A significant part of Kentwell's charm
The Gardens Today
Kentwell Gardens today are a combination of ancient features, elements of the substantial alterations of Lady Guthrie, tenant during the 1930s, and the recent landscaping and planting of Patrick & Judith Phillips.
The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden still retains the shape of its early origins but greater elements of the 17th C. in its layout. The 16th C. and 17th C. periods are accentuated by the Phillips's additions of a large Herb Garden and a Potager. The Phillips have also put much of the area down to grass for visitors more conveniently to enjoy its tranquility amid the ancient espaliered fruit trees.
There are about 60 varieties of apple and almost as many of pear.
The Main Moat is a dominant feature but was originally smaller. It was gradually extended to include the Garden to the East in the 17th C. and 18th C. to create some fine canal-type vistas. It is crossed by just two original Bridges. This Moat once connected to a Secondary Moat surrounding what is now the Walled Garden. (Two moats at that time signified great status.) This Secondary Moat still survives but in altered form.
The Walled Garden and the Moats remain the Gardens' finest features.
The Ancient Yews & Cedars
Some of the Yews are of great age, others are more recent planting. Clipping ancient ones, some 50 ft. high, into geometric shapes, and modern ones into lively topiary (such as Judith's striking Pied Piper) is all part of recent changes.
The great Cedars date from the late 18th C. The Sculpted Tree, on the theme of the Tower of Babel, perhaps the UK's biggest single wood carving, makes good use of one huge tree severely damaged by storms.
The shrubbery boasts magnificent Acers and a succession of spring bulbs and flowers, a highlight of the Spring Bulbs Walk.
The Sunken Garden & the Tennis Court Lawn
A dry section of the old Secondary Moat is where a Herbaceous Border is now being formed. This Lawn in summer has massed Wild Pyramid (and other) Orchids. Here also the Mount which houses the Ice House.
The Yew Castle is Patrick Phillips's conceit. Here also the recent planting of silver birch and the Mystical Circle of hornbeam.
The Front Lawns, Ha-Ha and Wildlife Pond
The Wildlife Pond was dug, the lawns levelled and the Ha-Ha wall was built to separate lawns from the paddock over a period of some 20 years starting in about 1980. The Pond, alas, has defied every attempt and several major repairs to hold water. If there's no repair underway and its full of water perhaps at last we have succeeded. This landscaping and the Gate screen which defines the entry to the lawns were introduced to create a more formal approach to the Hall.
The Avenues & Barns Sward
The threequarter mile long Avenue of ancient limes by which the visitor approaches the Hall was planted in 1676. Another Lime Avenue but not nearly so long the Phillips planted in 1978 to mark HM The Queen's Silver Jubilee.
The Barns Sward was created by the Phillips and here they planted a circle of semi-mature oaks to honour HM the Queens Golden Jubilee in 2002. The Cot Garden is of the type appropriate to a cottage in the 16th C. The further Moats here may be Kentwell's oldest (and deepest).
Hall & Gardens
The House and Gardens are now closed for this year. Please check again in the New Year for opening dates.
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