Groups visiting 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield can now see the newly replanted Duchess of Cleveland walled garden, which has just opened to the public
As well as creating a tranquil garden for visitors to enjoy, with fruit trees, wildflowers and bees, the walled garden provides a glimpse into a lesser known time in Battle Abbey’s history; when it was lived in as a country house estate. The Duchess of Cleveland lived at the Abbey from 1858 and jealously guarded the walled garden as her own private space.
Sixteen apple varieties, including ‘Golden Pippin’ which originated in Sussex in 1629 and ‘Alfriston’, a favourite Victorian exhibition variety, have been planted, as well as cherry, quince, medlar and nine varieties of pear. Grasses and wildflowers native to the Weald area such as knapweed, yarrow and oxeye daisy have been introduced to enhance the grassland, and spring bulbs have been planted. Victorian style bee-hives have been installed, with bees being introduced later in the summer to complete the ecosystem of the garden.
Dawn Champion, English Heritage Area Manager comments: “We hope that by reopening the walled garden we have added a new dimension to the visitor experience, to give everyone the opportunity to pause and reflect, and to enjoy Battle Abbey not just for its history, but its beauty and atmosphere as well.”
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