Duke Cadrill's Marvellous Menagerie
Founded by Cadrill, Fifth Moran Duke in 73MD, the menagerie started out as a small affair outside the town walls, accommodating some of the animals presented to the Duke as gifts. Over the following years the menagerie grew until, some claimed, it housed specimens of every large animal to be found in Tarusia as well are representatives of other continents. Later dukes added a large collection of plants, housing some in hot houses, and others in cold houses. Truely it was a site to behold.
Or at least is was until the year 265 MD when Cadu the Second, the then Duke, razed most of it to the ground when he started development of the palace complex used to this day by the Dukes. Many scholars of northern Tarusia mourned this loss but Cadu cited the costs of maintaining the establishment and the need to reform not just the governance of the Duchy but also the household of the Duke. Some elements remain though to this day - the variety of plants in the gardens is beyond anything seen elsewhere in the Duchy and a small breeding population of Marivan Dromemels is kept for ceremonial purposes.
The Menagerie was situated in the area now occupied by Palace Ward and Titheyards, growing out from it's original site along the bank of the Storrow. The areas close to the river were prone to flooding and therefore well adapted to the collection of aquatic and marshland plants.As it grew most of the animals were housed in a central collection of caged enclosures surrounded with an area of parkland where the many of the collections trees were planted with the hot and cold houses situated to the downward side - indeed the boundary of the estate was later marked by the second wall (now forming the line of Newall Street).
The Hot and Cold Houses
That there were both hot houses and cold houses is well known. Hot houses are easy to arrange for - enormous manure heaps, furnaces and such like. Cold houses form more of a challenge if large quantities of ice were unavailable and in fact both the hot and cold houses were maintained by the use of Heat Pumps. These ingenious devices used far less fuel that the alternatives for heating and without doubt they were essential to the breadth of the collections of both plants and animals.