Historic Gardens in Clwyd

Glynis Shaw

20 February 2019

Glynis described the work of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. A register of such gardens was published in 1995, after a realisation that while much was being done to protect historical buildings, little attention was being paid to their gardens. For more information, visit their website: www.whgt.wales

We then had a 'guided tour' of many (but not all) of the gardens of significance in North-East Wales. Several of these properties will have their own websites if you require further information, so only an outline will be given here.

However Glynis emphasises that some small 'ordinary' home had wonderful, gardens which could be similarly recorded - the frontage of a terraced house in Rhyl was shown as an example.

Gwydir Castle: prone to flooding from the Afon Conwy, 

Bodelwyddan Castle: Has 1st W.W practice trenches. interesting points raised as to how far the views from this (and other) historical gardens should be a restriction on planning permissions for development.

Bodrhyddan: parterres, 17C. bathing pool and Inigo Jones-designed wellhead.

Gwerclas : quirky! A walled garden with an outside toilet designed with class distinctions in mind!

Plas Newydd : pioneering landscape garden with the famous 'Dell'. literary plaques on several trees. Font from Valle Crucis.

Chirk Castle : Original formal gardens replaced by landscaping. However interesting 17C. features in the Whitehurst garden, away from the main site. Davies Bros. gates.

Erddig : wide avenues, the National Orchard Collection (especially apples). Unique cylindrical waterfall as part of water management system.

Leeswood Hall : superb gates (not Davies Bros. - 100ft. long.

Brynkinallt : stone gateway, Inigo Jones designs, unusual structures, conservatory.

Wynnstay : 19C building after fire. Was a school, now apartments: garden (Capability Brown) needs attention. 1790 column and a very rare golden Oak.

Llanbedr Hall : Joseph Ablett's garden now largely lost. (Ablett promoted culture, especially poetry, Wordsworth believed to have visited. Also provided the new church in the village, and promoted the hospital in Denbigh, for which he provided the land.

Brondanw : superb gardens in an old quarry, landscaped by Clough Williams Ellis.

Garden Cemeteries : appeared in the late 19C as churchyards were becoming full, and fear of disease discouraged town centre burials. Often beautifully landscaped though with class and religious distinctions. Wrexham a good example.

Powys Castle : spectacular 1670 terraces

Gregynog : a landscape of art and culture. Ancient oaks in an SSSI.

Ruthin Castle : good 1822 garden - not as now.

Llannerch : once the finest garden in North Wales.

Pool Park : steep terraced garden and unusual mound - currently derelict.

Rhug : Bronze Age burial mound, later the site of a Motte & Bailey, then an ice house. Landscape by Repton.

Aberwheeler : well-preserved Bee Boles.

Bodysgallen : superb parterre.