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News > Archives & History > A sequel to the Bishops' Avenue

A sequel to the Bishops' Avenue

Several ODs wrote in with stories and photos as a result of an earlier article about The Avenue Field and the trees at Bishops. These are now shared in this article.
This Morning, the view from The Mitre
This Morning, the view from The Mitre

Philip Wood (WH - 1968) sent through this photo (above) of Bishops of the seventies, during the time when earlier generations of pine trees were still standing.  Many of them have consequently blown down from the heavy winds, or taken down to RIP.  Philip describes some of the bigger pines on the lawn of the principal's house extending towards the sanatorium.  He describes them with their multi-hued trunks, the way they soughed in the slightest breeze.  Paul Murray the archivist wrote back to say that new pines were recently planted in the Avenue - the school had accessed a place where one gets seedlings.  Philip wrote back to say: 'A propos of pines in Italy, the only stone pines (umbrella pines, same thing?) I've ever seen anywhere as big as the ones on the chapel lawns, are in the Doria-Pamphili gardens in Rome...'.  He says: ' One of my favorite paintings is Uccello's "Hunt in the Forest" - you probably know it, but if not you'll see why!    A forest which is idealized and, thus, really a garden.'


The image was downloaded from on Tuesday 18 May 2021.  One sees the Pines that Philip is describing above. 



The above photograph was taken by Paul and sent to Philip, the view of School House in the background, designed by Baker & Masey in 1900, when the foundation stone was laid by the Second Duchess of Teck, on a visit here (probably to visit her brother Earl Athlone engaged in the South African War).  




Andrew Wilson (SH 1957-67) wrote in saying that he had arrived to live in the school at the age of 3 years 6 months in January 1953.  His parents were Basil Wilson who was the Estate Manger and his mother Jean (Myth) Wilson who ran the school tuck shop. They lived in The Lodge at the main entrance gates until December 1970.  He writes aboutnthe Avenue: 'I can remember learning to drive, at quite a young age, in the school holidays, with one of my parents next to me to and from the tuck shop.  At some point in time, the speed humps were laid across the avenue. I can remember that this caused much concern, until it was found out by the teachers and parents, that the faster you drove over them, the less the “bump” effect was  Around 1965, as part of my weekly gardening duties as a border in School House I had to, together with Christopher Duck (1967S) and maybe one or two others, climb into the then much smaller trees and cut them into the shape of umbrellas. If this look is not there today, it is probably due to our lack of attention to detail.'


The Avenue Field Today.  This is a landmark in the Cape's landscape of majestic entrances to estates and venues.

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