become overgrown and covered in ivy. Whilst the photo looks beautiful, some telltale signs of neglect are apparent.
In time in the very late 1930s and early 1940s, the statues were removed by unknown individuals, along with many of the balustrades, presumably for reuse, leaving only the foundations we see today. The land was never rebuilt upon and fell completely into neglect and to nature.
The timing co-incides with a downwardly spiral for population in Auchentibber, largely due to lack of working opportunity in that area. However, additionally, I can’t help but feel that Mr Struthers, whilst alive had kept the area alive, much visited and talked about and that Auchentibber itself suffered from the death of the well known businessman.