Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
NameCol Stephenson Robert CLARKE, 5616
FatherStephenson CLARKE , 5611 (1824-1891)
MotherAgnes Maria BRIDGER , 3446
FatherJoseph GODMAN , 5629
ChildrenRalph Stephenson , 5610
 Edmund Stephenson , 3439 (1893-)
 John Philip , 5626 (1896-)
 Robert Francie Stephenson , 5627 (1904-1920)
Notes for Col Stephenson Robert CLARKE
Of Borde Hill Sussex.


The Stephenson Clarkes

Borde Hill is an English garden in the finest romantic tradition designated as of ‘outstanding’ importance and listed Grade 11* by English Heritage. Set in 200 acres of parkland and woodland with panoramic views the Garden is significant because of the unusual and rare plant collections.

The Stephenson Clarke Family

The Stephenson Clarke family can be traced back to John Clarke who was born around 1530 in Northumberland. Four generations later they moved to North Shields and in 1730 started the oldest surviving British shipping company, Stephenson Clarke Shipping.

The Stephenson Clarke family moved to Sussex in the 1840’s and Colonel Stephenson R Clarke purchased Borde Hill in 1892 when the Garden was started and his interest grew. About 1912 his passion for collecting trees and shrubs began by financing expeditions by Farrer, Forrest, Kingdon-Ward and Rock to the Himalayas and China.

He was primarily a collector rather than a designer and emphasis was given to wild species rather than cultivars. These rare trees and shrubs were positioned in the best conditions and soil. Amongst many other plants raised at Borde Hill, his best gift to the nation is Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’ raised at Borde Hill and won the award of merit in 1941.

He was succeeded by Colonel Sir Ralph Stephenson Clarke, a member of parliament for 20 years, who restored the garden after the war and with his wife introduced the nerine collection. In 1965 he formed the charity and the Garden was opened to the public.

His son, Robert, took over Borde Hill in 1970 and his emphasis was the rhododendron collection which with the help of head gardener, Jack Vass, extended to over 450 varieties. He died in 1987, just after the great storm and his son Andrewjohn moved to the House where he lives with his family. The Rose Garden and the White Garden are some of the latest introductions and enhancements of the Garden.
Last Modified 20 Aug 2011Created 2 Apr 2024 using Reunion for Macintosh