Open April until the end of September
DOGS are allowed in the car park and Tea Room but NOT in the gardens
The gardens have been described as:
…and described as the kind of delightful surprise that can only exist in England. The moat dates from 1150 and is one of only a handful of complete moats in Norfolk.
This is a working garden, supplying fruit and vegetables for the house. All the paths are edged with box and at the centre is a herb parterre. This organic garden is on a southerly slope to maximise production and abuts the moat.
Exit through the old door and pass on your right the newly restored Victorian Greenhouse where all our seeds are sown and plants propagated.
Continue with the moat on your left and pass the IRIS AND DELPHINIUM WALK to the small COPSE. This comprises mainly chestnut, evergreen oak, and hornbeam. In spring it is a mass of snowdrops; from May a mass of bluebells. In Autumn the base of the chestnuts are alive with cyclamen.
From the copse turn left alongside the moat into: THE DAFFODIL AREA. As its shape suggests this is actually an ancient roadway between the moat and the 5 medieval fish ponds. These are some of the best preserved ponds in East Anglia spread over 3 acres and visitors are welcome to walk round them. This is a circular walk with display boards explaining the history and management of the ponds.
It was on the ancient roadway that the carp and eel were loaded into carts for the Prior's table in Norwich or Binham. Today it is an unbroken mass of 32 varieties of daffodil (best seen in early April), followed by a white carpet of cow parsley.
At the end of the daffodil area is the BOG AREA . Tread carefully if you venture onto the wooden walkway into the reeds beside the weeping willow. Note the giant gunnera manicata, the yellow water iris and the water lilies.
This leads to the WATER GARDEN which lies alongside the southern bank of the moat and is bisected by a stream – one of the upper reaches of the Stiffkey river.
It is mainly planted with primula, hellebores, hosta and day lilies – at their best in May June and July. Take your choice of cool meandering paths. Note the strange lump of medieval brickwork thought to be the remains of a Mill.
A large border has been planted to the back of this area with plants at their best from July to October. In front of this "Autumn Border" sits the remains of a cupola removed from the Henry VI Chapel of Westminster Abbey and on top 0f it a modern Armillary to tell the time.
Turn left over the old bridge and left again through the gate into the West lawn. This is bounded on 3 sides with formal herbaceous borders giving a mass of colour from April to September. A path alongside the moat is screened by a pergola of scented roses and clematis.
The Victorian nut walk (pictured right) becomes a dark and cool tunnel from July to September. On the far side of the Nut walk is the: WILD GARDEN.
Best in April and May when it is a mass of primroses, daffodils, wild geranium, anemones and leucojum (like giant snowdrops).
Alongside the gravel drive is a pergola planted with climbing roses and clematis. Bounding the moat is a carpet of daffodils followed by colchicums (autumn crocus) in August.
Coffee, tea and delicious cake is served during open hours in pretty bone china in the cafe by the entrance to the garden.
Plants for sale.
Gardens open from April to the end of September
Sundays from 2 - 5pm and Wednesdays 10-1pm
Admission is £7.50 and includes our self-guide map. Children under 16 free.
Season ticket £20 available on request at the gate
Groups are most welcome to come on any of the normal opening days and we can provide parking facilities for coaches with prior arrangement. However, for groups of ten or more, we do recommend you get in touch in advance so we can ensure that the tea room is adequately staffed.
Groups of 30 or more, paying by cheque not less than four weeks in advance, may deduct 10% from the normal entrance charge of £7.50 each.
Arrangements can also be made for the Garden to open at other times or days for the exclusive use of Garden Groups at a charge of £10.00 per head subject to a minimum of £300 paid not less than 4 weeks in advance. All group members will be given a map/ guide of the gardens on arrival. To take advantage of the exclusive facility, please call 01328 878226 for an available date.
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