stories and illustration

The Cement Menagerie 1

The Cemenrt Menagerie 1The Cement Menagerie is a piece of true folk art set in the village of Branxton, which is at the site of the Battle of Flodden in North Northumberland.  This garden of  animals, people, inscriptions and angels was created by John Fairnington to delight his only son, Edwin, who suffered from cerebral palsy. Edwin lived in the village all his life, looked  after  by John and his wife Mary, and was apparently a happy person.  John Fairnington, who was a joiner by trade, created life-size drawings of all the figures, and his friend James Beveridge, who was also a pensioner, made the creatures out of cement.  The Cement Menagerie is in The Fountain House Garden.  It is a strange,beautiful and touching work of art.

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June 17, 2015 - Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Unfortunately due to illness old age and lack of man power and funding I’m afraid to the cement menagerie In Branxton is going to have to be closedown it is a very sad and emotional time we are having to close the garden I wished this day would never come unfortunately it has to be as just can not maintain the garden and animals anymore my Apologies Samantha Fairnington Brattisani


    Comment by Samantha Fairnington Brattisani | May 2, 2018 | Reply

    • I’ve only just read this, having been heavily into a project. I am SO sad you cannot keep the garden open to the public, it was such a special place. I am glad I got some photographs of my grandsons delighting in the place. It must have given pleasure to so many people, it has a surreal charm and beauty. I do hope that the troubles you are having don’t weigh you down too much; and also hope that the garden will stay as it is, even if it isn’t still open to all and sundry. You did a wonderful job of keeping this place open, Samantha, I shall always remember it. Cara

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | May 25, 2018 | Reply

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